The Christian Husband, Part 2

The Christian Husband, Part 2

We have been studying through this letter to the church at Colosse which emphasizes the supremacy of Jesus and the centrality of Jesus in all things. Chapter 3 is a call of God for us to live a holy life, a life which is set apart, and a life which is different. In this text, Paul begins to narrow the focus as he connects the pursuit of a holy life of Christ-likeness to the Christian home.

God gives marriage to us as a sanctifying influence which will draw us more and more into holiness and godliness of life. True, marriage is supposed to make us happy as well, but the Scripture teaches us our happiness is not so much tied to our circumstances and what is happening around us, as it is tied to our progress in a Christ-like life. If we wish supremely happy and supremely blessed we will choose the path Jesus laid for us. It is a narrow path, a straight path, and often a hard path, but it which leads to life and which brings happiness to our soul.

In marriage, marriage helps us in this regard. The instructions God gives to us concerning our family life are given in the context of a call to holiness. In Colossians 3, the Apostle Paul, underneath the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is going to write,

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry… 8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

In this study our special focus is on God’s instructions to Christian husbands. Husbands are called to continually love their wives; 19 “Husbands, love your wives…”

This love which is described in Scripture is not first and foremost a love of emotion or a love of passion, but rather it is a love of volition; it is a choice, a love which flows from our will. This willing love is personal, unconditional, sacrificial, and tender.

Ephesians tells us we are to love our wives just as Jesus loved the church and He becomes our model. How is it Jesus loved the church? He loved the church be willingly leading His church into health, strength, fruitfulness, and joy. So, a wife who is so loved by her husband, flourishes underneath his leadership and headship.

One example of such flourishing is a woman by the name of Ann Marrow who was married to Charles Lindbergh. Many of us are familiar of his story, being the first one to make a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean and he became one of the most famous Americans at that time. He married Ann Marrow who was a shy and rather reserved young woman and very timid, but loved by him, she became one of our countries greatest writers. In referencing the change which took place in her life as a result of the love of her husband, this is how she described it, “To be deeply in love is, of course, a great liberating force and the most common experience which frees. Ideally, both members of a couple in love free each other to new and to different worlds. I was no exception to the general rule. The sheer fact of finding myself loved was unbelievable and changed my world and my feelings about life and myself. I was given confidence, strength, and almost a new character. The man I was to marry believed in me and what I could do, and consequently I found I could do more than I realized.”

Such should be the testimony common among Christian women as they are so loved by their Christian husbands. Sacrificial love in marriage mutually elevates both partners. In the previous study we referenced Paul Simon’s number one hit song entitled, Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover. If you are familiar with that song, it gives some of those fifty ways in the lyrics: “Make a new plan, Stan”, “Hop on the bus, Gus”, “Drop off the key, Lee”, “Fifty ways to leave your lover!”

We observed since we only rightly have a lover in the context of a covenant with God and a covenant with each other, the Bible tells us there are not fifty ways to leave your lover, but there are “zero” ways to leave your lover, because when you take on a lover you pledge to that person you will never, ever leave her and you are bound to her “so long as you both shall live”.

We change the lyrics of this song and in this study we will continue this message, “Ten Ways to Lead Your Lover”. In the prior study we observed, “You gotta believe, Steve”, that is to say you must have faith which begins with a life rooted in Jesus Christ. We also observed the second way to lead your lover is, “Be the man, Stan”, and this is a call to headship. We recognized the husband is to be the engine of the family and provide the energy, the workforce, and the horsepower of the marriage and of the family life. He is to be the servant. We also observed we are to lead our lovers by “Handling with care, Blaire”, which was a message of kindness.

In this study we take on the remaining seven ways to lead our lover. The first, “Open the Book and pray, Ray”, is a call for us to take on this responsibility of spiritually providing for our wives. Let’s turn to Ephesians, which is a sister letter to Colossians, and there instructions to husbands are given in more fullness. In Ephesians 5, God’s Word says,

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives…

God is giving to Christian husbands the responsibility to assist our wives in becoming more like Jesus, becoming pure, and becoming holy. Just as Jesus has concern for the holiness of His church, so a Christian husband has a deep concern for the holiness of his wife.

