Ephesians 5:25 shows that a Husband’s love must imitate Christ’s love for the Church. Some may interpret that as the husband taking a commanding role so that he might dominate his wife as God has dominion over the world. This could not be further from the truth.
Remember, Christ’s love is above all intensely sacrificial. He is God, yet as St. Paul writes He “emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant.” This sacrificial love permeated throughout His whole life. Christ’s life of servitude culminated when He exhibited the passion of His love for us, “and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” He allowed Himself to suffer and be humiliated— all for the sake of His love for man.
It is the obedience and inner disposition of Christ that makes fruition out of the bloody death on the cross. John Paul II sees this obedience in the crucifixion as Christ’s ultimate ‘gift of self.’ “Through a total gift that springs from love, he formed the Church as his body and continually builds her, thus becoming her head. As head and savior of the Church, he is also Bridegroom of his Bride,” redeeming love transforming into spousal love.
The crucifixion is the central focal point of all time. St Thomas, quoting the Gloss, sees that, “from the side of Christ asleep on the cross flowed the sacraments which brought salvation to the Church.’ Consequently, it seems that the sacraments derive their power from Christ’s Passion”
This is the way a husband’s love must be at the foundation: A great sacrifice and a complete gift of self. In order that all the fruits of marriage pour forth from his sacrificial love for his wife. The passion of Christ should be an ever present awareness of his mind. He must live this in his daily life by drawing power from humble love, for Christ on the cross.
Looking at this comparison it must be noted that this Great mystery continues in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist began in the crucifixion and re-presented on the altar, throughout history. It is given to the faithful and is the ultimate source of ongoing unity as Christ gives Himself, once and continually to His Church.
Augustine, as quoted in the Summa, explains how those who partake in the Eucharist become, “immortal and incorruptible, in the fellowship of the saints, where shall be peace, and unity, full and perfect.” This sacrament unites us with Christ physically and spiritually—the whole of our being. This is His love for us.
This unity is the completion of Christ’s gift of Himself. It is from this ongoing unity that the husband must model his continual sacrifice. It is important to understand that the love of a husband here is strictly analogous to the love of Christ in the Eucharist. His own self-giving is but a weak imitation of the Eternal Son offering Himself-Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity-to His creature in order that He might draw us to Himself. Nevertheless the self-gift of spouses helps to point us to this reality.
Christ also gives of Himself in the sacrament of marriage. He becomes truly present in the spouses love and strengthens them continually by nourishing them in the Eucharist. Just as the Eucharist is a representation of Christ’s self-gift, Joseph Giroux states in the marriage bond there is a, “continuing re-presentation of his own self-giving…there is a ‘transubstantiation’ of the marriage bond: it remains the mutual love of husband and wife, but carries the reality of the divine love of Christ revealed in His self-offering.”
A husband’s gift of self is not a one time offering. For him to be aware of his lifelong commitment of self-gift — sacrifice is essential in every part of life. Blessed John Paul II tells us that the surrender of a wife is above all surrender to a husband’s love, not to his command.
This can only be done with the power of Christ. By the husband making frequent the reception of Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Penance so that Christ be allowed to work in him to make present this reality to the greatest extent possible.
Marriage in its indissolubility and love, joining two individuals as one, requires a complete “gift of self” which is impossible for man. Only the Creator can accomplish this ‘new creation’. He does this by what John Paul II calls the “irradiation of Love.” That is, God calls man to marriage and gives him the gift of the Holy Spirit to complete his love in the fullest sense. Human love then becomes founded in Divine Love and is raised up to Divine Love in the complete “gift of self,” where two truly become one in the fullest sense while keeping their own subjectivity.
This is an amazing mystery; a mystery that makes dimly visible on earth a glimpse into the unifying Love present within the Trinity—the same love that draws the Church into intimate union with Christ. For this reason, God has established marriage and marriage receives its sacred character. Marriage becomes a sign of creation, redemption and love. Becoming the whole of God’s relationship to man.
Therefore, men, rise, take up your cross, Christ is calling you. Accept the challenge, accept the glory. Die with Christ and rise with Him on the last day,, and never forget that it is your wife that you take with you. It is there, “At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love,” It is here that your beatification begins.
 Phil 2:7.
 Phil 2:8.
 John Paul II, Theology of the Body, 90:5.
 Ibid., 90:6.
 Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, III, Q. 62, a. 2, On the contrary.
 Cf. CCC, 1366.
 Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae III, Q. 79, a. 2, I answer that.
 Giroux, Joseph Wilfred Jr. “The Spousal Love of Christ for the Church: Marriage and the Eucharist in Light of Ephesians 5: 21-33.” Thesis ad Licentiam,Rome Pontificum Anthenaeum S. Anselmi De Urbe Facolta di Teologia, 2001.(58)
 Cf. John Paul II, Theology of the Body, 15:5.
 Cf. Ibid., 16:1.
 St. John of the Cross