That He might sanctify and cleanse her… Ephesians 5:26 (NKJV)
We're in the middle of Paul identifying the husband's role and responsibilities in marriage. He's to assume the same role that Christ did with us, loving his wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her. That's not all, though. Paul goes on to share that Jesus did much more than this:
That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:26-27 (NKJV)
Follow the flow of thought here. Christ's love for the Church didn't just lead Him to die for us. It didn't end at the cross. No, it led Him to purify and wash us with the water of God's Word so that we could become clean, so that we could grow in godliness and become more holy and less worldly.
In the same way, a husband has a responsibility towards his wife. He can never cleanse her the same way Christ has cleansed us. But he does have the scriptures at his disposal, and he can have a cleansing effect on her heart by spiritually washing her with the Word. He can help her grow in godliness and become more holy and less worldly.
"Sounds like an awfully big responsibility…how often do I need to do this?" Well, how often do you need to be cleansed by God's Word? Here's what a husband needs to realize: By loving his wife like Christ, by washing her in His Word, he's never making a sacrifice that truly hurts him…because his wife is only going to grow more spiritual and lovable in the end.
It's a true no-lose situation whenever a husband takes the time to do for his wife what the Lord does for him.
"You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. John 15:3 (NKJV)
Think about it…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?