Ephesians 5:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ephesians 5:28, NIV: In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Ephesians 5:28, ESV: In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Ephesians 5:28, KJV: So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

Ephesians 5:28, NASB: So husbands also ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;

Ephesians 5:28, NLT: 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.

Ephesians 5:28, CSB: In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

What does Ephesians 5:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Just as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:27), husbands should love their wives. In saying this, Paul sets the ultimate standard in comparing the marriage relationship with Christ and the church. Such an attitude makes abuse, mistreatment, or abandonment impossible to justify. In fact, Paul demands that husbands love their wives "as their own bodies." This includes personal care, time, and provision. A man would not leave his body "unattended" or without care for a great length of time. He should likewise not treat his wife in this manner. The Old Testament even described abandonment by a husband as an act of violence (Malachi 2:16).

It's important to remember that "love," as used in the Bible, means much more than simple feelings. It always comes with an expectation of action: of doing good on behalf of that person. This verse uses the Greek root word agape, which refers to a selfless, sacrificial concern for the welfare of someone else.

For that reason, Paul notes that loving one's wife—through actions—has practical benefits for the husband as well. If a husband desires a better life, he can do so in part by investing more into his own wife. Love expressed to one's wife certainly offers numerous benefits to a husband, including unity, better parenting, less conflict, less stress, and other factors.