Ephesians 5:29 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ephesians 5:29, NIV: After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church--

Ephesians 5:29, ESV: For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,

Ephesians 5:29, KJV: For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

Ephesians 5:29, NASB: for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,

Ephesians 5:29, NLT: No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.

Ephesians 5:29, CSB: For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church,

What does Ephesians 5:29 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul continues his focus on husbands loving their wives. Biblical love always carries an assumption of action: it is never an immobile emotion. One reason Paul gives for husbands to love their wives as themselves is because human nature inevitably pulls us to care for ourselves more readily than for anyone else. Instinctively, a man "nourishes and cherishes" his body. Similarly, the husband should have an instinctive desire to nourish and cherish his wife. This happens in the context of living self-sacrifice, as detailed in verse 25.

Once again, comparison is made with Christ's relationship with believers. The standard is Christ, not some human relationship which is prone to failure. This includes the idea of continual learning and growth. There is never a point at which a husband can claim he perfectly loves his wife and has no room to improve. Loving one's wife is a lifelong pursuit that resembles the lifelong pursuit of personal spiritual growth.