LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Friday, May 04, 2007

LOVE YOUR WIVES

Ephesians 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her"

Just as their wives are no longer to be like Gentile wives, these Christian husbands are no longer to live like their Gentile counterparts. The typical Ephesian husband was a domineering husband. His wife existed to give him children and to take care of him and his home. He controlled his wife and treated her like she was his property. Paul tells the Christian husbands that they are to be imitators of God. They are to be filled with the Holy Spirit. They should make sure the Holy Spirit is leading them in their husbandly attitudes and activities.

One of the first things we notice is what Paul does not say. He does not say, “Husbands, make sure your wives submit to you as I told them to do.” He does not say, “Husbands, be sure you are the head of your wife. Make sure she is under your control.” He does not say, “Watch her very carefully and make sure she doesn’t do anything to embarrass you or bring shame to your name.” He does not say, “Make sure to keep your wife busy at home.” These things might sound kind of funny to you but I assure you, they are no joke. I have actually heard preachers and speakers say that Christian husbands have a duty to make sure they do all these things in their marriages! They say that these are the things Paul is talking about when he speaks of male headship in the home.

What Paul says is, “Husbands, love your wives.” I want us to take a closer look at that simple statement. The word for love is agapao, the verb from which we get the more commonly known noun, agape. This is the kind of love that is best described by actions rather than feelings. It is a self-sacrificial love. It is a serving love. It is the kind of love that seeks the welfare of the other person first. This is what Paul wants Christian husbands to do. It has nothing to do with feelings or emotions of love. It has to do with a decision that a husband makes to treat his wife in a loving way. It is this kind of love that completely rules out the possibility of domineering tyranny over the wife. A husband who loves his wife will treat her very gently, carefully, and considerately.

Peter writes, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life” (1 Peter 3:7). Those words “weaker partner” do not really convey what Peter is saying. They could be better translated as “more fragile vessel.” In other words, husbands, your wife is like a crystal chalice while you are like a fifty gallon drum! How do you treat a valuable piece of crystal? With gentleness. With care. With love.

6 Comments:

Blogger Bluecollar said...

Love is decisional - even during those periods when I don't FEEL any love for her. It is treating her like a crystal chalis even when the feelings aren't there.

Very convicting. Shows me my selfishness. Shows me where my starting point was more from an eros love, which comes and goes and varies in intensity - very selfish.

May 04, 2007 9:57 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I know a Christian couple - dear friends - who love the Lord and lead Bible studies in their home.
But the wife has grown increasingly quiet and timid.
She recently shared with me privately that her husband says that she needs to address him as "lord" (based on the NT Scripture - I can't locate where it is now - that says Sarah addressed Abraham as "lord"). This wife told her husband she only has one Lord. She doesn't address her husband thusly, but it's the attitude of his heart that she should do so.
He also told her that the wife should not disagree with her husband unless the house is burning down or someone could get hurt or die.
I'm praying for both of them, but also have encouraged her to seek counseling with our pastor and his wife, but her husband's not interested.
Recently he told my husband and another fellow that if they as men pray over their wives, the men could "wash the wives clean." I don't know where he gets that from.
I think seeing Scripture abused is as painful as seeing the lost without a Shepherd. It's sad, too, because it reminds me of what Jesus said about the Pharisees: "Woe to you...hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in." (Matt 23:13)

May 04, 2007 11:14 AM

 
Blogger Bluecollar said...

Dave, both you and Susan are really hitting the nail on the head. The scriptures are for reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. I needed this series more than you know.

God intends that my marriage reflect Jesus Christ and His relationship with the church to a lost and dying world. It could and should be an evangelistic tool in His hand to show the unsaved His Character while what is on display here is His sacrificial love.

Cristina, Dave,Doug,Gayla, Susan, and Wayne, you are all such a blessing to me with your godly wisdom in sharing the scriptures here. May the Lord bless you all!

May 04, 2007 11:26 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Mark,
You are such a blessing to me as well, and I imagine to the others also.
You started this blog, didn't you? Thank you for allowing God to work through you.
This series on marriage is timely in my own life as well. Isn't God so good to us?

May 04, 2007 11:52 AM

 
Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Susan,

I only have a minute but I wanted to address your comment.

The guy is referring to 1 Peter 3:6. NIV says, "Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him her master." The Greek is "kurios" or lord.

The "wash your wife clean" comes from Ephesians 5:26.

This brother is really confused, Susan. He has fallen victim to the kind of teaching I mentioned in this post. Wherever it is coming from it is unsound and will prove very damaging unless it is addressed.

We need to be praying that God will protect your friend's heart until he breaks her husband's pride. She is vulnerable without the protection of a loving husband. You are right that it is a grief to see scripture so abused!

Dave

May 04, 2007 2:45 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Dave,
Thanks for your interpretation of these truths. They do make a lot of sense when properly understood.

The case that Susan shares shows the results of wrongly applying Scripture.

May 04, 2007 3:10 PM

 

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