“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. …. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.” Eph. 5: 21-22, 25-26
These biblical principals can evoke negative thoughts or feelings if taken at face value. However, there is much to be learned in this and with greater knowledge will bring more clarity as to what this really means.
For husbands to be instructed to love their wives would have been a radical thought to the Jews. Wives were viewed as property, being passed down from father to husband. Paul taught this radical shift in perspective by using one of the few and only examples, that of Christ’s love for the church [as bride]. As Christ so loved the church husbands are to love their wives.
Marriage is like a three-legged stool. With one leg being the wife, the second the husband, and third God. Oftentimes wives are taking it upon themselves to balance the stool with only one leg. Wives must also be careful not to abuse their husband’s exhortation to sacrifice. A husband may carry multiple jobs in order to provide for his family. Most importantly, if Christ is not the head of the marriage, the stool falls indeed (Paul, 90 Days on his journey of faith, by Beth Moore). All three must be in place for marriage to work. I wonder if this is where we get the saying “You don’t even have a leg to stand on!”?
Pray that your husband would love you out of his devotion to Christ. In full circle, your husband will know Christ by his bride (that’s you!). Use your words and deeds to build up not tear down. Build your husband up and love him as commanded. In return he is seeing God at work. It’s important to pray for those we love to have the scales removed from their eyes to see God. Welcome God into their hearts, souls, and minds. Open the blind eyes! Unlock the deaf ears!
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I have nothing. If I give all I posses to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Cor. 13: 1-3
Father God, I pray for the energy to be motivated to act out in love. Not only kept in my mind’s thoughts but in deeds unto others. Stir up this fire in me to grow and consume into a burning desire for more. More love to show, to give, to do, to act. Help me to share this formula with others. For as we are instructed, go! Make disciples of all nations! In your son Jesus’ name we humbly pray – Amen.