“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Man at Work IV - Marital Role II

Last time we left off with the highly contentious statement that wives were to submit to their husbands. Unfortunately this is often as far as most men go in listening to Ephesians 5. And sadly, many pastors that I have heard speak on this really focus on the submission of wives.

Part of the reason (at least in my experience) that many women in the church are unwilling to submit to male headship in their homes is because of the failure of men to live up to their roles.

Let's look at Ephesians 5:25 - 33 -- Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

I want to simply address a few points in this post:

1. - Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. First and foremost, husbands LOVE your wives. Do you love your wife? This means that you do not tear her down in front of others with such wonderful monikers as 'the ole ball and chain'; or 'the wife'; or any other demeaning title. Second -- do you give yourself up for your wife? Do you sacrifice for your wife, or are you one who HAS to have his night out with the boys, or is constantly busy with work or other activities, letting your wife take care of all the home duties and fending for herself? Are your interests more important than hers, and are you constantly trumping her desires with your own?

2. - Notice that Christ sanctifies His bride by washing of the water with the word. Men, are you the spiritual leaders in your home? Are you the one who instigates prayer and study of the Word? Most men that I know are NOT the spiritual leaders in their home -- the women pray and read the word, the men sit on their duffs with the remote watching 'man shows' (i.e. westerns, kill-em-alls), or sports. I know that sounds like a caricature, but it is true in my experience.

So, we have looked at two parts of being a man and a husband -- first: love your wife, and sacrifice yourself for her. Second: be the spiritual leader in your home -- practicing the disciplines of a Christian man, and leading your family in that area.

If men would do just these two things, they would find a wife who was much more prepared to fulfill her role within the marriage. We will look at more next post.

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