Men Love Your Wives

Posted on 14. Aug, 2010 by in Marriage

One of my biggest pet peeves lately is the general lack of understanding in the body on what it means to be a man in the Kingdom.  I have seen multiple instances lately of men in the church, and often times in “the church”, doing things to further their own ambition or desires, to the detriment of, or at the expense of, their wives.  For example, some men place a lot of importance in their hobbies.  Whether it be golf, hunting or something else, the tendency is to make this activity a priority, without regard for its effect on the spouse.  No expense is spared, either in the way of time off from work or the expense of the actual activity, to allow the man his good time, but when it comes time for his wife to spend money scrapbooking, as an example, it is “just a stupid hobby” or a “waste of money”, and therefore is either restricted, not allowed, or allowed grudgingly.  This is just one simple example, but the fact of life is that men in America do not understand what it means to be a true Man of God.  While the purpose of this post is not to bash men, I think we need to examine this issue, so we understand our roles as husbands.  I imagine that the average reader of this blog already understands these things, but I felt like getting on my soap box.

I love Ephesians 5:25-30

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27that 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. 28So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30because we are members of His body.

I think we all understand the depth of the sacrifice of Christ.  He gave all He had, all He was, to redeem for Himself a radiant bride.  To this day He is patient with us, to see His bride brought to perfection.  Having said this, how many men in the church approach their relationships with their wives from this perspective?  I know I didn’t early on.  I remember when we were engaged, and working on the wedding list, I used to moan and complain about not wanting to work on wedding things all the time.  Or when my wife didn’t want to move into the master bedroom of our house when we moved until we had the room completely finished.   I didn’t understand, so I complained, every night.  Now, I didn’t complain too bitterly, but bitterly enough.  Even worse than these things there have been plenty of times where I got angry, because of my perception of being wronged, and complained internally that things just weren’t fair.  Over time, I have learned one simple thing:  this is my job.  I am responsible to lay down my life for my wife, to subjugate my wants and my needs in order to further her well-being, to support her as she walks her path with the Lord.  The end-result is the “Proverbs 31” wife, a woman that has reached the fulness of her potential in Christ.  Now, in a good relationship, the same process is going on in the wife.  She is submitting herself to her husband (with the end result that both are submitting themselves to each other), and supporting her husband, being patient when he doesn’t live up to the fulness of his husbandly responsibilities.  In reality this street is supposed to go both ways.  In the end, however, whether or not the wife is adequately considering her husband, the husband has the RESPONSIBILITY to consider his wife above himself.

1 Corinthians 11:3 says “3But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.”.  Paul later states in verse 7:  “For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.”  The intention of this post is not to discuss head coverings.  The part I want to emphasize is that the woman is the glory of man.  I take these verses in conjunction with Ephesians 5, and the picture I see is of the husband laying down his life for his wife, in order to foster her spiritual growth and development, with the end result being his radiant bride, who is his glory, as 1 Corinthians mentions.  Now I understand that in Ephesians 5:32 Paul states he is speaking of the mystery of Christ and the church.  This is the greater truth here.  But the correlation still holds between husband and wife.

Now, I fear that I risk offending some of my sisters in Christ with the above passages.  I think our society has grossly misunderstood the idea of “gender roles” in the bible, and has given the picture that the “female role” is something to be shunned, while encouraging women to strive to achieve to the male role.  This is a huge mis-service to women, and to the body.  I can not go into specifics of what the “gender roles” should be in the body, as I can’t claim to have full revelation on that issue.  This is not the purpose of this post.  My purpose here is to speak in generalities, that there are specific roles that men and women are supposed to fill in the body, and each is vitally important, and each sex is specifically made to carry out their respective roles.  Notice in 1 Corinthians 11:3 that “God is the head of Christ”.  Even Christ Himself willingly submits Himself to the headship of the father.  The point here is not to point a finger at our sisters in Christ, command them to submit and then dominate them.  The point is, again, that God intended each sex to fulfill certain roles, and expected Christ to fulfill His role (which he already has), and nowhere in this equation does a person’s worth or value even come into play.  The worth and value of each sex is inherent and unquestionable, and the value of each role is unquestionable.  Again, it is a simple matter of roles.  And again, I won’t go into those roles here!  I will say that each sex will find true fulfillment and freedom when fulfilling those roles.

Well, I fear that I’ve taken a bunny trail, and not even stated what I sat out to say in doing so.  I hope that I’ve made my point clear, and have not brought offense to anyone.

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