In this lesson you will discover how to satisfy your wife like Christ satisfies the church. You will discover the importance of caring and nourishing your wife as you follow Christ’s example.
Take your Bibles and turn to Ephesians 5. Before we get into this I want to share with you some insights from children on love and marriage.
When asked, “How does a person decide who to marry?”
- Allan (age 10) said, “You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.”
- Kirsten (age 10) said, “No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you got to find out later who you’re stuck with.”
When asked, “What do most people do on a date?”
- Lynnette (age 8) said, “Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.”
- Martin (age 10) said, “On the first date, they just tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.”
Well, you should be at Ephesians 5 by now and if not, you can find the scriptures on the outline as well.
Ephesians 5:25, “For husbands, this mean love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without a fault. We have looked all that in detail the past couple of weeks. Today I want us to focus our attention on verses 28-29 which says, In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body” (NLT).
The key to understanding all this is to understand that your example of how you are to love your wife is how Jesus loves the church. He is your example and He is your pattern to follow. The better you understand how Jesus loves you and the church, the better you can love your wife.
- If you are going to love your wife like Jesus loves the church then you need to think like a savior. The Bible says in verse 25 that Jesus “gave up his life for her” the church. That is savior language. You cannot save your wife like Jesus can. He is the only one who can give your wife eternal life. But you are to think like a savior when it comes to your wife. This means, like a savior, you will sacrifice for your wife, you will suffer for your wife, and you will be her substitute when necessary. We looked at what all that means a couple of weeks ago.
- If you are going to love your wife like Jesus loves the church then you need think like a sanctifier. The Bible says that Jesus became our Savior in order to “make [us] holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s Word.” The idea of being holy and clean is to be sanctified and set apart. You are to set your wife apart as someone special and help her grow spiritually with God’s Word. When you do that you are sanctifying your wife in your relationship and acting like Jesus toward your wife.
Today, we are going to look at becoming your wife’s satisfier. When I say satisfier I don’t mean it is your job to make your wife happy all the time. When I say satisfier I’m referring to certain needs in your wife that God designed you, as her husband, to satisfy. To help you understand your role as your wife’s satisfier there are two things you need to know.
As her satisfier, you nourish your wife
Number one, as her satisfier, you nourish your wife. Ephesians 5:29, “No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it” just like Jesus does for the church. This word “feeds” (ektrepho) means to nourish. It has the idea of providing what is needed to help someone grow and mature. This nourishing has a physical, mental, and emotional aspect to it.
Jesus the Nourisher
Your example of how you are to love and nourisher your wife is based on how Jesus loves and nourishes the church. Throughout the Bible you see how Jesus nourishes others.
- As God, Jesus nourishes us by providing for our physical needs like food and water. An example of this is when Jesus fed the 5000 who were hungry (Matt. 14:13-21). Jesus understood the importance of taking care of the physical needs before taking care of the mental and emotional needs of people.
- As God, Jesus nourishes us mentally by providing the Holy Spirit to guide us to all truth and He has provided the Word of God to tell us the truth about Himself, others, and ourselves. Jesus was serious about teaching the truth to His people. A great example of this is the sermon on the mount where He was clearing up some confusion about what it means to be blessed, how to deal with anger, the importance of marriage, and how to love your enemies.
- As God, Jesus nourishes us emotionally by bringing peace and joy and hope into our lives. Jesus is concerned about how we feel. This is why Jesus said things like what we hear in Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (NLT). In that one statement Jesus addressed our feelings that deal with our feeling valuable and significant to God along with the feelings of worry about everyday life.
Husband the Nourisher
What does this mean for you as a husband? Remember, God’s Word says that as a husband you are to love your wife as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25). Your example of nourishing your wife is based on how Jesus nourishes the church. He is your model and pattern to follow. Nourishing your wife involves three aspects of her life… physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- Physically as a husband you want to provide the basics in life like food and water so your wife can be physically healthy. Listen to 1 Timothy 5:8, “Those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household [like their own wife], have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers” (NLT). If you choose to not provide for your wife with the basic physical needs of life God sees it as if you don’t believe Him. This doesn’t mean you have to provide the nicest foods, the best house, and the most beautiful clothes. What it means is your wife needs to know you will provide for her and take care of her basic physical needs. She needs to know that her physical needs are important to you.
