Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing… Ephesians 5:25-26

To love is to sacrifice. Whether it’s a husband making sacrifices for his wife or Christ sacrificing himself for the church, it demonstrates love. It’s easy to tell someone you love them, but the real test is in their actions. You don’t consistently hurt someone you love. It’s something anyone in a domestic violence situation needs to understand.

Paul tells husbands to love their wives through sacrifice. Wives feel loved when their husbands make sacrifices for them, it makes little difference whether it’s their time, their money, or their manpower, that they sacrifice. It’s knowing your husband has put your interests ahead of his own that makes you feel loved.

Yet this verse isn’t really about husbands and wives but rather about Christ and the church (verse 32). God put our interests above his own. Christ loved us and sacrificed himself for us. Do we love him by living our lives according to his preferences rather than our own? Do we show our love for him by sacrificing our desires, our preferences, our comforts for him?

We are also called to love one another. Often we fail to love well because we don’t want to sacrifice. We prefer to show love in ways that are most comfortable for us and cost us little. Then we wonder why others don’t respond or act appreciatively. They may even complain they don’t feel loved.

To love like Christ asks us to love is impossible without his love first flowing into our lives. John writes, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Let’s reflect on his sacrifice, allowing our love for him to grow in response.