Ephesians 5:28 gives a wonderful suggestion for how a husband can love his wife:
Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.
But I love it that the scripture always pushes us toward more excellence.
God is never content to leave us where we are. He wants more for us.
And so, there is a more excellent way suggested in that chapter:
Husbands love your wife as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25
I don’t think I want my husband to love me as he loves himself.
My husband can hit his thumb with a hammer, wipe the blood on his shirt, and keep right on working.
He can go without breakfast, lunch, and dinner while working in high heat.
He can ride sixty miles on a bike–uphill with the wind in his face.
He can go weeks without needing a compliment or tender word.
My husband is strong and manly, and he can suffer and do without, and work hard, and lift heavy burdens–all day long. He often sacrifices his own comfort and desires for the sake of his family. He pushes himself. He is hard on himself. He is rigorous in his training, and in his expectations of himself.
I don’t want my husband to love me like he loves himself–I want him to love me more than he loves himself!
I don’t want to be that tough; I want to remain soft, and receptive, and open, and vulnerable. I like it when he treats me better than he treats himself–like I am his special treasure–valuable and rare enough to protect and defend.
Ephesians 5 reminds us that it is natural for a man to care for his wife with the same self-love that he gives himself, but there is a more excellent way for Christian marriages–a husband can love his wife with a sacrificial and tender love — just as Christ loved the church.
A Christian man understands the love of the Father, and the power of foot washing servitude of one who has authority, and realizes there is a more excellent way. He loves his wife even more than he loves himself.
The happiest marriages are the ones where each partner loves the other–more than they love themselves.
But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way. . . And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. I Cor 12:31 and 13:13 NKJV
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