“Husbands love your wives and do not be embittered towards them.” Colossians 3:19
The shortest verses of Scripture often give the keenest insight into the early church. Paul reminded the Colossian wives to show respect to their husbands, and he commanded the Colossian husbands to love their wives. These two different emphases are reciprocal in nature, not antithetical.
Clearly the early church had issues. With so many believers coming out of a cesspool of cultural corruption, they started their Christian walk with baggage that would not travel well on the journey. Paul encouraged them to let it go and travel light.
One of the greatest hindrances to the restoration of any broken relationship is the constant irritation that replaying the offense brings to a person’s spirit. Finally, when there is a willingness on the part of another to get things right, and to restore the breech, the person who has been nursing the grudge just can’t resist the urge to say, “It is about time.” This rarely ends well.
Husbands are called to lead out in love. This kind of love is an undefeatable goodwill, and an unconquerable benevolence. The mark of The Spirit’s grace on a man’s life is best expressed to their wives when everything in them says, “She doesn’t deserve it!”
God’s love isn’t given to those who deserve it, but to those who are in great need of it. Long before the church, God established the home, and the marriage relationship of a husband and a wife. This is God’s great learning lab, and His most effective training ground for the development of each new generation of believers who will give the best expression of Heaven on earth.
Note to self: Dragging your kids to church will never over-ride their experience of a home life that becomes a living hell that has become the result of unresolved conflict. Lead out in love!
“The fruit of the Spirit is love…” Galatians 5:22-23
Love is the evidence of a husband filled with The Spirit of God. This is not a secularized, romanticized emotion popularized by the music and entertainment industry. It is a disciplined expression of God’s grace.
God’s grace is supplied on a regular basis to any man who will come to the end of his own rights, and get right with God. This love relationship with God influences every aspect of his life. It is not a silo set apart from people he loves or passions he pursues. It is the driving force of his life, not a spiritual hobby.
“Prayer is the intimate communication between the Heavenly Father and His child.” Don Miller
Prayer between a man and his God should always lead to prayer between a husband and a wife. A man who is honest to God maintains humility before God that will give him the grace to be intimate with his wife.
Any husband who hides his heart from God will have no problem sealing off his heart from his wife and his kids. The greater problem is that this kind of denial leads to a demanding spirit that must always be right, or it leads to a drive to fix the blame, but never not the problem. Demanding one’s rights in a marriage relationship always leads to disastrous results.
Along with the positive admonition to love their wives is the negative warning, “Do not be embittered against them.” Apparently men do no start out with a bitter spirit towards their wives. It has to be developed.
A husband bitten by an offense from his wife often picks at the scab. As he reopens the wound, the more infected it becomes. He soon becomes bitter towards his wife. If left untreated the poison of the initial offense can bring about a terminal consequence. Point: The Cure will kill you. Die anyway. Pray!
People who are unfamiliar with the Bible usually criticize it for always telling success stories that put the church’s best foot forward. Colossians 3:18-19 reveals the church has never been a perfect place, just the grace place.
Healthy homes lead to healthy churches. These two institutions walk hand in hand, and heart to heart, on their knees. Praying husbands lead out in love, in both arenas, when they TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!
Jonathan Edwards was the tip of the spear of the First Great Awakening in this nation. Writing about the pre-Awakening condition of the local church he said, “Family government has failed in this town.” Following the Great Awakening he wrote,
“It was a time of joy in families on account of salvations being brought unto them; parents rejoicing over their children as new born, husbands over their wives, and wives over their husbands.” Husbands, lead the way to the next Awakening!