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Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Marriage Series (5)

It’s another beautiful day and another glorious day to thank God and bless His holy name. It’s another opportunity to share the word of God and I trust the Lord that so far we are enjoying the messages of this marriage series and hopefully picking valuable lessons from them.
So this is the fifth episode of the series and we will be learning and understanding what God’s instruction to the man in marriage is? In the last episode we learned above God’s instruction to the wives in marriage and why God gave His instruction first to the wives and not the husbands. So in order to know what God's instructions to the husbands are, we will go back to the scriptures we started with in our last episode.  

 Ephesians 5:22-33
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
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 his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, 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.

Colossians 3:18-19
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

1 Peter 3:1-7
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outwards adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

In all the Bible scriptures above we have the same instruction for the men, and that instruction says “Husband love your wives just as Christ loved the church,” then Peter said “be considerate with your wives and treat them with respect.” For a man who understands the word of God in Proverbs 18:22 that “he who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from God” will know that to retain the favor of God that he has received, he needs to take good care of the wife that he has found.
From Genesis 2, we learned that a woman was formed from the rib taken from the man and then presented to the man as his wife by God. So we understand why God through Paul instructs the man to love his wife as he would his own body because in the deep truth of the matter, the wife is a part of her husband’s body. God pronounced them one in flesh and spirit, because He who created them at the beginning created one from the other as a part of the other.
The interpretation of the Bible passages Genesis 2:18-25, Proverbs 18:22 and Ephesians 5:25-33 is that God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, took a rib from the man and formed a wife for him and then packaged in her all that the man needs to succeed in life and handed her to him to be his suitable helper. That for me explains why Solomon would say that a man who finds a wife finds what is God and receives favor from God because God has just handed him what he needs to succeed in life.
The wife is God’s favor for the man personified, but it is the responsibility of the man to retain the favor of God for his life in the manner in which he treats his wife. A man who wants to enjoy God’s favor for his life till eternity will be a man who has perfected himself in the act of taking care of his wife. A man who maltreats his wife erodes God’s favor from his life. Paul said husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies, and he who loves his wife loves himself, because in truth the wife was formed from the husband’s body. He is one with his wife in flesh and spirit.
I would like to make referral to the man on assignment illustration I used in my last post. Let us assume a man has been given an assignment to build a huge structure and the one who gave him the assignment gave him a single multipurpose tool to carry out the task successful. Now this single multipurpose tool is all that the man needs to successfully carry out this assignment and subsequent assignments and in fact all the assignments the man would have to do in his life time. The One who gave the assignment has done His own bit by providing the tool needed to carry out the assignment, but it’s the responsibility of the man on assignment to take good care of the tool he has been given, which is his tool of success.
Now I want us to relate this illustration to the man and his wife. We all know that in order to achieve success we need favor, and the Bible tells us that a man who finds a wife receives favor from God, in other words he receives in tool of success from God. So a man who loves his wife and treats her with love and respect is a man who is making efforts at retaining God’s favor for his life and who will be successful.
Before you start to raise questions, I very well agree that some women are quarrelsome and troublesome. And that brings me to questioning the method you used in arriving at the choice of a wife for yourself. If the Lord had been allowed to choose for you, He will not give you a wife that will drain value from your life but add value to it. But whatever the case is, the Lord can still bring about a positive and beautiful turn around in your marriage if you are ready to follow His rules for marriage.
The Lord did not give an exception to the command He gave to the husbands to love their wives as themselves. He did instruct the husbands to love only their wives when she is submissive or obedient, but simply that the husband should love their wives as Christ loves the church. I so like this example of love that God used as a pattern or should I say a measuring rod for the amount of love that God requires from the husbands to their wives. I like it because in every way we look at it, the church has done nothing to deserve the love Christ has for her. We have not in any way tried to measure up to a fraction of the love that Christ has for us. But despite all our shortfalls, despite the fact that we don’t even reciprocate the love of Jesus for us, yet He loves us and has not stopped loving us, He has not stopped fighting for us, He doesn’t wait for us to ask before He provides, and till this moment, Christ is still bearing our pains, bearing our worries, fighting our battles, interceding for us. This is the way God wants the husband to love their wives, with absolutely no conditions attached and without any expectation of reciprocation from the wife. This is huge love I can tell you, in fact it is a very huge love.
I once heard a message by Joel Osteen and he said “whatever you give a woman; she multiplies it and returns it back to you.” I kind of agree with this saying. Now is you also agree to this saying, and then try to imagine when you give such huge love to your wife, what you are likely to get back from her in return. As a woman I can tell you for free that it is so very easy and joyful to submit to a husband that shows us love and respects us. The best way to make your wife release to you all that God has deposited in her for you is by loving her. The key to unlocking and releasing the favor of God for your life deposited in your wife is by showing her love and respect. When you show love to your wife, she will not just submit to you, she will give you her all willingly and joyfully.

I believe the men are getting a better picture of why God has instructed the husbands to love their wives unconditionally as Christ loves the church. And so in my next post we move on to the power of unity in marriage. Why did God make the man and his wife one in flesh and spirit? Please don’t take your attention away from this blog. There is so much more to learn, we are just beginning. Praise the Lord

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