What does he do with that deep concern? It is interesting the one application we have given to us and defined for us in Ephesians 5, of the many we can think of in regard to how a husband loves his wife, is that of “washing her with the water of the Word”. This a call not for husbands to preach to or at their wives, but rather it is a call to bring the Word of God to her in such a way so gently she is nourished, cleansed, and washed with it. I love the word picture of “washing with the water of the Word”.

What we have is a description of a gentle process. It is a simple process isn’t it? Washing a wife with the water of the Word is a call for husbands to communicate to their wives, “Dear, let us take some time today and listen to what God has to say to us”, and simply opening up the Scripture and beginning to read. At the end of that time, then say, “Let us talk to God together and how might I pray for you? How specifically might I bring your needs to God”, and to have her hear you speak not to God in general terms, “Lord, bless my wife, amen”, but rather to have her hear you speak specifically and in detail of some of the elements in her life which concern her.

These might be elements with regard to relationships with your children, to what is happening emotionally, to what is happening spiritually, to what is happening amongst her other friendships and neighbors, and to what is happening in ministries she might be involved in, but she hears you praying with her and for her. It is such a simple process, one which does not require a deep Bible study or hours of time. In five, ten, or fifteen minutes we can wash our wives each day with the water of the Word.

How often are we to wash our wives with the water of the Word? My response is: how often do you wash your own body? Later we will find, in Scripture, we are to love our wives as our own bodies. Thankfully, most of us would say we wash our own bodies every day, so we recognize this is a privilege, an opportunity, and a call of God upon our lives to open up the Scripture.

If we think the moment we open the Scripture we are committed to an hour or two hours worth of time, often times we will not begin that process. That is the reason I want to encourage you, you do not have to open the Scripture for an hour or two hours at a time in order to wash your wife with the water of the Word. Rather, take five, ten, or fifteen minutes and open the Scripture. Someone may protest, “But, my wife is more qualified than I am in this area. She knows the Scripture so much better than I do. I think she has a much better walk with God than I do.” My response to that is, “So? This is not an issue of “qualification”. This is an issue of what God has called us to do and He has called the husband to be the servant leader and the head of his home.

It may be true your wife is much more qualified in this area, she knows the Scripture much more deeply, and she walks with God much more closely, but God has called you, husband, to open up the Scripture and to initiate prayer for her and with her.

This sounds so simple and so easy. How much more simple could it be than to say, “Honey, let us listen to what God has to say to us and read a few verses of Scripture together.” How much more simple could it be than to say, “Honey, how can I pray for you”, and begin to pray. The truth of the matter is, this is extremely difficult, so difficult in fact, most men fail miserably at this. It is not difficult because it is physically difficult or intellectually difficult, but it is difficult because it is spiritually hard.

If you husbands engage in this loving act because of the spiritual dynamics involved why is it so hard? I believe the answer is found in the very first book in the Bible, Genesis. In Genesis 2 we find the description of God creating man and woman and then, ultimately, marriage and the two for each other,

24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

This is the condition of the husband and the wife before sin entered the world. But, the next chapter records Adam and Even, husband and wife, who were naked with each other and felt no shame, and that nakedness was not just physical, but it also included an emotional and a spiritual nakedness; that they were free to express whatever was on their hearts, in their emotions, in their souls, and in their relationship with God. They were open without any sense of embarrassment or any sense of shrinking away and a desire to cover up for fear inadequacies would be exposed.

Then they chose to sin against God and what happened the moment they sinned? Death came upon them. Sin stuck to their lives. Sin brought physical death, relational death, and spiritual death. What did they do as a result of their sin? They went and hid themselves from God and from each other. They tried to clothe themselves and cover up their nakedness with fig leaves because they recognized their inadequacies and the embarrassment of their real condition. God would later give them animal skins to cover up with because fig leaves did not last long once they were plucked from the fig tree.

Here is the challenge: in order for a man to open up the Book and pray, he has to overcome the curse. Thankfully, we do not overcome the curse as a result of our own energies or our own willpower, but rather we overcome the curse by the grace of God, believing God and trusting in God. Men, if you consider this task of opening up the Book and praying and say, “That is so far from where I am”, I encourage you to believe God for this and believe Jesus Christ can change you. You may say, “This seems impossible to me”, but I tell you all things are possible through Christ who strengthens us. With God nothing is impossible, but we have to believe and grab onto the grace which is available to us.

