Eph. 5:31 and it’s parallel passages teach us that the love in a marriage is to be SACRIFICIAL, UNCONDITIONAL and INCARNATIONAL.
As a man leaves his mother and father to become married to his wife, he’s SACRIFICING the comforts of home with his parents. He’s sacrificing his old way of life. He’s sacrificing his own selfishness. He’s sacrificing his sinful ways. All of this he does in order to focus on his wife in godly love.
When a husband chooses to hold fast to his wife, he’s making a decision to love her UNCONDITIONALLY. Even though she will have faults, flaws and failures, he still makes the decision to love her every day, until death should part them.
When a husband unites with his wife physically to become one flesh with her, their love becomes INCARNATIONAL. It is a love that is in the flesh. It cares completely for the physical well-being of the other, knowing that care for spouse is care for self.
These aspects of love go both ways. Marriage prospers when a wife loves her husband SACRIFICIALLY, UNCONDITIONALLY and INCARNATIONALLY. It’s loving in the way that Jesus has first loved us.
In fact, any relationship can benefit from a proper application of these three aspects of love. While the total physical union is reserved for a married man and woman, there is an appropriate physical love that is necessary for all relationships. Our relationships in all of life will benefit when our love is SACRIFICIAL, UNCONDITIONAL and INCARNATIONAL.