Note: in this passage there appear to be three units – the first related to the wife’s reverence for her husband as to Christ, the second to the husband’s love for his wife as Christ loved the ecclesia, and the third section is about the husband who is required to love his wife “as himself” . The last sentence refers back to the wife so that overall there is an ABB’A pattern.
A. Concerning the wife
a. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands,
b. as unto the Lord.
c. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
b’. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ,
a’. so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
B. Concerning the husband
a. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
b. 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
b’. 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
a’. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.
B’. Concerning the husband
a. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it,
b. even as the Lord the church:
c. 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
d. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
c’. 32 This is a great mystery:
b’. but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
a’. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself;
A’. Concerning the wife
and the wife see that she reverence her husband.