As a word to wives in this regard, first, I would encourage you to receive spiritual intimacy from your husband as a delicate gift. Handle this gift with great care and with great caution. Seek never to abuse it or never to use it and throw it back upon him.

If, when a husband sins, and Christian wives, your husbands will sin for they are sinners, you throw their spiritual nakedness, their spiritual leadership back in their face and you say, “Why you just read the Bible to me and you just led me in prayer, and now you do this, and now you say this? You are a hypocrite!” As you say those words, your husband is not likely to say, “Honey, you are right. I am going to change my behavior.” Rather, this is what your husband is more likely to do, “Honey, you are right and I am no longer going to lead. It is too painful to go there. The moment I open up my soul to spiritual leadership is the moment I open my soul to vulnerability and I will probably fail and I will probably sin and if every time I sin I am looked at as a hypocrite because of that, then it is not worth the pain.” Then we begin to cover ourselves up for fear and we back away.

I believe it is fear which often causes men to back away from simply opening up the Book and praying. Friends, I can tell you, God, by His grace, can overcome all your fear and bring you joy, but you must believe and test your faith by stepping out and doing it.

Furthermore, I would encourage you, wives, to pray for your husband’s spiritual leadership. I know his passivity in this area is often frustrating to you, but I urge you, go not push him with words. This is not my counsel to you, but it is the counsel of the Scripture. In 1 Peter 3, God’s Word says,

1 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, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

Often times people believe that is talking about unbelieving husbands, and it does include unbelieving husbands, but the truth of the matter is, often a Christian husband does not believe the Word. So, in this regard, we hear the very clear instruction for a husband to open up the Scripture and to wash our wives with the water of the Word. We might affirm that to be true, but we do not believe it until we act upon it and embrace it. A husband who is not opening up the Scripture and who is not praying with his wife does not believe the Word and that is very frustrating for a wife.

What is she to do? From a human standpoint we can think to ourselves, “I am going to help him to believe the Word and I will help him by trying to coax him and to verbally encourage him into that.” What does the Scripture say, that “they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” Wives, you have to believe God is at work in your husband’s heart and soul and pray for him in this regard. You must trust and be patient, but do not push with words. If you do you become the leader and you remove him from ever grabbing hold of that calling.

The fifth way to lead your lover is, “Turn off the set, Brett!” This is a call to service. In Ephesians 5, we read this description of a husband’s love for his wife,

28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church…

The husband serves his own body just as Jesus serves the church.

Men, how much time and energy do we invest in serving our own body each day? We take time to shower; comb our hair; brush our teeth; select cloths and dress; feed ourselves in the morning, at noon, and in the evening, and quite often a few times in between (laughter); to rest six to eight hours a night; and to exercise to stay physically fit. We take a great deal of time in serving our own bodies, but Scripture is saying, “When you consider your love relationship with your wife, serve her as you serve your own body. Take the same amount of energy and time and invest it in her.”

Let me paint a scenario as to why this is often so difficult for a man. As a man approaches his day, he often approaches it like a long-distance run. He gets up in the morning and says, “I have a journey to take today. It is going to be difficult and it is going to be hard.” He goes to his work place, whether outside or inside, and it is undoubtedly difficult because the curse brought thorns on the ground and there are always thorns in the workplace. But, he says he has to do this.

The starting gun goes off when the garage door goes up and our cars pull out of the garage. Off we go and we are thinking and working, even before we get there. We work and labor and running that race, but we know there is a finish line and we look forward to that finish line. For us, that finish line often times is when that garage door comes up and we pull our car into the garage and we are done. Our race is over for the day.

If you have ever seen a long-distance race, you know what happens to a runner as soon as they cross the finish line. Often times they collapse and they have no more energy to take one more step. Or, they bend over to get their breath, but they do not continue to run hard. They are now stopping and resting.

In a long-distance race, as the person is running along, he sees the finish line and he gets all excited about that. Let’s say the next year they enter the same race and they are in the same physical condition, but this time the race officials set the finish line one hundred yards further. Let me ask you, in this race, when they get to the same point do they collapse and say, “Physically, there is nothing more I can do. I cannot finish this race”, or do they say mentally, “I have changed the finish line. I know the finish line is not here anymore. The finish line is there”, and what happens? Somehow they still have the energy to go one hundred more yards with the same kind of pace. What made the difference? It was all in where they set the finish line.

