When many people think of Ephesians 5, they think of the part about women submitting to their husbands. But men are called to an even greater, more demanding duty: to love and sacrifice themselves for their wives as Christ loved and sacrificed himself for the Church. That is, completely, even to death.
This powerful exhortation to men is the focus of this wonderful apostolate I just learned about: e5 Men
From their site:
HUSBANDS FASTING FOR THEIR WIVES
The e5 Man fasts for his bride to imitate Jesus as described by Saint Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, chapter 5 (for which e5 is named). Fasting is eating only bread and water.
Jesus made a bodily sacrifice on the cross for His Bride the Church to present her to God the Father “without spot or wrinkle.” (Eph 5:27) By fasting for our earthly bride and joining our sufferings to Christ’s we intercede for grace for our brides. At the same time our act of bodily love in union with Christ accelerates our own conversion.
By making this sacrifice for the women in our lives we live out the essence of the gospel through a very particular act of self denial. To lay down one’s body out of love for another is the central message of the gospel.
NOT ONLY FOR MARRIED MEN
Membership is not limited to married men. For single men, their fast may be dedicated to their future bride. For widowers or those unlikely to get married, the beneficiary of their fasts may be for a deceased wife, a daughter, a sister, or a granddaughter, or any other women in great need. For the consecrated celibate man the benefit of their fast can be for the benefit of the community they serve or for consecrated celibate women.
Except for medical reasons, the minimum requirements to be an e5 Man are that you:
1. Be a baptized Christian man.
2. Register with e5. Register as an e5 Man. Click here.
3. Fast on plain bread and water at least one day a month for your bride for her spiritual growth and healing – preferably on the first Wednesday of the month.
Any woman can receive the graces obtained by the men’s fasting. We are asked only to pray to receive these graces. Attending Mass on the first Wednesday of each month is recommended, but not required. Women may also join the men in fasting, but they are not bound by the same obligations as the men.
I think the whole idea is very beautiful and uplifting! As a woman, few things in this world are as important and beneficial as the love, support, respect, and esteem of men. And there’s no greater, more powerful man than one who prays and seeks to imitate Christ!
God bless all our e5 Men! May many more join their ranks!