Arabic original here.
In Christian marriage, according to the teaching of the Apostle Paul, the man is an image of Christ and the woman is an image of the Church.
Saint John Chrysostom says, "Christ, the head of the Church has died living for our sake." And in the Epistle reading for the wedding service (Ephesians 5:20-33), the Apostle Paul says: "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord... just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything" (Ephesians 5:22 and 24).
The Apostle continues and says: "Husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies" (Ephesians 5:28). Love is death for the sake of the other. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Love does not wait for reciprocity: "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?" (Luke 6:31).
This is the sort of love that is expected of the man, just as it is of the woman.
Therefore, as it is said it in the Epistle to the Ephesians: "Husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself" (Ephesians 5:28).
The conclusion in the Epistle to the Ephesians is the following: a man's relationship to his wife is according to the model of Christ's relationship to the Church, so if God's commandment to the Christian believer is to love others as he loves himself (Matthew 22:39), how can we not begin by applying this first in our own homes? All of this "to keep the good wine until the end" (John 2:10).
This is the mystery of Christ and the Church. This is the perfect union of man and woman. Every virtue, and especially the virtue of love, is demanded of believers whom the Lord has redeemed by His precious blood. Amen.
Metropolitan of Tripoli, al-Koura and their Dependencies
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