What God calls us to do when we serve our wives is to set the finish line differently than what our flesh desires us to do. When the finish is opening up the garage door and parking the car, we can say the race is over and it is time to open the paper, open the book, or turn on the television set. Our race is through. God says we need to serve our wives as Christ served the church and as we serve our own bodies. The call, I believe, is for us to set the finish line out one hundred or two hundred yards further and not when the garage door opens, because we are not finished yet. The race is still on and we do not want to loose it at the end and we do not want to quit at the end, because all will be lost if that is true.

The race is going to be completed when the table is set, the dinner is made, the kids are organized so they are able get what they need to have happen, the dishes are done, and then we can rest because the race is over. But, so many of us stop the race too early and as a result we do not win the race. It is not the race of a holy life and of a holy marriage. God calls us to turn off the set, Brett and serve our wives as Christ served the church.

The next way to lead our lover is, “Erase the chart, Bart!” It is an issue of forgiveness. In Colossians 3, right before these instructions to husbands and wives, God’s Word tells us,

13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another…

You say, “You do not know how my wife has hurt me and how she has offended me.” Do not forgive “most” but forgive whatever grievances you have against one another and then it says,

13 …Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

In 1 Corinthians 13:5, God’s definition of love is, “It does not keep a record of wrongs suffered.” It is not that love only keeps a very short record, but love keeps no record of wrongs suffered.

19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

Do not be bitter toward them and do not resent them because of past sins done against you; stop being bitter. The set of our heart is one of forgiveness and one of willingness to cancel out wrongs done and erase the record completely so our attitude can always be sweet toward our wives. If, when we think of our wives, we think of the actions, person, words, and their attitudes and that brings a sweet flavor to our soul, then we are responding the way God calls us to respond. But, if, as we begin to think of our wives, we think of the word they used and the actions they have taken, rather than it being honey in our soul it is sort of like vinegar, and we are not sure we like that taste, it reflects not upon what our wives have done because this is unconditional. Rather, it reflects upon how we are responding in a pursuit of holiness toward God. God calls us to have a sweetness of spirit.

When it says, “Do not be harsh with them”, there is the assumption this might be a temptation for husbands. In other words, it is pointing to the fact there are going to be conflicts in marriage and that is a part of marriage in a fallen world. There are conflicts for at least two reasons. First, because men and women are different in the way we think, act, and respond. Someone made the comment, “Marriage is when you agree to spend the rest of your life sleeping in a room which is too warm beside someone who is sleeping is a room which is too cold!” These are the same circumstances but with completely different perceptions of what is happening, so as a result, there is going to be conflict.

We should not become harsh and embittered because of these differences, but more than that conflict also comes because men and women are fallen sinners who continue to sin and sin and sin. Forgiveness is the only medicine to cure wounds from each others words and actions. Forgiveness is God’s anti-venom to the poison we inject into each other, but it is a sure cure. Husbands, we must stop going over and over the words, actions, and attitudes our wives have aimed at us and we must erase the chart. Whatever is there, we erase that list of wrongs we have suffered.

Forgiveness is not an emotion. We do not forgive because we feel like forgiving and because we are warmed to forgiveness. We forgive because we decide to forgive as an act of our will. We choose to forgive, even as Jesus chose to forgive us. When we refuse to forgive, we are saying, “I refuse to love my wife like Jesus loved the church”, because when Jesus loved the church, what did He do for us? One of His first acts was forgiveness, and if we are to love as Jesus loved, we, too, will forgive. When we refuse to forgive we are saying to God, “God, I want you to continue to love me. I need your love. I need forgiveness of my sin. I need your favor. I desire your favor. I desire to be in right relationship with you. Continue to love me, but I am not going to allow your love to flow through me to my wife.” That is what we are saying when we say we refuse to forgive.

God created us to be like faucets, and when you consider the faucets in your home you may ask, “Why does water run to a faucet?” It runs to the faucet so when you turn it on, water will flow out of the faucet and benefit the one who needs it.

Why does God’s grace come to us and up to our soul? It does so when other people around us need God’s grace, God’s love, and God’s mercy He will turn on the faucet of our lives and we will become His instruments, His hands and His feet, in bringing grace, love, and mercy. Do our wives need God’s grace, love, and mercy? Yes, and God has placed us in that path to be His instrument and His conduit.

