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.

(This series is being simulposted at Bluecollar where most of the discussion is taking place. Please use the link in the sidebar.)

6 Comments:

At 5:03 AM, Blogger Bluecollar said...

"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."

Stuff to digest.

 
At 5:35 AM, Blogger Anne of The House said...

vjfpnwzi

 
At 5:43 AM, Blogger Anne of The House said...

(That previous post was just to keep you on your toes!) I want to tell bluecollar that my husband really lives what he says. And I am a very happy wife! I wouldn't be - where I am - without my husbands choice to love me everyday- protectively.
Thanks for listening!

 
At 3:56 AM, Blogger Bluecollar said...

Dave, when art thou going to continue thine series? Thou hast some hungry sheep to feed. Can you say "simulpost"? I knew you could.

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger Scribe said...

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.

I'm glad you brought these particular points out. It seems that marriage has been reduced to mawkish sentimentality. This is often propagated by films, magazines, and novels, and is used as a point of reference(a poor one at that)by christians. Love is not based on the transience of feelings (as you have pointed out) but on a decision to do what is beneficial for your spouse. Shootin' straight from the hip Dave...I like it even if I catch a few rounds here and there. :)

 
At 7:53 PM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Thanks for your thoughts.

Anne of the House: Thank you for your gracious affirmation! I love you so much!

Mark: The new post is up.

Scribal dude: Believe me, brother, I can't get out of the way of my own fire!

 

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