Col 3:17-4:1 says, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven." 1Ti 5:1-2 Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.”
This week I will begin a series on Christian relationships. Like the above verses of Scripture clearly indicate, God has clearly stated in His Word how we are to relate to each other as spouses, parents, children, employees, employers, and as brothers and sisters in Christ. Our desire as disciples should be to follow these instructions, and walk according to God’s Word. Our society, in large part, has forgotten how to properly relate to and how to treat others. This has crept into the church, and now much of the church is dysfunctional in how to relate to different people. We will learn what God says about these things in the coming weeks.
I would like to first start with husbands relating to their wives. I start with husbands, because this is where God starts. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Christ gave His life for the church. Not just in dying for the church, but surrendering His will to the Father for the church’s well being. We as husbands should surrender our life for our wife’s well being. It means doing what is best for her - not for ourselves.
As husbands, we are not to be bitter towards our wives (Col 3:19). We are not to be exasperated, indignant, or irritated with our wives. We must learn to forgive and forget. We cannot hang onto every hurt and angry word. They must be like water off a duck’s back. Love covers a multitude of sins. We must cover our wife. We must protect her honor, because she is the weaker vessel (1Pt 3:7). Weaker doe not mean stupid or physically weak, though men are typically stronger than women. Weaker means they are more sensitive, more in touch with their emotions, more apt to live from the heart - which means more apt to be hurt or deceived. The wife should be held as precious in the sight of the husband. He should long to protect her and defend her - and understand her delicate balance. This is dwelling with her according to knowledge (1Pt 3:7).
As husbands, we should live joyfully with our wives (Prv 5:18, Eccl 9:9). This is a choice. We are free moral agents. You can choose to live joyfully, or choose to live in hell. As the head of your home, you make the choice. Choose life. Be happy on purpose. Be happy proactively. Men are the initiators - women are the responders. We love Jesus because He first loved us, so wives love husbands, because husbands first love their wives. We must reach out and make the effort.
We must consider our wives as part of our own bodies (Gen 2:23-24, Eph 5:28-32). We come together as one flesh. This is symbolized in the sexual union between husband and wife. We clothe our flesh when it is cold. We feed it. We keep it from harm. We take care of it. So as we love our own body, we should love our wife. We are not to deal with our wives treacherously, but in honesty and kindness (Mal 2:14-16).
We sanctify and cleanse our wives by our words (Eph 5:26-27). We essentially shape our wives into the woman that she is (for the most part - she still has a free will). If you hate your wife, perhaps you are to blame. After all, we are to present our wives to ourselves - without blemish. This means the woman that we present to ourselves was partly created by our doing. We must take this responsibility, hard as it may be. This is our duty as Christian husbands. Let us be up for the task, and see God’s power in action. Until next time, rejoice in the Lord!