The Husband's Body
Verse 28-31, In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, people have never hated their own bodies, but they feed and care for them, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."
See how Paul does not mince words over what husbandly submission looks like! Messiah submitted himself to the mission, to the cross, to our sin, to our livelihood. He washed our feet. He calls us siblings and says that our Father is his Father. He came down to bring us up, to raise us to the very highest place of humanity.
Notice what Paul says next by playing on the word “body.” He said husbands are to love their wives as they love their own bodies, echoing the second commandment of loving neighbor as oneself. Again, this submission runs deep in the home. Paul speaks of the husband’s literal body, and then turns it into the larger metaphor of the church body, meaning the assembly of believers.
When talking to wives, Paul accentuated the “head.” Talking to husbands, he accentuates the “body.” But, again, this isn’t “authority” over the body, but giving life to the body. The husband gives life to his wife by loving her as his own body, serving her, not demanding sex to meet his own needs, not throwing his weight around, not belittling, not the boss. Rather, he is gentle, kind, loving, peaceful, looking out for her interests (read Gal 5:22-23—the fruit of the Spirit). This gives life. Christ does the same with the church, his “body.” While the parallel of the wife and the church are not “exact,” it is close enough. Metaphors can never be exact. Jesus is the vine means Jesus is our source of life, but if the metaphor were exact then Jesus would be green and twiggy, too.
Continuing the discussion, Paul turns to the very first marriage in Scripture: Adam and Eve. He quotes Genesis 2:24 and tells us that the man’s body and the woman’s body are seen as “one flesh.”  This ancient passage informs Paul’s idea that a husband is to love his wife as he loves his own body. It is grounded in the Garden of Eden before the Fall when the unbroken way was all perfect submission as “one flesh.” One flesh is one that cannot be divided. One flesh is harmonious. One flesh is a metaphor of not knowing where one ends and the other begins. One flesh is one entity, not two entities lording over the other, not one side of the flesh controlling the other. Jesus said that no one should put asunder what God has put together (Matt 19:5-6). Yet asunder is what happens when one spouse is rendered less important than the other.
The next phrase in this section seems a bit out of place at first.
In my next post, we'll look at the "profound mystery."
 Note that in the story of Creation and the Fall in Genesis 1-3 that there is no mention of the man being in “authority” over the women until God declares judgment on them. If “authority” over the woman was always part of the design for man, then it wouldn’t be declared a judgment. Is Paul noting that Messiah has undone this judgment like he has undone the judgment of death? Is he following Jesus tradition that we ought to look to the Garden of Eden for our model of marriage? (Mark 10:1-12)