What a challenging command for a man! God commands us to imitate His Son, the ultimate Lover. We are to build our love according to His pattern, the pattern of self-sacrifice and utter submission to the will of God.
How many of us can say that we have loved our wives as Christ has loved the Church and given Himself for it? Not many, if any.
I can almost hear you say,
“You just don’t know how bad my wife is! I’m miserable. That woman fights me and belittles everything I try to do. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to love her —I want to leave her!”
I hear your protest and I understand your frustration, but you need a good dose of the truth: You will be leaving your greatest opportunity to turn a test into a testimony. Besides, O man of God, how can you leave your wife when you haven’t read the “trouble-shooting” instructions in the manual (the Bible)? Or have you already read them, but unlike Jesus, you have simply failed to obey them? In either case, you are still inexcusable.
The most challenging part of Ephesians 5:25 for most men is not just the loving, it is the giving. Men are masters at giving things. We give advice, we give provision, and we give sex. But we have big problems when asked to give ourselves!
Christ gave Himself. He gave us His attention, His affection, and His assurance. These gifts are often missing from under the tree every Christmas. You may be a master at giving things, but the real truth is that your wife doesn’t need more things —she needs you!
No matter how much you have given to your wife and family in other areas, you must gift yourself. Yes, you can make a difference. Just you! Your personal attention, your loving affection, and your gentle assurance can ignite the redemption of a destitute relationship!
If you haven’t given your wife these things, then look at your marriage from her perspective. You may be shocked to realize that from her point of view, she is the ox and you are the ass!
NOT EASY, BUT POSSIBLE
I want to confess that it is not easy to cover all the things God has put in my heart for you. But if you believe in the sovereignty of God as I do, then you know that God can make a bad decision turn out good. He can make a miracle out of mistake.
I also know that the yoke of marriage is not easy —or perfect. Marriage is simply the uniting of two imperfect people who are trying to build a perfect life in Christ. We’re guaranteed to find ourselves stumbling and falling along the way.
Yet the miracle of marriage isn’t found in the stumbling; we can manage that all by ourselves. The miracle appears in the rising, in the rebirth of love, in the rekindling of the flame, in an ability to forgive that stretches from the cross of Calvary to the creased sheets of the marriage bed!
Realize that I am as human as you are. I am neither perfect nor a pattern; I am just a brother raised up in the body of Christ to help fight the plague of pain. That plague may have dulled your eyes and attacked your heart, but by God’s grace and mercy, I am here to pray for you.
I am praying for your fears and inhibitions. I am praying for your frustrations and limitations. I want your house to be a home. I want your wife to be your friend. When you lie down at night and wrap your weary body in the soft sheets of your marriage relationship, I want you to be at rest.
My prayer is for your pain to diminish and your confidence to increase. May God give you the grace to leave your troubles at the office at the end of the day and bring yourself home at night. When your head hits the pillow and your arms reach out for love and understanding, may they be as open to give as they are to receive.
God has given you life, and you are alive. Share that life with the one He has given you—to love.
The above article can be found in the book, Loose That Man and Let Him Go! with Workbook written by T.D. Jakes published by Bethany House. This book is about restoring man to his God-given masculinity, strength, and purpose.
— ALSO —
Here’s another article, which is posted on the Crosswalk.com web site that could give you further insight into this topic as you read it: