Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Christ is the bridegroom and the church is the bride. A picture painted by God. He created this institution not to just procreate as some would say. There is a realm of love of which Jesus is in the center. It is a circle, a perfect circle and marriage is on that circle, rotating about the radius point, around Jesus. I am subject to God’s word as a Christian. I am therefore likened to the way of godliness in Jesus Christ: Love my wife even as Christ loves us. Fairly obvious in meaning greatly poignant in the reality of my responsibility in my marriage.
Mind’s wander and thoughts creep. Love is painted by God and marital relationship authored by God. My wife, appointed by God: an eternal investment. This investment requires emotional deposits. The relationship requires a man to be a sanctuary of security and safety for his wife. The marriage requires a commitment to stay emotionally focused on my wife.
It is full-time and it starts on a circle: love her, respect her, treat her like a fragile vessel. I know she is comparable and appointed for me. Then as I listen to God and put His word into action in my life, His blessing follows. She submits and feels secure, feels loved, feels the spark of that first day many years ago when our eyes first met.
It is not easy and as with our walk in Christ, there are obstacles in our path. We see many couples run off in opposite directions when faced with obstacles. First there is emotional absence and the longer a man in absent, the further the relationship separates. They may stay together, but both are losing touch with each other. It is disparaging, but not necessarily a permanent reality. I choose God’s way of learning from obstacles. Perpetuating that which is a gift from God. One He will be sure to perfect over time. I ponder how I certainly fall short.
Remember the circle. Love, emotion, sanctuary, submission, love. This is the eternal circle. I love my wife. I do not need to be taught love, because Love abides in me. Love is therefore emitted from my heart as I connect with God and then my wife.
This is what I believe. God tells me. Love her like Jesus loves the church. It is a tall order. But also remember, whatever is appointed by God, the evil one hates. Just as God hates darkness (Proverbs 8:13), Satan hates marriage. Years pass and children come and go: our images change and our needs change. I am capable of shirking off the arrows of the enemy, because I am centered on Jesus. My marriage is capable of the same. We are a divine appointment. God’s will. We are one heart, one life. If my heart breaks for what breaks Jesus’ heart, it certainly breaks when I look into her eyes glazed with the tears that I have caused.
My marriage is from God and it is holy for that reason. I pray strength to be the strong sanctuary for her as God is for me. All works together to glorify God.
Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
She seems to always have patience. We talk and she may open a conversation that quickly sours. Why does it sour? Criticism is poison to my pride: any criticism. Humility is the elixir. The conversation is focused on what she needs and how I can provide that need. But I stubbornly believe I already provide! I protest, and the circuitous argument begins again. Another row of bricks. Thanks to me whose words and actions supply mortar. The wall grows higher creating a safe place for one. Communication is simple enough. Or is it? I fail many times…Most of the time.
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
1 Peter 3:7
When there is criticism, the bristly hairs stand on the back of my neck. I am tense. I begin a process of shutting down. Communication has already begun to fail. At that moment, God enters. I remember the eternal circle. My wife and I are one. She is valid in her critique. After all don’t I criticize? When my neck stiffens, I try to remember humility. I am her sanctuary. It is my goal because I love her. She is given to me by God and we are joined at our side. One comparable person under God. One heart. My heart breaks to think of emotional absence. Dank and dismal is the sanctuary she runs alone to.
Stop and just do it. More action than words create security.
At Her Service
There is hope in all situations and the hope lies in trusting God. Begin by serving her. Jesus served and He is the King of kings. I can serve always and in all ways. I am not above serving unconditionally. With service comes the blessing of a loving gaze. Sanctuary returns as my shoulder broadens to accept a cheek, a tear. Hands held tightly; never let go. This is my wife. This is my goal. The Lord has already provided and now He helps. He is my trust and a joyous blessing comes out of that trust.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Look at you wife. Look at your spouse in her eyes to her heart. She is God’s gift. Mistakes and criticism are overwhelmed by love and sanctuary. All on the eternal marital circle. Remember…
March 30, 2012