This was an article written for StriveForMaturity.com, originally published here: http://striveformaturity.com/shes-still-your-bride/
I had this incredible professor in high school. He was the professor of Physics and Higher Mathematics. Dr. Hosterman was his name. Before becoming a teacher, he was an army physicist and aircraft pilot who flew observation flights during the nuclear experiments at the atolls in the pacific. He developed cancer as a result of that work. He daily struggled with intense pain, downing and chewing-up a half bottle of aspirin at a time. He was somewhat kooky and had some fascinating stories to tell. But, at the same time he was so genuine and pure of heart.
Most fascinating to me was that after over 30 years of marriage, he still called his spouse, “my bride.” He would get giggles from the girls and hoots-and-hollers from the boys as he proclaimed, “We’re still on our honeymoon,” with a sly grin and a knowing wink. He had a sweet twinkle in his eye every time he talked about her. His face lit up. His countenance would change. His cancerous body no longer in pain. He loved her so much – even still, after so many years. She was still that beautiful young woman who appeared in that doorway at the church, her father in tow, beaming in that dress. She was still his bride.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:25-33)
I love that this passage gives instruction for both how a man should love the church, and how a man should love his wife. They are connected in this passage. Paul keeps going back and forth between “the church” and “your wife”.
1 – Cherish her – so much that you’d give your life for her. Recently, a video was released of a young man and his girlfriend at a baseball game. When a fly-ball headed toward them, the young man jumped out of the way and the ball hit his girlfriend. He should have shielded her from harm. He should have cherished her as a precious gift.
2 – Glorify her – I am saddened every time I hear a man speak poorly of his wife. “She nags too much. She is lazy. She can’t cook. She isn’t that smart.” Men, stop this. Present her blameless – without stain or wrinkle – free of blemish – perfect in your eyes. Exalt her before others. Make her the envy of other wives.
3 – Love her unequivocally – She is your flesh. She is not a housemate. She is not a maid. She is not a nanny. She is you – you are her. You are one flesh, a profound mystery.
Recently, Angel and I celebrated our 22nd anniversary. She is glorious to me. I love and cherish her more now than I ever did. And since the day we married, I have followed the example of Dr. Hosterman in seeing her as my bride. She is still that beautiful exotic jewel of a woman who said, “yes.” Angel, you are still my bride.