Ephesians Sentence by Sentence: 5:29-30

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Οὐδεὶς γάρ ποτε τὴν ἑαυτοῦ σάρκα ἐμίσησεν ἀλλὰ ἐκτρέφει καὶ θάλπει αὐτήν, καθὼς καὶ ὁ Χριστὸς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, ὅτι μέλη ἐσμὲν τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ. For no one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it, just as also Christ the church, because we are a members of his body.

Paul continues his analogy here about the husband loving himself. He stated before that loving one’s wife is the equivalent to loving one’s self. Now Paul adds that no one hates his flesh, but instead cares for it by nourishing and cherishing it. But this analogy is still tied to Christ’s own example. Paul states that Christ also nourishes and cherishes the church. Christ cares for the church in this way because the church is Christ’s body. Paul identifies himself among the members of the church, saying, “. . . for we are members of his body.” Collectively, we are all included as the body of Christ. As the body, Christ loves us and cares for us.

For no one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it, just as also Christ cares for the church, because we are members of his body.

Husbands, you do not hate your flesh, do you? You do not neglect your body by ignoring its hunger, disregarding its painful sensations, or withholding it from rest, do you? No, you feed yourselves, you pamper yourself when you are not feeling well, and you make sure to sleep on a nightly basis. You do not hate your flesh. In the same way, you should care for your wives. Provide the food that they need, whether it be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. And cherish your wives just as you do your own bodies. This command is not simply linked to nature, for it is what Christ himself does for his bride, the church. Follow Christ’s example. Care for your own bodies, that is, your wives. Furthermore, recognize this very thing: we are all members of Christ’s body, both male and female, husbands and wives. Remember that we are all equals in this regard. Therefore, do not treat your wives as inferior beings. Uphold them in high esteem. In Christ, we are all on equal footing.


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