The sixth way we are to lead our loves is, “Keep your mind clean, Dean!” This is purity. Colossians 3 is the same practical application on holy living,

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

A husband’s impure heart is often not intended as a personal assault against his wife, but that is its effect and, indeed, what it is. A wife is personally wounded by a husband’s pursuit of a fantasy world of pornography or the allure of other relationships.

Men, when you stood up before God and witnesses and said to your wife you would forsake all others for her alone, and most, if not all, of you said that at your wedding day, that vow and commitment to forsake all others included a commitment to forsake a desire to draw any romantic attention from other women and a desire no longer to gain any sense of attractiveness to the opposite sex. If no other woman in the world thought you were attractive, you are fine with that because you have, indeed, forsaken it. That vow to forsake all others includes the forsaking all intimate, emotional attachments to other women. It includes the forsaking of all visual longing and desire for other women.

Like Job, I made a covenant with my eyes I should not look upon a girl with lust. It is a forsaking of all visual attraction or desire for other women. Finally, it is a forsaking of all intimate relationships with other women. God calls us to keep our mind clean as a part of our love for our wives. If we do not keep our mind clean, even though it is often not intended to be an assault against our wives and an act of rejection of them, that is exactly what it is.

The eighth way in which we are to lead our lover is, “Let the words flow, Joe!” This is all about communication. In Ephesians 4, God’s Word says,

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

That is true of the church so how much more is it true of the oneness which is in our relationship with our wives? The call upon God is to speak true and to talk to our wives.

Socrates would say, “Is there anyone you entrust more serious matters to than your wife? And, is there anyone to whom you talk less?

One study would say married couples, on average, spend twenty-six minutes in serious, significant conversation with each other. That is a little less than four minutes every day in serious, significant conversation with each other. Friends, God calls us, as husbands, to talk and communicate our own world with our wives. When our wives come to us at the end of the day and say, “How was your day?” We say, “Fine.” She asks, “What happened during your day? Was there anything interesting?” We say, “No, not very much.” Those answers are not communicating the love God intends for us to have toward our wives.

Our wives, in asking those questions, are not trying to be nosey, but they are trying to gain a clearer picture of our inner and personal world because they want to know us and they want to be in this relationship of “oneness”. Woe to the man whose wife stops asking those because she stopped taking an interest in him.

Men, she wants you to open up your world, your hopes, your dreams, your fears, and your concerns. This requires a commitment to put energy into your communication, for most of men communicating is hard work and it takes personal energy, but this is where we show love to our wives. Our words are the windows through which our wives can view our inner lives, so God calls us to speak and He calls us to listen as well; to listen carefully to her world and take an interest in her.

The ninth way in which we lead our lover is, “Pay the bill, Phil!” This is the duty of physical provision. In 1 Timothy 5, there is an interesting passage on how the church is to take care of widows in the church. In the midst of that passage, we read,

8 If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Those are some strong words. The “first tier” answer to the economic problems of people is the family, so that we look at our extended family and ask, “Is there anyone in need? I have a responsibility for that. It is not the government’s responsibility. It is not someone else’s responsibility. It is me and it is specifically for my immediate family, of whom my wife, of course, is one.” This is a call to men to carry the weight of the responsibility of headship to provide.

Men, when your wife walked down the aisle, she walked with her father. You were standing in the front. Perhaps some of you men have had the privilege of walking down an aisle with your daughter. Why do they do that in weddings? Is it because it is a “nice symbol” to get the father of the bride involved, or is there something more? I tell you, there is something more. There is great meaning to that act.

Usually, dads are asked one question, “Who then gives this woman to be married to this man?” I ask the dads two questions, so if you are a dad and your daughter a wedding in this church and I am officiating, I am going to ask you to do double the work. The first question I ask is this, “Are you now, by walking down this aisle with your daughter, affirming your blessing upon this marriage,” and “Are you transferring your God-given responsibility for the care and protection of your daughter to this man?” When God blesses dads with little girls, He calls those dads to care and to provide for those little girls. At the wedding day there is a transfer of that responsibility. The dad can say, “I am no longer for the care and protection.” That does not mean they no longer love this person and would not do anything in the world for her, but they no longer carry the weight of the responsibility and they are transferring the responsibility to this man, “Son, care for her as I cared for her. Provide for her with love, with physical provision, and with emotional encouragement as I have cared for her all of her life, and do it better.”

