Friday, June 24, 2011

Wives, Be Subject to Your Own Husbands (Part 2)

Bride represents the church, image courtesy of Barefoot Weddings Key West

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.1

The myth about women is that they're passive, docile beings, when in fact women are doers; women do. They get things done. As wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend, women are involved in the doing of all aspects of life. Here Paul gives wives something to do: submit to your husband as you submit to the Lord. The same attitude of submission you have toward Christ is the attitude you must have toward your husband. To honor and obey Christ will be demonstrated in a wife's ability to honor her husband in her commitment to submit. Paul doesn’t initiate this instruction to the wives first. Instead, he instructs both husband and wife to submit to one another as they submit their lives to God (Ephesians 5:21). Submission is a cooperative act by both husband and wife.

Because of sin, the world views submission as something distasteful, subservient, and humiliating rather than the honor God bestows on us to obey. We profess our love for the God whom we've never seen, yet fail to love and submit to those we see daily. We declare our submission to Christ, yet we fail to submit to our spouse. A wife who seeks her husband to represent Christ in the marriage will submit to him, the husband who seeks his wife to represent the church will love and submit to her. To do otherwise would dishonor Christ and the church He established. Submitting to her husband requires a wife to be a doer. While some may find it demeaning to agree with this passage of scripture, it is there for a reason; I believe all scripture is profitable (2 Timothy 3:16), and therefore it establishes genuine biblical doctrine, corrects error, and instructs one in living right before God.

A wife may ask of God, “What will I get in return for submitting to my husband?” The answer is supplied by her husband's love and submission abundantly directed to her.

As a Christian, I am a walking, breathing, living representation of Christ on earth; when people see me, they should see a reflection of Jesus Christ. Through my life, others should see what is meant by the words, joy of Your salvation (Psalm 51:12), and in Him we live and move and exist (Acts 17:28). When they do see it, my life accurately, actively and purposely demonstrates who Jesus Christ is.

We proclaim that we’re followers of Christ, but then as we begin to live out the Christian experience, we pick and choose what we will and what we won’t obey; as though it will have no consequences. I am finally learning what it means to love my wife as Christ loves the church. Many of the wives who left comments shared the need to be loved for who they are; flawed women in need of love, forgiveness and grace. Some men are unwilling to love a woman in this unconditional way. He wants her to be something else; he wants her to lose her identity and be conformed into an idolatrous image of something he has conjured up to worship.

I was watching a movie recently and there was a scene about human sacrifice to appease the gods, and it occurred to me that no person with a sound mind would willingly give their life up for a thing; they must be deceived, coerced, or forced.

A wife isn’t a thing to be offered up in worship of her husband's idolatrous beliefs; she is a woman to be totally and unconditionally loved by her husband.

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22-24)

Many husbands will say, “My wife isn’t obeying scripture”, but what he really means is that she’s not obeying me. At the same time, my wife sees the reflection of my life and the image is not one of Christ.

No wife with a sound mind would willingly give her life up for a thing; she must be deceived, coerced, or forced by her husband.

Ask any ten Christian women, what it means to be subject to Christ and you’ll no doubt receive a reply regarding the unquestioned authority of God, faith, and submission that is consistently identical to the other nine answers. Ask those same ten women, what it means to be subject to your own husband and you likely get ten different answers. Just as many husbands have a problem loving their wife; many wives have a problem being subject to their own husband. They will say how flawed their husband may be, how unspiritual he is, and that’s why the marriage is bad.

If he were more like Christ, then I would gladly be subject to him.

The skeptic always asks, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I will conclude this topic next week.

Heavenly Father,

You created us in Your image and likeness, but sin distorted our ability to truly reflect You. Now through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we have been given the gift of redemption and salvation. We have new life, that proclaims, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Your word commands us to submit to one another as we would submit our lives to You. You command husbands to love their wife, and that wives submit to their husbands. Correct the confusion we have over Your word. Teach us to obey, to love, and to submit.

