Prophets Creation And Spiritual Status
Loving him is through obedience
There is an ayah (verse) of the Quran where Allah ﷻ says: “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Last of the prophets.” The Quran teaches that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is not the father because his status is greater than that of a father and that is the meaning of this statement. ‘Muhammad is not the father’ means he is in fact greater than our own parents as confirmed by an authentic hadith: “None of you has real faith unless I am dearer unto him than his father, and his child, and all mankind” The companions were the first ones to learn Islam directly from the Prophet ﷺ and they considered him to be greater than their own parents. The prophetic hadith is further corroborated by the Quran where Allah ﷻ says: “the Prophet has a higher claim on the believers than [they have on] their own selves, [seeing that he is as a father to them] and his wives are their mothers.” The famous 20th century Western Muslim Scholar, Muhammad Assad, in his translation adds the words in parenthesis “seeing that he is as a father to them” and comments that: “this verse points to the highest manifestation of an elective, spiritual relationship: that of the God-inspired Prophet and the person who freely chooses to follow him….. The Companions invariably regarded the Prophet as the spiritual father of his community. Some of them - e.g., lbn Mas'ud (as quoted by Zamakhshari) or Ubayy ibn Ka'b, Ibn 'Abbas and Mu'awiyah (as quoted by Ibn Kathir) hardly ever recited the above verse without adding, by way of explanation, "seeing that he is (as] a father to them"; and many of the tabi'in - including Mujahid, Qatadah, 'Ikrimah and Al-Hasan (cf. Tabari and Ibn Kathir) - did the same: hence my interpolation, between brackets, of this phrase.”
A father can only be truly respected by his own children and not by other than his own. But in a spiritual bond and relationship, the love and respect can exceed even more than with our own fathers and that is the bond that the companions had with the Prophet ﷺ. If one can understand the aspects of such a relationship with him then it should be understandable that since he is dearer to us than our fathers, than our children, then his wives are sacred to us just like our own mothers, in fact more than our mothers. It is all about understanding from a spiritual perspective. If we realize the importance of Muhammad ﷺ only then we can understand the importance of his blessed wives and only then we may realize why Allah ﷻ said “his wives are their mothers”.
 Al Quran 33:40
 Sahih al-Bukhari 15 – Sunnah.com
 Al Quran 33:06
Message of the Quran by Muhammad Assad - Surah Al Ahzab - Chapter 33 - pg. 868