A few years ago Tracey and I were in a pastors office, with the pastor and elders, just before we shared our testimony for their church. We were all sitting around chatting, and the pastor looked at Tracey and said, “I don’t have to ask you how he treats you, pointing to me, because I can tell by the way you carry yourself.” He said, “I know he treats you well because you came in here with your head up and smiling. You wouldn’t believe how many wives I’ve seen walk in here with their heads down and looking as though they were afraid to speak.”
I don’t tell this story to brag on myself as if I’m such a great husband. Actually I tell it because I have never forgotten what he said and have used those very words to help others. There is great insight to be found about God, and life in general, as it is illustrated through the union of husband and wife.
Ephesians 5:25-27 tells us “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her, so that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”
Husbands listen up here! You are to love your wives even to the point of giving yourselves up for her. There are so many married couples who have separate bank accounts and other bills. There are men who actually think cleaning the house, cooking dinner, doing laundry and so on is “Woman’s work.” I’ll admit I used to never do laundry, dishes or go grocery shopping, but since becoming a born-again believer in Jesus Christ that’s all changed. Once I read this, and saw that God is telling me I must be willing to lay down my life for my wife, cleaning the cat-box doesn’t seem like such a big deal anymore. I mean if I’m to give myself up for her why should I worry over money, dishes, laundry etc.? Squabbling over all of these things seems rather trivial when you put them up against dying for someone.
We are told to love our wives and lay down our lives for them as Jesus did for the church. Jesus gave his life for the church in order to sanctify her removing any spots or wrinkles along the way. In other words he set the church apart for himself only, as different from the rest of the world, so through her his full glory could be revealed. Doesn’t every wife want to know she’s his only one? They don’t want to be looked upon or treated the same as every other woman in your life; after all you chose her above all others remember? A wife will reflect her husband, therefore the world understands, and learns about him, by looking and watching her.
When all is said and done wives truly are an expression of their husbands. You will always be able to tell how a man treats his wife simply by observing how she behaves. The wife with a husband that truly cares for her will shine. She will have confidence in her marriage and will do nothing to bring shame or discredit to the husband’s name. In Proverbs 31, when speaking of a virtuous woman, we read “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life…” and Paul told us in 2 Corinthians 11:7b “the woman is the glory of the man.”
Love and respect are two of the main ingredients for a marriage to operate properly. Husbands are told to love their wives and the wife is to respect her husband. The problem comes from a misunderstanding the differences between male and female. For instance, a wife wants her husband to love her so she sets about to love him thinking he will love her in return. The husband, on the other hand, requires respect and he thinks the way to get it is by showing respect to his wife. Wrong again. You see God already knows how we’re wired, that’s why he tells men to love and women are to respect. Try it sometime. I dare you husbands to go home and love your wives and wives simply show your husband a little respect and see what happens. When a man loves his wife, and she understands he needs her respect, both will actually receive what they are looking for. As the husband pours out love and the wife reciprocates with respect the circuit will be complete. Besides what woman wouldn’t respect a husband when he’s willing to die for her?