I pray Lord, that You heal fractured marriages. I pray for those wives who feel hopelessly trapped, and unloved by their husband. I pray for husbands who feel utterly confused about how to love their wife. Set things right dear Lord. Let their be fertile ground in that marrige, that will produce fruit in abundance. May they discover truth and purpose together. In the name that covenants all who believe, sealed by His shed blood, the name that is above every name, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte and Ginger).Spiritual Sundays

Footnotes:
  1. Ephesians 5:21-22, KJV
References:
  1. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, By James B. Strong, S.T.D, LL.D., Riverside Book and Bible House, Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126
  2. Unger's Bible Dictionary, By Merrill F. Unger, Moody Press, Chicago
  3. The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6
  4. The Amplified Bible, by The Lockman Foundation, Zondervan Bible Publishers, Grand Rapids, Michigan, ISBN-13: 978-0310951414
  5. King James Version, The Crusade Analytical Study Edition, Crusade Bible Publishers, Inc., PO Box 90011, Nashville, Tennessee 37209
  6. The Message Bible, by Eugene H. Peterson, NavPress Publishing Group, Colorado Springs, CO, ISBN-13: 978-1600060250
  7. The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA
  8. The New Living Translation Bible, by Tyndale Charitable Trust, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois, ISBN-13: 978-0842384896
  9. Matthew Henry's Commentary, McDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia 22101, ISBN 0-917006-21-6


Friday, June 17, 2011

Wives, Be Subject to Your Own Husbands

Bride represents the church, image courtesy of Barefoot Weddings Key West

As I’ve said, a woman has a tremendous capacity to love, and yet, she has an even greater need to be loved; God made her this way. A woman has the unique ability to help her husband; it is a gift from God. This gift can be changed to one of enabling. A woman uses her gift of helps by inappropriately directing it in the area of enabling. She enables her husband, her children, a parent, friend, or anyone who she sees in need of help. As she assumes the role of enabler, she quickly discovers that her help isn’t appreciated, and she invests more of herself in the effort to enable; believing the outcome will change, but it doesn’t.

What is it she really expects to occur?

She wants to affect a change that conforms to what she sees you need to be.

The purpose of a husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The purpose of a wife is to help her husband. In creation, God established a pattern for all life, male and female, however the scripture says, “…but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:20) In other words, Adam didn’t have compatibility with any other created being. Compatibility in life is necessary. Vehicles need the correct type of fuel or there will be compatibility issues. Meals need the proper ingredients or there will be compatibility issues. Your climate will dictate the type of clothing you wear or there will be compatibility issues. Computers must run compatible software and hardware. A husband must have a compatible wife. She must be his helper, not his enabler.

The New Testament church encountered a problem because the Jews were ignoring the needs of the Greeks; they weren’t providing the necessary help to those in need. When this problem was identified, it was quickly addressed and resolved (Acts 6:1-6).

There are three reasons why a husband needs his wife to be subject to him. A husband needs a wife who’ll submit because:
  1. A husband needs to be honored
  2. A husband needs to be wanted
  3. A husband needs to be appreciated
A husband needs to be honored:

What is honor?

When the bible speaks of honor, the Hebrew word kabod, (kaw-bode’) means weight; but this is only figuratively. In a good sense, it means, splendor or copiousness:--glorious (-ly), glory, honour (-able). The Greek word timao, (tim-ah’-o) means to prize, i.e. fix a valuation upon; by implication, it means to revere:--honor, value. Honor comes in the form of affirmation and encouragement. A husband needs to know how his wife sees him. His view of himself has and will continue to be influenced by a woman. It begins in childhood with his mother (or nurturing caregiver), but eventually must transition to his wife (Genesis 2:24). As a young boy, I can remember experiences when I sought the affirmation of my mother that I she was pleased with what I accomplished. I also know that when young men aren’t encouraged, they can find themselves engaged in rebellious and destructive behavior. A man wants to know his wife is proud of him. From royalty, presidency, CEO, ditch digger, miner, migrant worker, sewer employee, or layoff casualty, a husband wants to know his wife is proud of him. He wants that affirmation from you his wife. When he doesn’t get it, he’ll accept it from other sources, be it alcohol, drugs, gambling, strip clubs, or other women. His need has become perverted, but it is nonetheless a need he has. A husband needs to be honored in the eyes of his wife.

A husband needs to be wanted:

What does it mean to want?

The Greek word husterema (hoos-ter’-ay-mah) means, a deficit; specifically poverty:--that which is behind, (that which was) lack (-ing), penury, want.