- Mentally, as a husband, you want to provide God’s truth into your wife’s life so she will be thinking the right thoughts and have the right mindset about herself and others. You want to help her take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. You want to help provide environments where her mind can be renewed, refocused, and refreshed. That is part of washing her with the Word that we looked at last week.
- Emotionally you want to nourish your wife to where she feels valued and significant. You want to nourish her to the point where she will be a person who is well balanced emotionally so she is not dominated by fear, worry, and bitterness. You want to help her experience life like it is described in Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (NLT).
To nourish your wife like Christ nourished the church is to help and provide for her physically, mentally, and emotionally.
As her satisfier, you care for your wife
Number two, as her satisfier, you are to care for your wife. Ephesians 5:29, “No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it.” Let’s talk about this word “care.” Some translations use the word “cherish.” This word “care” (thalpo) literally means to warm or to soften by heat. It has the idea of a mother hen brooding and warming and protecting her baby chicks. The mother hen is providing a place of warmth and security while the chicks are growing. That is the image of the word “care.”
Now remember, as a husband you are to love your wife as Christ love the church. He is your example. So how did Jesus care for the church?
To answer the question, “How does Jesus care for the church?” we could list 100+ ways that Jesus demonstrated his care and how much He cherished you and me. Since Paul brought this subject up in Ephesians, let’s look at Ephesians for examples of how Christ cared for the church and you find many.
- In chapter 1 we see Jesus caring for the church by blessing her with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms (v.3) including things like being loved by God and chosen by God (v.4), being adopted into God’s family (v.5), and experiencing God’s grace, kindness, and forgiveness (v.7).
- In chapter 2 we see Jesus caring for the church by raising us up to new life, even though we were dead in our sin (v.4) and gave us a future with a purpose (v.10).
- In chapter 3 we see Jesus caring for the church by creating a way for us to be able to go boldly and confidently into God’s presence (v.13).
- In chapter 4 we see Jesus caring for the church by providing people with certain spiritual gifts who can equip God’s people and to build them up (v.11-12).
- In chapter 5 we see Jesus caring for the church by providing the Holy Spirit to empower us in our daily lives (v.15-20).
- In chapter 6 we see Jesus caring for the church by providing the armor of God in the midst of our spiritual battles (v.10ff).
The point is that Jesus cares for the church, His Body. Jesus considers the church a part of Himself like His own body. He cares for it. He provides for it. He protects it. He broods over it like a mother hen.
What about you as a husband. You are to love your wife, like Christ loves the church and just as you are to care for your own body, you are to care for your wife. This is following Christ example. The emphasis is on the word “care.” How do you show care for your wife? How do you express that you cherish her?
Let me give five Biblical ways that you can demonstrate your loving care for your wife. These five ways will create that environment that she feels safe and protected in and can grow and reach her potential in Christ.
Your wife has a love language. This means that there are certain things that you say and do for her that communicates to her that she is loved and cherished by you. I’m going to give you the five primary love languages and at least one of these tells your wife she is loved by you if do it.
- The first one is called Words of Affirmation. If your wife’s love language is words of affirmation then she feels loved by you when you express your appreciation for the things she does for you and the family and when you tell her what she means to you.
- A second love language is Quality Time. If your wife’s love language is quality time then she feels loved by you when you spend time with her and doing things together. This could be going for a walk together, sitting on the front porch together, going to a ball game together, camping together, traveling together. The key for her is being together and doing life together.
- A third love language is Receiving Gifts. If your wife’s love language is receiving gifts then she feels loved by you when you give her something that she likes. This could range from flowers to food to a pedicure to something for the house she’s wanted.
- A fourth love language is Acts of Service. If your wife’s love language is acts of service then she feels loved when you do something for her, to bless her. This is an act of kindness toward your wife. Depending on your wife these acts of kindness could include washing her car, repairing the house, taking care of the yard, taking her to the doctor, or watching the kids.
- A fifth love language is Physical Touch. If your wife’s love language is physical touch then she feels loved by you when you are holding hands, hugging, kissing, putting your arm around her, sitting next to each other where your shoulders are touching.
Your wife will appreciate all five of these, but one of them is her primary love language and that’s the language you need to make sure you are speaking to her from you. She will feel cared for and cherished by you and that’s what you want and that’s part of loving your wife like Christ loved the church.