Last week I shared that one of the breakthroughs I would like to see in my life with Christ is in regards to ‘as a husband in our marriage of nearly 31 years’.
Obviously there are any number of books on improving your marriage available out there. But I am more interested in knowing what Scripture teaches and in my my mind one of the best passages of Scripture is found in the second half of Ephesians chapter 5. Check it out and consider the bolded passages … it sets the bar extremely high … but it is truth!
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 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 reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:22-33 (NASB)
Men, I encourage you to read it again and meditate upon the implication to your marriage and how you love your wife …
If you’re one who likes the simple summary … men, as husbands, are to love their wives as Jesus loves His body … His church … the Bride. Simply explained … challenging to live out. You’re free to leave the blog now.
Of course, as you know, I’m not much on simple explanations. I really see a mutual submission going on between the husband and wife, much like what is defined for all Christians … check out the following.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4 (NASB)
If everyone regards one another as more important than themselves and we are admonished to look out not only for our own personal interests, but also the interests of others … well, that sounds like mutual submission for the church … and within marriage. Remember what Jesus said?
But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20-26-28 (ESV)
If, as husbands, we are to love our wives as Jesus loved His bride, we are called not to be served but to serve our wives …
As husbands, we need to exert energy, effort and attention in communicating with our wives … not only to know our wives more but also to be known by our wives – in both our strengths and frailties. One of my weaknesses in communication is I tend to hold back on the frailties and withdraw into a cone of silence … which only then reveals that I am not sharing everything with my beloved bride … something she is indeed quite sensitive too.
All right then … highlights of the Ephesians passage above as far as husbands are concerned:
- The husband is the head of the wife as Jesus is the head of the church … before getting worked up about that consider all that Christ Jesus has done for the church
- The husband is to love his wife as Jesus loved the church and gave Himself up for her
- The husband is to be a part of his wife’s sanctification so that she may be presented holy and blameless (obviously there are some real differences here … but it is a point nonetheless)
- The husband is to love his wife as he loves his own body, nourishing and cherishing her.
- The husband and wife shall become one flesh … the oneness of Christ and His bride.
- The husband is to love his wife as himself … love your neighbor as yourself.
Sound challenging enough … I see mucho room for improvement in how I love and care for my wife.
Dear heavenly Father, help me to love my wife as you have loved, are loving and will love your Bride the Church!