This need to be wanted transcends the physical and propels a husband and wife into the realm of the spirit and soul as well. It is a want that can only be satisfied by a wife's need for her husband. She needs him connected spiritually, she needs him connected intellectually, she needs him connected emotionally, and she needs him connected physically. A wife who understands her needs for her husband in these areas of her life will communicate them to her husband. Her husband translates these needs she expresses by understanding that he is wanted by his wife.

How does your husband respond when you communicate to him that you want him?

Do your words and actions ignite him with desire for you?

Here is an excerpt from Song of Solomon:

She:
While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance. My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts. My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi.

He:
How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.

It is here that we see the Shulammite expresses to Solomon that she wants him. Her intent is clear because Solomon gets her message; he understands what she communicates to him. "She wants me!" The phrase, “my beloved is”, is descriptive of how the Shulammite not only views Solomon (comparatively speaking), but the attitude behind her view; she wants him. A husband needs to be wanted by his wife.

A husband needs to be appreciated:

What does it mean to appreciate?

To appreciate is, to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of, to value or admire highly, to judge with heightened perception or understanding:--to be fully aware of, to recognize with gratitude, to increase the value of.

This does not imply the act of puffing up someone with false praise, or manipulating a husband to believe you see him in a way that is untrue. No, your appreciation of your husband is genuine, honest, and sincere. If you don’t have reasons to appreciate your husband, he will ultimately find that need met elsewhere.

These three needs of your husband form a building block that enables him to understand how you view him. How you view your husband is directly tied to your willingness to be subject to him.

A wife must possess these characteristics in order to be compatible with her husband, so that she will be his help. A wife cannot help her husband by enabling him solely for the purpose of changing him into the image of something she has in mind. Just as some husbands objectify their wives, some wives also objectify their husbands. We desire our wife or our husband to conform to an image in our mind of what they ought to be. A wife who is submitted to Christ understands that she may plant, she may water, but it is God who gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6). She must allow God to create in her husband a clean heart (Psalm 51:10). Just as the husband is a type of Christ in the marriage, the wife is a type of church in the marriage.

Wives are a type of church in the marriage because she ministers to the spirit, soul and body of her husband. Most Christian women and men have heard or read the description of an excellent wife (Proverbs 31:10-31). Of all the words used to describe her, the one that stands out is that her life is one of subjection; subjection to God, to her husband, and her family. This requires humility in a woman because subjection does not come naturally for husband or wife.

Father God,

You've given women such a tremdous capacity to love, it is resident in a wife, and fully expressed in her act of subjection to her husband. You reveal that the wife is a type of church, and in that role, she ministers to the spirit, soul, and body of her husband. She is subject to her husband, just as he is in turn subject to her. I'm praying Father God for those husbands and wives struggling to understand the purpose of marriage. You declare that Your people perish from a lack of knowledge. Open our eyes Lord, that we may see with a clarity of sight, mind, and commitment. I give You thanks for husbands and wives who represent Christ and His church to a world crying for truth and redemption. Bless those singles who live their lives in submission to Christ, choosing celibacy over sin. Thank You Lord for the blessings You lavish upon us, for Your love, grace and forgiveness. You are so good, righteous, and holy. We worship and adore You Lord. Thank You for Your righteous deliverance. In the precious name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


Spiritual SundaysNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte and Ginger).

Footnotes:
  1. Genesis 2:20, NASB
  2. Acts 6:1-6, NASB
  3. Genesis 2:24, NASB
  4. Song of Solomon 1:12-15, NIV
  5. 1 Corinthians 3:6, NASB
  6. Psalm 51:10, NASB
  7. Proverb 31:10-31, NASB
References:
  1. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, By James B. Strong, S.T.D, LL.D., Riverside Book and Bible House, Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126
  2. Unger's Bible Dictionary, By Merrill F. Unger, Moody Press, Chicago
  3. The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6
  4. The Amplified Bible, by The Lockman Foundation, Zondervan Bible Publishers, Grand Rapids, Michigan, ISBN-13: 978-0310951414
  5. King James Version, The Crusade Analytical Study Edition, Crusade Bible Publishers, Inc., PO Box 90011, Nashville, Tennessee 37209
  6. The Message Bible, by Eugene H. Peterson, NavPress Publishing Group, Colorado Springs, CO, ISBN-13: 978-1600060250
  7. New King James Version, by Nelson Bibles, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., PO Box 141000, Nashville, Tennessee, ISBN-13: 978-0840713704
  8. The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA
  9. The New Living Translation Bible, by Tyndale Charitable Trust, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois, ISBN-13: 978-0842384896
  10. Matthew Henry's Commentary, McDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia 22101, ISBN 0-917006-21-6

