Just how is a man to love his wife as Christ has also loved the church? What does that mean on a day to day basis?
How Christ loves the church:
1. He gave himself for her. He didn't just give up a football game or stay up late to listen to her. He gave everything. He gave all. The pain. The discomfort. The humiliation. The indecency of it all. It was not taken from Him, He gave it. All. (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; I Thess 5:9&10)
2. He is her Rock. He is all about her. He placed her on His rock foundation, never to be shaken. (Matthew 16:18)
3. He is the Chief Cornerstone, providing stability to her. (Ephesians 2:20; I Peter 2:6&7)
3. He is an Anchor, holding her as the tempest of life blows hard upon her. Anchors are not visible, but people know when you're anchored because you're unmovable. (Hebrews 6:19)
4. He gives her freedom. Besides the Lord's Supper and baptism, there are no other ordinances. Each independent local church is free to grow in the way she sees fit. A husband who loves his wife as Christ also loved the church gives her freedom to grow, he does not give her restrictions which hinder her growth. She can choose her methods of growth, just like a church can choose how many deacons, how many elders, what time their services are, etc. Freedom = choice.
5. He causes her to flourish. He does not require her to see to his success. He sees to her success! That's how Christ loved the church. She is not a means to his end goals. He gave all so that she could succeed, then he guaranteed that she would. And, He paves the way for her to succeed at every turn. That's quite a different picture than the one our western culture has drawn.
6. He adds to her, not to himself. As the gospel message goes out, He brings more and more into the church, increasing her abundance with every addition. (Acts 2:47)
7. He empowers her. Even the gates of Hell cannot stand against her, that's how powerful she is. (Matthew 16:18)
I'll stop there. When husbands love their wives like Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, the patriarchal system that is destroying the church from the inside out will not stand a chance. Women will be able to use their gifts and serve their Lord without abuse and hindrance. And everyone will be better off.