Biblical Concept: Husbands, Nourish and Cherish
1) In Ephesians 5:28-31 it says:
NAS Ephesians 5:28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.
2) In Ephesians 5:29, what does it mean for the husband to nourish and cherish his wife?
Nourish is the compound Greek verb: ektrepho.
Ek is a preposition which means: out of or from.Trepho means: nourishment,
thicken or feed.”Out of nourishment” or ”from feeding” are literal
translations. The only other time ektrepho
is used in Scripture is in Ephesians 6:4. There, the NASB has translated
it: “bring up” in a child raising context. What does ektrepho
tell us about
the husband’s role in the one flesh relationship? When Ephesians 5:29 and 6:4 are compared, ektrepho means “to provide a nourishing leadership.” The flesh (5:29a) and children (6:4a) cannot lead themselves. Though the wife has free will and can lead herself, wives are looking for leadership, nourishment from their husbands. Ektrepho is a present tense verb and emphasizes the need for the husband to keep on providing a nourishing leadership. When the husband vacates his leadership role, he hates himself (compare 5:28b) and creates a leadership vacuum that will be filled in a way that adds to his troubles.
Cherish is the Greek verb thalpo. Literally it means to impart warmth. The only other use in Scripture is found in 1 Thessalonians 2:7 and is translated by the NASB: tenderly cares in a mother and child context. What does thalpo tell us about the husband’s role in the one-flesh relationship? When Ephesians 5:29 and 1 Thessalonians 2:7 are compared, husbands are to provide warmth and tenderness to their wives. Thalpo is a present tense verb and emphasizes the need of the husband to continually provide warmth and tenderness to his wife. A tender leadership is described.
3) Final conclusion: In the one flesh relationship (marriage) husbands need to provide a continual nourishing and tender leadership (ektrepho and thalpo) toward their wives. He who loves his own wife loves himself (Ephesians 5:28b).