Friday, June 10, 2011

Husbands, Love Your Wives (Part 2)

Husbands, love your wives, image courtesy of

…I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.1

A husband cannot give his wife security if his focus is not on pleasing the Father in his life. A husband must be a type of Christ to his wife:
  1. Christ is our Intercessor/husband is wife's Peacemaker
  2. Christ is our Advocate/husband is wife's Supporter
  3. Christ is our Substitution/husband is wife's Cover
  4. Christ is our Resurrection/husband is wife's Renewal
These four undertakings all maintain balance in the spirit, soul, and body of a wife. When a wife is secure, she is free to trust her husband in all things; she knows by the life he lives that he is pleasing the Father and consequently loving her. A husband intent on pleasing the Father surrounds his wife with a life that is spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and physically balanced and secure. She freely releases her trust to a husband that is the head of her life; she understands the futility of trying to exist without him. Just as we cannot breathe without air, a wife cannot function in a marriage without being secure.

A wife needs to be valued:

What is value?

To acknowledge that someone has worth, importance, and significance. To be valued is to be prized above all else, it is cherishing someone for who they are. To value one’s wife is to treasure the life she lives.

The bible reveals that we were redeemed, purchased, or bought through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. Salvation did not come cheaply; while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8, NASB). Ask any woman how she feels about Jesus Christ and you will be hard pressed to find one who disparages His name. What would any woman do with a true understanding of Jesus Christ? A woman who has a relationship with Christ will freely acknowledge her love and desire to please the Lord. This is because she knows Christ died for her. That’s being valued! That woman understands the depth of value Christ has placed on her life. A wife needs to know that in her husband’s eyes, she is a precious and priceless gift from God. A wife must be valued to the extent that her husband has freely chosen to lay down his life for her. His life of selfish personal agendas has been nailed on the cross and crucified for her.

Something which has left me with a lingering question is what was Adam's mindset in the garden? Adam fully understood God's command not to eat from the tree (Genesis 2:16, NASB), and yet he was faced with a dilemma. Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and in that moment, she died. She gave the fruit to Adam (Genesis 3:6, NASB), and he chose to eat; Adam was not deceived (1 Timothy 2:14, NASB) Adam chose disobedience and death (Romans 5:12, NASB) with Eve rather than life without her. It's an ironic perversion of the sacrificial death, because Adam's decision to die was a death that leads to death. The sacrificial death of Christ is a death that leads to life. Two men (Adam and Christ) both chose to die, and yet only one death accomplished its purpose: to usher in new life for the bride. Now we see that husbands are called to die a sacrificial death that leads to life for his bride.

What would any wife be willing to do for a husband like that?

That wife would freely acknowledge her love and desire to please her husband. This is because his life demonstrates that he has chosen to die for her; to freely give up his old life for the precious gift she is. When a husband gives up his life for his wife, he places a value on her that is priceless. When a wife is valued beyond cost, she willingly commits herself to be the subject of her husband; she wants to be his!

So many women are robbed of their worth. Why do so many men become participants in this act of sabotage? How can there be any encouragement when a woman is debased, humiliated, or regarded as worthless? For a wife to truly fulfill her purpose, a husband must value her.

A wife needs to be respected:

What is respect?

Respect is the act of giving appreciation, fondness, preference, honor, interest, and delight in someone. Respect exhibits joy, passion, enthusiasm, and affection. The bible says that Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well everything she ever did (John 4:29, NASB). He was specifically interested in her life to the extent that He knew all aspects of her life; who she was, what was her purpose, and why she came to Him. A husband must have that kind of interest in his wife; he must be intimately acquainted with all aspects of her life. A wife wants her husband to know:
  1. Who she is (she wants her husband to simplyGet her”)
  2. What her God-given purpose is (she wants her husband to support her purpose)
  3. Why she uniquely chose him (she wants her husband to appreciate her)
A husband’s love will be demonstrated through his respect for his wife. It is here that he reaches the depth of her spirit, soul and body; she has become bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. They are one.

