In Ephesians 5:25, Paul exhorts Christian husbands to, “love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…” Having revisited this passage for years I've been consistently reminded that men must be committed to this phrase in order to have a healthy, loving, and Christ-centered marriage.
In order to make marriage work the way God intended, a man must be willing to give himself up for his wife. This means that husbands must be willing to set aside anything in their life that doesn’t build up and serve the emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being of their bride. We must be willing to give up our preferences, freedoms, and desires if they don’t promote the holistic flourishing of our wives underneath our headship.
Men often want to have a great marriage, but refuse to give themselves up. They want to continue living their own lives and at the same time experience rich intimacy, depth, and trust in their marriage. These two desires simply aren’t congruent with one another. You cannot expect your wife to give up herself for you, if you haven’t first given up yourself for her.
Men, if you want to get married. Be prepared to give up. I am convinced this is the art of a great marriage.