When the groom stands there and he takes the hand, he is saying, “I accept it. I am accepting this transfer.” He takes upon himself the weight of this responsibility. I do not believer there are many other circumstances in life which are of greater influence of the maturing of a man than the day he grabs hold of that responsibility and says, “I am not just responsible for providing for myself, but I have another to care for.” For me it was incredibly sobering, but it was also incredibly maturing. I would never have matured at the rate I have if I had not taken on this responsibility. This is what God calls us to.

Often times men push away this responsibility to pay the bills, and instead they put pressure upon their wives to provide for them, for their hobbies, and for their comforts, “You must work! You have to provide!” I am not against women working in the workplace, especially in certain circumstances, but what I am against, and I believe the Scripture is against, is a man demanding a woman work so his lifestyle can be a certain level and a certain degree. God calls us to love our wives and a part of that love is we take on this responsibility to provide for them.

The last element in how to lead your loved is, “Keep on dating, Payton!” This is all about romance! I do not have a scripture for this, but I believe the whole Book of the Song of Solomon talks about this.

There is a story of a mid-western couple who had been married for thirty-some years and a tornado came along and picked up their house, with them in it, and set it down three miles away. After the house was set down and the man and the woman looked at each other to see they were safe, the woman broke out in tears and laughter at the same time. The man thought his wife had undergone some kind of emotional breakdown and he asked, “Honey, what is wrong? We are safe. Why are you crying and laughing at the same time?” She said, “Oh, dear, I just cannot help it. This is the first time we have been out, alone together, in twenty years!” (Laughter)

God calls us to continue to date our wives, to romance our wives, and to shower them with attention after our wedding day. Dating must not stop at the wedding. Men, it is important for us to consider the chase that is left in the hunt. Many times a man gets to the alter and he considers, “I have hunted and hunted and hunted. I have chased and chased and chased and I finally won the prize. I am getting married!” Afterwards, he wonders, “Is there any chase left in the hunt?” I tell you, there is a lot of chase left in the hunt.

The challenge is not so much to get a woman to say, “Yes”, and to marry us. There are many men who are successful at chasing to the point of getting the woman to say, “Yes”, but the challenge is to get a woman to be happier she said, “Yes” twenty years later. That is the challenge. There are not many men in this world who have been successful in that hunt. I encourage you, continue chasing because it is possible twenty years or thirty years after you are married for that woman to say, “I am happier I said, ‘Yes’ today than I was twenty or thirty years ago.” Why is that? It is because that man has set in his heart, “There is a lot of chase left in this hunt and I am going to pursue it. I am going to pursue seeing my wife stays invigorated in her love for me by continuing to shower her with the kind of attention I did when I first met her and I was winning her heart.”

In conclusion, men, God calls us to love our wives as Christ loves the church. Let me share with you about Jesus’ love for us. The Bible tells us, while we were still sinners Jesus demonstrated His love for us in this way, He died for us. He loved us not while we were friends, responsive, and humble before Him, but He loved us while we were willful, rebellious, and transgressing against His commands. While we had our arms folded and our backs turned to Him, Jesus loved us and He loved us to such an extent He gave up everything, His very life, for us so we can experience life and joy.

Have you experienced this love Jesus offers? The Bible tells us in order to be blessed by the love of Jesus Christ, we must answer His call and His invitation to come and embrace Him as our Lord and Savior. We must realize, without His love, we are not okay and not everything is all right, our soul has sins attached to it and one day we will stand before God, the Infinite Judge, and we will give an account, and we are not ready for that. We are going to be eternally lost and right now we do not have the right to come before God in prayer, we do not have the right to come before God in worship, and we cannot really know God. We are lost left to ourselves and we are helpless and hopeless.

When we come to believe Jesus Christ answered the deepest need of our lives and He provided everything we need; He was born of a virgin; He took on human flesh to become one of us, Holy God yet fully man; He lived out His life to meet every qualification of the Law and to fulfill all righteousness for us so we can have a qualification, a righteousness which is not our own because Jesus has acquired this righteousness for us as a man; He died upon the cross so as to attach all our sins upon Himself so we bear our sins no more, but He takes them away from us; and now we embrace Him and say, “Jesus, I need you as my Savior and as my Lord”, so that He fills our life with His love and we experience it and all of the blessing which come with it.

Have you experienced God’s love in this way? You are invited to and you are invited to come.