What does a wife mean when she says (about her husband), "He gets me."

A husband must understand his wife; this understanding comes through respect. If you’re having problems in your relationship with your wife, you haven’t mastered the discipline of respect. Are you committed to experiencing joy, passion, enthusiasm, and affection for the woman you married? Have you walked through those valleys of life recognizing she is your helper? Have you gained an appreciation, fondness, and preference for your wife? Do you honor her with interest and delight? In order to love your wife as Christ loves the church, you must give her the respect she needs.

Heavenly Father,

You've demnonstrated for us what love is. The bible declares "See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us". You lavish us with Your love O Lord. It wasn't enough to command husbands to love their wife, You gave us the example of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ who declared, "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you....", so let us live our lives as clean, holy, husbands and wives, as singles, as parents, as children, as relatives and as friends. Today Father, let us choose, not as Adam, but as Christ, and sons adopted by You. Let us choose to glorify You in our life. May You be pleased by all that I think, say, and do. Please encourage those husbands and wives struggling to understand their true purpose in marriage. Give them clarity of sight and a heart committed to love. In the name above all names, Jesus Christ. Amen.



Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte and Ginger).Spiritual Sundays

Footnote:
  1. John 8:29, NASB


References:
  1. Unger's Bible Dictionary, By Merrill F. Unger, Moody Press, Chicago
  2. The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6
  3. The Amplified Bible, by The Lockman Foundation, Zondervan Bible Publishers, Grand Rapids, Michigan, ISBN-13: 978-0310951414
  4. King James Version, The Crusade Analytical Study Edition, Crusade Bible Publishers, Inc., PO Box 90011, Nashville, Tennessee 37209
  5. The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA
  6. The New Living Translation Bible, by Tyndale Charitable Trust, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois, ISBN-13: 978-0842384896
  7. Matthew Henry's Commentary, McDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia 22101, ISBN 0-917006-21-6

Friday, June 3, 2011

Husbands, Love Your Wives

Husbands, love your wives, image courtesy of http://dwellingintheword.wordpress.com

Note: I want to say thanks to those who contributed by commenting on this topic; many of you have given me perspectives I needed. I rejoice in the knowledge that God has blessed so many husbands and wives with a love that spans time. Your testimony offers encouragement and hope to those who are struggling in their marriage. The encouragement to humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God and the hope that love never dies clearly resonate with me.

A wife needs to be loved.

It’s no coincidence that God framed marriage using the relationship of Christ and the church as the pattern. God requires a husband and wife to emulate this relationship. When this occurs, the beauty of God’s plan of salvation is revealed to a world needing clarity. Husbands must represent Christ. Wives must represent the church. Anything less would be spiritually inconsistent.

There are three reasons why a wife needs to be loved:
  1. A wife needs to be secure.
  2. A wife needs to be valued.
  3. A wife needs to be respected.
A wife needs to be secure:

What is security?

When the bible references the word security1, it reveals the biblical doctrine that maintains the continuation of salvation for those who are saved. The doctrine of security is based upon twelve undertakings of God for His people, four related to the Father, four to the Son, and four to the Holy Spirit.
  1. The Father’s Undertakings.
    1. The efficacy of the perpetual prayer of the Son upon the Father (John 17:9-12, 15, 20).
    2. Infinite divine power made available to save and keep (John 10:29; Romans 4:21; 8:31-39; Ephesians 1:19-21).
    3. God’s infinite love (Ephesians 1:4; Romans 5:7-10).
    4. God’s sovereign purpose or covenant which is unconditional (John 3:16; 5:24; 6:37).
  2. The Son’s Undertakings.
    1. His intercession (John 17:1-26; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:23-25).
    2. His advocacy (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 9:24; 1 John 2:1, 2).
    3. His Substitutionary death (Romans 8:1; 1 John 2:2).
    4. His glorious resurrection (John 3:16; 10:28; Ephesians 2:6).
  3. The Spirit’s Undertakings.
    1. Regeneration or quickening into eternal life is the partaking of the divine nature and an entrance into that which cannot be removed (John 1:13; 3:3-6; Titus 3:4-6; 1 John 3:9).
    2. Baptism, by which a believer is united to Christ so as to partake eternally in the new creation glory and blessing (1 Corinthians 6:17; 12:13; Galatians 3:27).
    3. Sealing, by which the Holy Spirit stamps and thus secures the Christian as God’s son (Ephesians 1:13, 14; 4:30).
    4. Indwelling, by which the Spirit inhabits the redeemed body forever (John 7:37-39; Romans 5:5; 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 John 2:27).
The Undertakings of Christ is what the Apostle Paul is describing (in Ephesians) when he writes:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her…2

