The Model

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church [q]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:25-33

The Prayer Life of Jesus is The Model for any husband interested in loving his wife as Christ loved the church. Jesus ministered to His disciples by interceding for them. He modeled before them a life of intimate communication with The Father.

Perhaps The Gospel of Luke gives the most vivid depiction of the life of prayer that flowed out of the heart of The Son inseparably connected to the love of The Father. Since Luke recorded the impressions of those who knew Jesus intimately, he relates what left the greatest impression on those who knew Him best. They knew Jesus as a man of prayer. Husbands should take notice.

Note to self: You will never be a better husband until you are more like Jesus. When you are praying with, over, and for your wife, you rise above your self. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!  

After Jesus ascended into Heaven, He took His place at the right hand of The Father. This is where He continues to intercede for His followers. What He once did on earth, He now does in Heaven.

“Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.” Romans 8:34

A prayerless husband reveals a serious careless streak that weakens his marriage. Refusing to love the way Jesus loves the church, creates a calloused heart and a loveless marriage for both husband and wife. A woman will never respect a man who says he loves her, but never looks out for her best interests.

Human nature being what it is, more marriages are made in heat than in Heaven. Deteriorating contemporary concepts of marriage being what they are, this sad state of affairs is not likely to end very soon. Don’t panic. Take a knee. Pray!

Those who enter into marriage soon find out that the heat of passion burns out. If it is fueled by human emotion, love simply cannot be sustained by passion. It must be driven by a higher grade of fuel that can only be ignited by The Spirit of God and persistent prayer. Praying husbands strike the match.

Over the last 40 years, I have performed hundreds of weddings, and funerals. To be honest, I have a better track record with funerals than weddings. Those I buried are still buried. All of those I married are not still married. Go figure. The reason for this inconsistency is simple.

The buried are lowered into the grave and stop looking out for their rights. The married enter into the arrangement as a trap they must escape, or a contest they must win. When marriage becomes a wrestling match for the dominance of personal rights, it stops being a marriage that honors Christ.

Husband who never stop looking out for their rights, rarely protect the rights of the wife they declared they love. In time, passion fades, eyes wander, dreams die, and marriages end. It is a sad story, repeated over and over again, IN THE CHURCH.

In the midst of the chaotic and corrupt culture of the Roman Empire, Paul urged husbands to love their wives, “as Christ loved the church.” CHRISTian marriages are designed to look like CHRIST.

The Model should come as no surprise, but even those marriages performed in churches seem bent on ignoring it, and going rogue. The result? Even Christian marriages struggle to produce the image of Christ. He prayed to prepare Himself to give up His rights.

Husbands are charged with climate change in their own marriages. They are not thermometers that are to register the heat. They are thermostats that are to set the temperature. Big difference.

Being married in a church building doesn’t produce a Christian marriage. Sleeping in a garage will not transform two people into His and Hers Cadillacs. Two people may dream all they want, but their reality will be a nightmare of disappointment, unless they pray their way to a new level of love and respect.

Real men pray for, with and over their wives. They resist the drive to survive that leads to looking out for their own rights. They pray for, with, and over, their wives. They protect the rights of their wives with every breath they take.

The prayer life of Jesus was The Model. Prayer was the initial and fundamental expression of love Jesus expressed for the church. Long before He went to the cross, He prayed. He still does. Husbands should too.

A husband, who looks at the cost of the cross without praying, will balk at paying the price. Prayer involves humbling oneself before God. Husbands will never have the courage to love their wives as Christ loved the church, without prayer. Praying prepares them for paying.

Prayer is the Gold Card of the wise husband. Don’t lead your home without it.

Prayer preceded The Passion of The Christ. A wise husband looks to Jesus, and doesn’t get ahead of himself. He empties himself, and prays to be filled with The Spirit, and love his with the character of Christ. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!