There seems to be a conflict on who should act first in a marriage institution. Statements like – “if my wife gave me a little more respect, then I’ll probably love her more OR if my husband was caring and showered me love, then I can submit and try to reverence him”. Well, this is a detour to God’s standard of service in the marriage institution. Spouses response to each other should primarily be guided by their response to God’s calling on them in the marriage. (Study 1st Peter 3:1 – a wife should still revere her husband even if he disbelieves God’s word)
Do not withhold what you have to give in a marriage just because of how you feel or judge your spouse in the marriage. That your spouse has not treated you the way you should be treated does not mean you should pay him/her back by withholding what you can give to your marriage. You will be blessed for carrying out your ministry in your spouse’s life irrespective of what their actions may be. Let God be the judge of actions and remember every seed sown for the gospel will always yield. Understanding that marriage signifies the relationship between Christ and the Church puts on a whole new light on what we ought to do in the midst of this conflict. And for the records, I always believe the more spiritual person should act their role irrespective of what the other does.
A man ought to love his wife IRRESPECTIVE of her faults or shortcomings. The bible says she ought to be BLAMELESS in his sight. He ought to sanctify(beautify) her with words, and his actions to her should be based on his love for her and not what she did or did not do. That is how Christ loves the church. We don’t earn his love based on our actions, but rather his love for us despite our weakness is what empowers us through those weakness. Your love for your wife must reflect the love God has for the church.
Your words about your wife and actions towards her should be nurturing, strengthening and full of praise. What you say about her to others is a reflection of who you are to her. Love should not be in words only but also in deeds. Quit putting her down before others, quit disregarding her before others. That is God’s gift to you – she is more than the female part of the relationship. Esteem and regard her highly. It’s not being unmanly, its being spiritual. She is a vital part of your life, don’t live like you don’t need her.
Love is not a reward to be given for her meeting your needs, but rather its your proof of submission to the Lordship of Christ. If Christ is your Lord, then love your wife. A simple rule I learnt from my wife and hope it helps someone is – “do something nice that shows you are thinking about your wife”…may be not all there is to it, but I think its a simple rule.
Hope to share a bit more on submission tomorrow. God Bless You
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband…Ephesians 5:25-31(NIV)