Friday, December 4, 2009

Love...

Two left hands forming an outline of a heart s...Image via Wikipedia

To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself...
Ephesians 5:33 (HCSB)

Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love. There's nothing you can do that can't be done. Nothing you can sing that can't be sung. Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game It's easy. There's nothing you can make that can't be made. No one you can save that can't be saved. Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time - It's easy. All you need is love, all you need is love, All you need is love, love, love is all you need. Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love. All you need is love, all you need is love, All you need is love, love, love is all you need.  -All You Need is Love (Lennon/McCartney)

It is interesting how much we learn from the Bible versus how much we learn from popular culture about life and marriage.  From the Beatle we learn "Love is all you need."  In a way the Beatles are both right and wrong.

You can have a marriage that has high levels of love, but if there is lacking respect is an emotional roller coaster.  The good times are real good and the bad times are horrible.  In it's extreme it becomes so distorted that women will stay in a marriage when their lives are in danger simply because she believes he loves her. 

You can have a marriage that has high levels of respect, but when love is lacking it is a cold relationship.  The couple is polite to one another, but there is a persistent nagging feeling that something is missing.  There is a connectedness that seem to lack.  You share your address, a nice verbal exchange about your day, maybe even your bed.  However you never share your soul. 

If you lack both well...   ...let the fireworks begin!

In God's word he commands the husband to love his wife unconditionally:

Husbands, love your wives and don't be bitter toward them.
Colossians 3:19 (HCSB) 
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her
Ephesians 5:25 (HCSB)

Loving without bitterness and Loving sacrificially.  I have yet to meet the man that does this naturally.  In fact I would suggest that one of the reasons that God commands men to do this is because it does not come naturally to us.  It is a Spiritual discipline.  This love is selfless, caring, compassionate, not rude or disrespectful, passionate, desiring of closeness, peaceable, and uplifting.  This love bears in mind the differences between husband and wife.  Appreciating her fine beauty.  Treating her with the greatest of care as she is more valuable than your most prized possession.  Only God Himself comes before her in this kind of love.  Feeling convicted (I know I am).

This kind of love means that "no matter what you do or say I will always love you."  It is powerful.  A husband that acts in this way will win the heart of his wife. 

It is interesting to me that some how we believe as husbands that we can when the hearts of our wives by being persuasive.  God's word says that we when our wives hearts by being loving.  Really it is a simple message. 

Our own selfishness is what makes this type of love so hard.  When self-centeredness rules the action there is no love!  Self-love maybe, but not sacrificial love. 


Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
1 Peter 3:7 (NKJV)

SC_Fine China-2 Via Flickr I heard an illustration once about the term weaker vessel.  In life women are like fine china and men are Tupperware.  You treat china as special and you handle it with care.  You use Tupperware for common purposes and if you throw it around it won't break.  It helped me make sense of this passage.  The passage goes on to say that we are "heirs together" hence equal in standing before God, but created uniquely male and female. 

With that being said we can love our wives understanding them.  Now I know a couple of you guys let out a chuckle just then.  Let me just say understanding our wives is a lifelong pursuit.  If it was easy or if it were possible in the first few years of marriage then we men would get bored and look for more excitement elsewhere.  God knows what He is doing when he brought you and your wife together. 

We also need to give her honor.  Honor is respect for her person.  You accept that she is different yet still in the image of God.  You value and appreciate her person.  You cherish the accomplishments that she makes.  You listen and grant (as appropriate) the desires of her heart. 

As husbands we are to love our wives.  When we are obedient to God in this way we are unlocking spiritual power to flow through our marriages.  So what are you waiting for?  "Love Your Wives!"