“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,” Ephesians 5:25
“Love your wives” was one of the first pieces of advice given to husbands of the early church. This kind of love comes at a very high price, “Just as Christ loved the church.” Just in case they didn’t’ get the point, it ends with the clarification, “and gave Himself up for her.” Love is not marked by a red heart on a Valentine’s Day card, and limited to one day a year. It requires a husband’s life-blood, and measured over a lifetime.
Ignoring this wise counsel exacts a heavy cost on the marriages of the church. When obeyed it is the source of happy marriages and healthy churches. Take it to heart.
Recently, the former Mayor of New York City challenged the level of love the current President of the United States has in his heart for his country. It has caused a media uproar.
The President’s love language has been marked by tele-prompted, tortured use of the English language, and word-smithed, political correctnesss. The mayor got into trouble not by questioning the President’s eloquence, but his evidence. This is proving to be a hot topic, during the current news cycle. “The Oscars” Show should push it off center stage very soon.
The Word of God continues to call loving husbands to lead out in love. They were charged in the First Century to remember that love is something to do, not just something to say. Nothing has changed in the 21st Century. The standard is the same.
To measure any leader’s level of love, it must be observed over a long period of time. Don’t just listen to what the leader says. Watch what the leader does. Following the leaders doesn’t mean you have to believe everything he says, or drive over a cliff when he says it.
Most marriages begin with the words, “Til death do us part,” and most divorces are granted on the basis of “irreconcilable differences.” The evidence is abundant. People do not always say what they mean, or mean what they say.
People who lose respect for one another often continue to live under the same roof with each other. Ignoring his wife, not beating her, is the first step a man takes in disrespecting her. Ignoring his wife is expressed, when he no longer listens to her, spends time with her, or responds to her pain when she hurts. A calloused husband is numb where it counts the most, not on his hands but in his heart.
Domestic abuse, whether it be physical, verbal or emotional is often carried out by high profile NFL players, rock stars and NASCAR drivers. When they are caught in the act, their behavior brings relentless negative publicity and huge consequences. Battered wives and beat up girlfriends are no longer acceptable trophies and eye candy for today’s role models. This is good news, and a step in the right direction.
Not all marriages end in divorce when husbands take their wives for granted. Remaining in a loveless marriage is a tough prison sentence. Long before a man begins to allow his eye to wander, his heart has strayed. The path taken by a wandering eye is a very slippery slope. Turning to any level of promiscuity or pornography to rekindle passion doesn’t fan the flames of genuine love. It sows salt in the soul. Nothing good ever comes of it. Don’t stray into any shade of gray. Be warned. There are more than fifty. Run to The Light.
Thirty-eight years of marriage have taught me two things. It is the little things that really matter, and it is the little things that count the most. For example, holding a car door for my wife may never make it into a poem in a Hallmark Card. It is still one of the simplest signs indicating to me if my heart is remaining tender to the one I love. I don’t hold a door for my wife because she can’t do it herself. I hold it for her to get over myself.
Just in case he is listening. Mr. President, it should bother you that your love for your country is open to question. When the country is recoiling from the deaths of those they love, or the beheading of martyrs they honor, it is time to show the love. Giving a well-crafted speech and racing out to play golf communicates a callousness of heart that you never want your citizens to ever believe you have.
When you go overseas and talk disparagingly of your country, it isn’t inspiring or endearing. Don’t make light of the sacrifices your nation has made to protect this world. Pointing out their failures to their enemies is insulting. With respect, please stop.
I appreciate the fact that you never speak disparagingly of your wife in public. If you did there would be consequences at home. When a man does this, it reveals more about the husband than it does about his wife. Your behavior is equally revealing, when you belittle your nation before others.
Mr. President, when you treat your nation like an abused wife, mocking her efforts, and criticizing her in front of her enemies, you may not hate her, but you don’t give evidence that you love her with all your heart. The next two years is unlikely to lead to a divorce, but this marriage will end. Until then, show the love. I am praying you will.
NOTE TO SELF: If you have breath in your lungs, you have not loved your wife more than Christ loved the church. Save your breath. Show the love. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!