Husbands–You’re Got it Good Compared to What Christ Had

That is the message that St. John Chrysostom delivers in his book On Marriage and Family Life. This is such a delightful little book. Here is what Chrysostom writes:

He (Christ) gave himself up for her that “He might cleanse and sanctify her…” (v. 26). So the Church was not pure. She had blemishes, she was ugly and cheap. Whatever kind of wife you marry, you will never take a bride like Christ did when He married the Church; you will never marry anyone estranged from you as the Church was from Christ. Despite all this, He did not abhor or hate her for her extraordinary corruption. Do you want her corruption decribed? Paul says, “For once you were in darkness.” Do you see how black she was? Nothing is blacker than darkness. Think of her shamelessness; she passed her day in malice and envy, Paul says. Look at her impurity; she was foolish and disobedient. But what am I saying? She was foolish, her tongue was evil, but even though her wounds were so numerous, He sacrificed Himself for her in her corrupted state, as if she were in the bloom of her youth, as if she were dearly beloved, and a wonderful beauty. St. Paul marvelled at this and said, “Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man–though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Though she was like this, Christ accepted her and made her beautiful. He washed her, and did not hestitate even to sacrifice Himself for her.”

From Homily 20

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About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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