Couple holding hands (Photo credit: Search Influence)
This post is very near and dear to my heart. This topic of Marriage I hold sacred and close. I believe a Godly marriage is the cornerstone to changing the culture in which we live. I believe that God intended a marriage to be a glimpse of the intimacy He desires to have with His people.
Marriage is a Big topic. I have read several books on marriage by various authors and I have gleaned some great things from them. I have posted a list of some titles and authors. As I recall some of that wisdom I will more than likely forget who wrote it and which book it was in, so please forgive me now. I could and probably will write several posts about marriage. But first I want to start with the following scripture, Ephesians 5:25-28.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 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. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;”
Wow. That is a tall order. Men are called to be the head of our homes earlier in that chapter of Ephesians. As a woman I am called to submit, respect, and honor. I know in this day and age lots of women may complain about that, but I am happy to take up that yoke. I know that I am blessed to have a husband that submits himself to the Lord and therefore he makes it easier to submit to him. I am thankful.
Let’s dive in to how God calls a man to love his wife. I think it is important to recognize that God’s focus is that men LOVE their wives. I read in one of those marriage books that Women want to be loved more than anything else and men want to be respected. Our father in Heaven created us. It makes sense that He would know our deepest needs from one another. God’s biblical blueprint has been proven, more than likely, by every marriage counselor and by every Happily married couple.
I like gray areas and this has a HUGE gray area. What does loving your wife as Christ loved the church look like? Well I think it will look somewhat different in every marriage. And it should. We are all different people. Our marriages will look different. Read the book the 5 love languages by Gary Chapman. What I think it means is that men must give up their pride, their egos, their selfishness, and even their fears. When a man can set those things aside he will now have room in his brain and his heart to learn to love His wife as God created that specific woman to be loved.
I need to draw attention to a simple fact first. Before we can love one another first we must learn to love ourselves. To love ourselves we must see our need for Jesus sacrifice to cleanse our sins. To accept the fullness of God’s love for us and allow Him to make us whole. If a man does not accept the love of his Heavenly Father then he will be unable to take this next step to love his wife. We live in a fallen world. Men please see yourselves as God’s sons. Dearly loved. Accept His love and be filled by His love, without it you can not love anyone else.
When a man submits himself to the Lord and seeks His wisdom to love His wife God will unfold that beautiful mystery to him. Its like the key to a secret peaceful garden. To become the keeper of the garden a man must first take his oath to give himself up for her purity, for her holiness, and for her radiance. Marriage can be a beautiful amazing gift when put under the submission of God, who created the covenant. On the other hand when marriage is entered into with selfishness and there is no submission to God it is not pretty. It can be hell on earth and I wouldn’t doubt there are readers who know what I am talking about.
There is so much more to marriage than just this, but again I’m not ready to write a book yet. So we’ll get to the rest another time.
If you haven’t read my first post God’s Knights…read it now https://forthemeninmylife.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/gods-knights/. As a knight in God’s kingdom one of the most important battlegrounds is your marriage. Are you righteously protecting it with a jealous eye? Are you walking the gates making sure to reinforce weak areas of your marriage? your wife’s heart, her need for affirmation, her need for your protection from the world, and the list goes on.
Men what do you need to give up so that you can love your wife as Christ loved the church? Better yet…ask the Lord, Lord what do I need to give up to love (your wife’s name) as Christ loved the church?
Women in what areas do you need to surrender your selfishness and control to let your husband be the head of your home. Where do you need to nurture and foster an atmosphere of honor and respect for your Husband? In the home, with the kids, with family, with friends, in your heart, with the finances, and the list goes on.
Ladies…Ask the Lord, Lord in what areas of my life do I need to submit to (your husband’s name)?
When I was a newly wed and naive to many things God gave me a great prayer I want to share it with you.
“Lord help me to become the woman and wife you intended for me to be and that Joel needs for me to be. Lord help Joel to be the man and husband you intended for him to be and that I need him to be. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”