Practical implication of marriage

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Ephesians 5:25

Consider how the husband’s love is described in theologically founded practical terms here. We are to love our wives “as Christ loved the church”; the next question comes to mind immediately: how did Christ love the church? Well, Paul tells us right here:

  • Christ gave Himself up for her
    This really requires two points – that Christ gave Himself and He gave everything up for her. This is probably the most amazing thing about God – that He had the whole world at His disposal but He chose to give Himself. The only ransom and atonement valuable and glorious enough for God. Christ life on earth and death on the cross was more than just simple giving. It was sacrificial giving on so many levels. He gave up His heaven throne and descended to be fully human, he then gave His life to equip and teach those who would listen and learn and finally in His death, He gave up all human dignity and life. All this for just one thing – the church.
  • Christ initiated the giving
    It was not a response, it was an initiation. The church didn’t nag Christ into giving Himself up or force Christ upon the cross. Instead, it was entirely His choice and His initiative generic for cymbalta. He started it, He made it happen, He completed it. Sometimes we (men) tend to take the backseat and be responders rather than initiators, thats when things go haywire. We’re built for headship in the family and we need to live up to it.

 

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Leave and don’t turn back

But Lots wife looked back longingly and was turned into a pillar of salt.
Genesis 19:26

Isn’t Lot’s rescue from the wickedly sinful city of Sodom and Gomorrah a picture of salvation?

  • In His grace and mercy (Genesis 19:16), God allowed Lot to be rescued from the impending judgement (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)
  • He warned that His judgement would be coming very soon (2 Peter 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; Revelation 22:12), so they had to escape quickly (Genesis 19:12-13, 15)
  • God made it easy for them to escape His judgement (Matthew 11:28-30) by allowing them to retreat to a small nearby town (Genesis 19:20-22)
  • Lot was told to bring others and tries to persuade his sons-in-law (Genesis 19:12, 14)
  • The magnitude of God’s grace and mercy (Ephesians 2:7) was shown when they hesitated – they were carried out into safety (Genesis 19:16-17)
  • They were also warned not to look back (Genesis 15:17; Luke 9:62; Philippians 3:13; Hebrews 10:39; Galatians 4:9)

If this episode is a reflection of salvation, what about Lot’s wife? This gesture reveals her heart: even after God’s grace and mercy had been extended to her, she still longs for her past life – the life lived in the boundaries of sin, surrounded by sinfulness. This was even after the old life had been left behind and it had been destroyed (Genesis 19:23-25), her heart had not left. In the same way that the Israelites left Egypt but Egypt had not left them, Lot’s wife had left Sodom and Gomorrah, but it had not left her.

Salvation is not a single decision made in one point in time. It is continuous choice to accept God’s grace and not to look back. That is why we are told to consider the cost of being a disciple of Christ (Luke 9:62; Luke 14:33), because looking back is disastrous. It might be a daily or weekly episode, but whenever our old life and it’s sin comes around to haunt us, we need to decide to leave it and not turn back.

Suitable helper

So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
Genesis 2:20-22

It is obvious that men need help. Adam was no different. God didn’t say why Adam needed a helper, but there was a need for one. Since there wasn’t any suitable candidate, God created a helper. A being whose motivation for creation was not just fellowship with Him but also help for men. Our wives are our helpers. They enable us to do the work God has given to us. They sharpen our emotions and wits to prepare us for all facets of work (Proverbs 27:17). They are our greatest asset and they are God’s favour on us (Proverbs 18:22). Our wives propel us into greater things in God.

Thank you God for my wife. She is my helper. I know that I like to think that I don’t need any help, but God knows better.

Year one

He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.
Proverbs 18:22

A year ago, I got me a good thing.
A year ago, I got me some favour.
A year ago, I got me a wife.

A year on, it’s the best thing about life.
A year on, the favour just keeps overflowing.
A year on, she is still, and will always be, my wife.

Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of one’s house for love, 
it would be utterly scorned.
Song of Solomon 8:6-7

I love you Sara. You are the most amazing and beautiful woman, and everyday I fall more and more in love with you. You make every ordinary day magical and I look forward to coming home to you every day. You meet my needs exactly as you are, just by being you. I know that sometimes it isn’t easy, but you try anyway and I appreciate everything that you do. Thank you for being generous with your love and always being considerate of me. When I look at you, I still melt to a puddle. I am always in awe of how beautiful you are. You are God’s most incredible gift to me (right behind Jesus, of course). I look forward to our years together as we grow in God, walk through every struggle with Him and run after His call. Thank you for praying for me and with me when we need it. You are my constant reminder of how good our God is.

In the years ahead, I want to love you and serve you more and more. I’ll be your biggest supporter, your muse, your stalker fanboy and your shelter. I’ll try my best to lead you with strength, wisdom and gentleness. No one said that marriage would be easy, but I know that with you, it is worth it and with God, it is possible.

Love,
D