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My beloved. — Song 2:8
This was a golden name which the ancient Church in her most joyous moments was accustomed to give to the Anointed of the Lord. When the time of the singing of birds was come, and the voice of the turtle-dove was heard in her land, her love-note was sweeter than either, as she sang, “My beloved is mine and I am His!” Ever in her song of songs, does she call Him by that delightful name, “My beloved!” Even in the long winter, when idolatry had withered the garden of the Lord, her prophets found space to lay aside their burden for a little season, and to say, as Elijah did, “Now will I sing to my well-beloved, a song of my beloved.” Though the saints had never seen His face, though as yet He was not made flesh, nor had dwelt among us, nor had man beheld His glory—yet He was the consolation of Israel, the hope and joy of all the chosen, the “beloved” of all those who were upright before the Most High God.
We, in the summer days of the Church, are also accustomed to speak of Christ as the best beloved of our soul, and to feel that He is very precious, the “chief among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely one.” So true is it, that the Church loves Jesus, and claims Him as her beloved, that the apostle dares to defy the whole universe to separate her from the love of Christ, and declares that neither persecutions, distress, affliction, peril, or the sword have been able to do it! Nay, he joyously boasts, “In all these things—we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!”
O that we knew more of You, O ever precious one!
My sole possession is Your love!
In earth beneath, or heaven above—
I have no other treasure!
And though with fervency I pray,
And importune You day by day,
I ask for nothing more.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church. — Eph 5:25
What a golden example Christ gives to His disciples! Few masters could venture to say, “If you would practice my teaching, imitate my life.” But as the life of Jesus is the exact transcript of perfect virtue, He can point to Himself as the paragon of holiness, as well as the teacher of it. The Christian should take nothing short of Christ for his model. Under no circumstances ought we to be content unless we reflect the grace which was in Him.
As a husband, the Christian is to look upon the portrait of Jesus and he is to paint according to that copy. The true Christian is to be such a husband—as Christ was to His church.
The love of a husband is a special love. The Lord Jesus cherishes for the church a peculiar affection, which is set upon her above the rest of mankind: “I pray for them—I pray not for the world.” The elect church is the favorite of heaven, the treasure of Christ, the crown of His head, the bracelet of His arm, the breastplate of His heart, the very center and core of His love!
A husband should love his wife with a constant love, for thus Jesus loves His church. He does not vary in His affection. He may change in His display of affection but the affection itself is still the same.
A husband should love his wife with an enduring love, for nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
A true husband loves his wife with a hearty love, fervent and intense. It is not mere lip-service. Ah! beloved, what more could Christ have done in proof of His love—than what He has done? Jesus has a delighted love towards His spouse—He prizes her affection, and delights in her with sweet satisfaction. Believer, you wonder at Jesus’ love; you admire it — are you imitating it? In your domestic relationships, is the rule and measure of your love — “even as Christ loved the church”?