Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. Ephesians 5:25-29
First, let me point out that these verses follow the often-maligned section about wives being submissive to their husbands. The implication of the entire message is that, as Christ has done for us, the husband first should care for his wife with a sacrificial love. The wife’s response should be submission in gratitude just as Christians – His churchly bride – submit themselves to Christ as a loving response to His sacrifice.
Men today just don’t get it anymore. By and large, men are pigs. I’ve watched it happening for decades first with my sisters and now with my daughters. Not that I’m giving women everywhere a pass, because we’ve all seen our share of Bridezillas. But today I’m taking aim at the guys, because that is where St. Paul tells us it starts.
My wife and I still hear horror stories from young friends that simply confirm what my girls have gone through.
People are meeting their future (temporary) spouses in bars instead of churches. Although I sometimes wonder about the guys I sometimes see at church. Years ago, I saw a mother dragging her kids into church as she held an armload of coats while her husband walked in front of her, completely oblivious and hands-free. Without saying anything and just smiling, I took the coats from her while she got her kids to stand still for a moment.
“You can always count on someone else’s husband,” was her rueful comment.
Still, if everyone came to church and really listened and had ministers that preached pure, fearless truths from Scripture, many problems would be solved.
A recent conversation with a young thirty-something revealed what at least she and her friends are talking about; maybe it’s better for women to simply co-habit as roommates for their home situation instead of either being alone or trapped with a pig. It begs the question – for me at least – how many women decide to “become” lesbians, because they simply can’t find men worth the hassle!
Again, I’m not giving women a complete pass, but my perspective is that of a both a literal father and an “honorary” father to a few. As said above, Bridezillas abound.
Jesus’ selfless love is the only model for men and women to have when it comes to both friendships and marriages. If men practice a selfless love to their girlfriends and wives, if women practiced the same in response to their men, who knows how well things might start going?
Have you ever read anything about exactly what happens to someone crucified? It’s horrific! The Roman soldiers used to laugh about the crucifixion “dance” of their victims. Hanging by their arms makes breathing next to impossible. The only way to get a breath is to push up with the feet that have been nailed to a small step, which had to be agonizing. They had usually been flogged first, with chunks of flesh ripped from their backs. This means that those deep, open wounds were constantly abraded by the rough, wooden cross…possibly, likely down to the bone!
Jesus endured that for us, and that wasn’t the least of it! How can we not give at least an ashamed if not loving response to that sort of sacrifice? How can a spouse not give a loving response to someone who practices even a fraction of that sort of selfless love?
Until people start paying attention to God and His ways, many men will continue as pigs and many women will continue as bridezillas long after the wedding!