Ask a person who has trusted in the salvation of Jesus Christ, and invariably they will get around to speaking of their spiritual security. They trust Christ with their life. God intends wives to experience that same sense of security from their husbands.

I believe that in order for a wife to fulfill her purpose of representing the church, she needs to be free just as the church of Christ is free and unencumbered from internal conflict. In the book of Acts, the bible describes a situation which arose that created the potential to fracture the early church had it not been addressed:

But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.3

When a husband puts his wife in the position where her purpose is compromised, she becomes mired in a legalistic framework of the marriage; the weight takes a heavy toll that produces discouragement. When a wife is spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and physically secure, she is free to be all that her husband could ever want or need. She is alive in Christ, bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh. There is an excitement of joy when a wife is free to be the yin to his yang, and the spice of his life; the wife God has called her to be. We must not confuse security with the things we possess; security is rooted in trust.

When Jesus says, “…do not worry, saying,What shall we eat?orWhat shall we drink?orWhat shall we wear?For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.4

He wants us to understand that God will provide; God is my Jehovah Jireh, the One who provides. If we examine the life of Christ, we realize that at no time did He seek to make a name for Himself. Self-importance, attention seeking, and honor were not things which Christ sought. A husband must not put himself above obedience to God.

...have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant...5

When I, by faith understand and know this, I am secure to trust God for my needs. Just as Christ is the head of the church, the husband functions as the head in the marriage. This does not mean that the husband is autonomous; he must seek to please God, not himself. Jesus said this regarding his relationship with the Father:

…I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.6

A husband cannot give his wife security if his focus is not on pleasing the Father in his life. A husband must be a type of Christ to his wife:
  1. Christ is our Intercessor/husband is wife's Peacemaker
  2. Christ is our Advocate/husband is wife's Supporter
  3. Christ is our Substitution/husband is wife's Cover
  4. Christ is our Resurrection/husband is wife's Renewal

Almighty God and Father,

I wish that I'd learned these principles years ago, but the truth is that I was too stubborn and selfish to understand them; I didn't love my wife as Christ loved the church. Although my wife has left me, I love her more now than I did all the years we were married. It has taken this experience to bring me before Your throne of grace and proclaim I love only her; for me, there will never be another suitable helper. For her, our marriage has ended; I understand and accept that now, but my love for her will never end.

I pray for men who've acted like me, ignorant of the precious gift of love; callously, and foolishly discarding the blessed joy of being one. May there be rejoicing for that husband and wife who choose love. Thank You for the many men and women who stand as towers of marriage, faith and love. Thank You for those who are single, standing as towers of celibacy, faith and love for You. Amen.


Spiritual SundaysNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte and Ginger).

Footnotes:
  1. Doctrine of Security, from Unger’s Bible Dictionary, page 990
  2. Ephesians 5:25, NASB
  3. Acts 6:1, NLTB
  4. Matthew 6:31-32, NIV
  5. Philippians 2:5-7, NIV
  6. John 8:29, NASB


References:
  1. The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6
  2. The Jerusalem Bible, Edited by Alexander Jones, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, ISBN 0-385-01156-3
  3. King James Version, The Crusade Analytical Study Edition, Crusade Bible Publishers, Inc., PO Box 90011, Nashville, Tennessee 37209
  4. New King James Version, by Nelson Bibles, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., PO Box 141000, Nashville, Tennessee, ISBN-13: 978-0840713704
  5. The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA
  6. The New Living Translation Bible, by Tyndale Charitable Trust, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois, ISBN-13: 978-0842384896
  7. Matthew Henry's Commentary, McDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia 22101, ISBN 0-917006-21-6
  8. Unger's Bible Dictionary, By Merrill F. Unger, Moody Press, Chicago