Ephesians 5:26 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ephesians 5:26, NIV: to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,

Ephesians 5:26, ESV: that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,

Ephesians 5:26, KJV: That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Ephesians 5:26, NASB: so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,

Ephesians 5:26, NLT: to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God's word.

Ephesians 5:26, CSB: to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word.

What does Ephesians 5:26 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The practical reasons husbands are to love their wives are offered in verses 26 and 27. To "sanctify" means to set apart or make holy. A godly husband who shows love for his wife helps her grow spiritually. Also mentioned is the idea of cleansing via a study of Scripture. This appears to include the idea of helping a wife with spiritual growth by mutual discipleship.

What Christian husband would not want his wife to grow spiritually? The desire is there, but the cost is great. To help a wife grow in holy living and biblical understanding involves a level of personal growth. It requires both love for one's wife and a serious commitment to helping her. And, of course, it requires a husband to be personally committed to serious study of the faith, himself. Many applications exist, but the principle is clear: a wife's spiritual growth can best be enhanced by a godly husband who shows love to her.