God’s Command to Husbands Continued

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House_on_the_rock

The Foundation

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25-30

Jesus often had compassion for the large crowds that followed Him.  In one case, He took five loaves and two fish provided by a young boy, looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. In the end, they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces as leftovers! (Matthew 14:14-20)

The first responsibility of a Christlike husband is to meet the physical needs of his wife.  Meeting the physical needs of your wife starts with provision, but the ultimate purpose is to improve her standard of living.  The rock represents an investment in body and mind.

 

Connection (Connecting according to her desires, not yours) 

Bouquet

In John 11, Jesus tells His disciples the He is going to raise Lazarus from the dead.  Unfortunately, He arrives after Lazarus has passed away and weeps with the Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha. Not just crying, but weeping so much that the people around Him pointed out His love for the family.  Finally, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.

In this story, Jesus showed a personal connection of love to Martha in the way she needed although it was not the way she expected. And He also showed a personal connection of love to Mary in the way she needed although it was completely different what He did for Martha.

The second responsibility of a Christlike husband is to meet the emotional needs of his wife.  Boys solve problems with action while girls solve problems with interaction.  The bouquet represents an investment in positive emotional connection.

 

Focus (on your own spiritual growth!)

Weathervane

The weathervane is inspired by John 3:8. “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” How does a weathervane represent a way that Christ loved the church? Like a weathervane, your last responsibility is not to be in control but to be in line with the real power.

Let’s explore the last words Jesus Christ shared with His closest companions before His crucifixion. John 13 begins Jesus’ last night before His death. In John 13:1 it says, “having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them to the end.” The people Jesus calls “His own,” the people Jesus loved the most, are His disciples. Jesus last act of love for them was preparing them with His most important thoughts.

The third responsibility of a Christlike husband is to meet the spiritual needs of his wife.  Up to this point, your goal to meet the physical and emotional needs of your wife was to take the focus off yourself and put the focus on your wife. So following this pattern you would think the best way to provide for your wife spiritually is to focus on her. But here your goal is the opposite. You need to focus on your own spiritual growth.

The paradox of Christian marriage is that to truly love your wife you must love God more than your wife.  Jesus even said in Luke 14:26, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”

The unfortunate truth is that many wives are experiencing spiritual growth despite their husbands.  Where men fulfill their roles in spiritual maturity, they provide a safe environment for women to grow faster and farther than they ever could accomplish without their protection.  The weathervane represents an investment in time and space for the Holy Spirit to lead or direct.

 

Three Month Evaluation

Every three months, consider these questions as part of an assessment for your marriage.  In fact, men may want to ask your wives:

  1. What things about our relationship are beneficial to you?
  2. How has your love grown or changed for me over the last three months?
  3. What do I do that lets you feel loved?
  4. How are we growing individually and together with God?
  5. Is our relationship reflective of God’s word and work in the world?
  6. How can I serve or love you better?
  7. How is the element of spiritual leadership functioning in our relationship?
  8. Do we feel like we are making one another a priority?
  9. How are we doing physically (e.g., diet, exercise, and sexually)?
  10. In what ways is Satan trying to attack you in regards to me and how can I help you fight him?
  11. Is there anything that we are not currently being honest with one another about?
  12. What one area would you like to see further development in the next 3 months?

Perhaps the biggest principle for a successful marriage is to always keep moving forward. Never settle for where you are at. And never define the quality of your marriage by comparing yourselves to other couples. Always look forward to the Father and keep stepping deeper into His Kingdom every day.

 

I’m blessed with a 20-plus year marriage.  Check out my anniversary post from earlier this year.

Summer 2017 Travel

Jennifer and I were able to make a recent trip to Amsterdam (top left), which was a lot of fun.  Then, we just returned from a family vacation to several National Parks, including the Grand Canyon (bottom right), Bryce Canyon (bottom left), and Zion.  On the way to the Grand Canyon, we stopped at the “Standin’ on the Corner” park in Winslow, Arizona (top right).  That park gained its fame from the Eagles’ song Take It Easy, which says, “Well, I’m a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see.  It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me…”

What a fun month!

I encourage you to use these principles, as you shoot for the stars and keep God’s Seventh Commandment!