9/15 Ephesians 5:26

26 . . . that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word . . .

God compares His relationship with us, the church, with that of a husband and wife. He commands the wife to submit to her husband because the church should submit to Jesus' leadership. He commands the husband to love his wife because Christ loves the church to the point of laying down His life for her. That is God's formula for a successful marriage.

Jesus gave Himself up for us to sanctify us. That means to make us holy. We could not be His bride if we were unholy. We could not be eternally with Him without holiness. He made us holy by taking our sins and receiving the just penalty for them. Now He washes us with the water of the Word. The Word washes our thought life and convicts us when we stray. We stand on its promises and claim the forgiveness Jesus provided.

Husbands should lead their wives in the same way, sharing the Word with them. We can't share it unless we are in it and it saturates our thinking. We should be leading the way in the knowledge and application of the Word, letting it change us first. Then we gently, lovingly share it with our wives, in the same manner in which the Spirit works in us.

Admonition: Men, take the challenge. Be done with lesser things. Commit to daily letting the Word speak to your heart.