My first blog on this mini series was outlining the wife’s role in submission. This second part hinges on the husbands high calling to love his wife sacrificially so that she blossoms as God has intended. I love looking at this. Even though it challenges me to the core. You cannot read the passage in Ephesians 5 and NOT come away convicted somehow!!!!
Paul states in v23 that husbands are the head of their wives as Christ is head of church. On first glance, that sounds scarily authoritative. Perhaps that is why some women are afraid to submit, as it requires a large degree of trust in her husband’s motives, attitude and his own submission to Jesus. When a husband is more interested in his wife’s submission to him than he is in his own submission to God, then submission becomes a tool to hurt and destroy.
The guideline is clear…God gives the husband a position of leadership in relationship to his wife, yet He also requires the price of self-sacrifice from him. In leading, he needs to be totally mindful of the example of Jesus. And although Jesus not humanly married, he has a Bride…the Church.
Jesus ‘gave himself up for her’ totally and utterly. She was not married kicking and screaming. She was won by love. A strong self -sacrificing love. Jesus would NEVER do anything to harm his bride. He does not neglect, undermine or abuse the church. He doesn’t treat her rudely or arrogantly. Nor does He criticize her and make her feel she is not valuable. Rather He loves her, protects her, provides for her, and cares for her. Husbands exercising godly headship have a calling on them to do likewise. Because when taking the lead becomes bossy, controlling, overbearing or arrogant…there is a problem. It does not reflecting the spiritual paradigm that God has ordained concerning marriage and His church.
Marriage requires sacrifice which in turn requires risk taking. Sacrifice is not just nice acts of kindness. However lovely it is that the husband does the dishes and takes the rubbish out! It runs far deeper than that.
Loving your wife as Christ loves the church is about being committed to present her in all her fullness and beauty. The purpose of love is to bring about the perfection of the one you love. A husband is God’s instrument in building UP his wife. Boy..THAT is a high calling!
So the challenging question for husbands – is the motivation of your sacrifice for her manipulation or ministry? If it is manipulation, then a husband is doing it because he expects his wife will be happier and therefore treat him better ☺. But ministering to her isn’t for his own benefit. It is for hers. The goal of love is not just kindness motivated by a desire to make your wife happy. The goal is to build her up to bring about God’s purpose in her.
Pretty cool stuff I say. If we could get this right…our society would be filled with healthier, more robust marriages that understand complimentary roles, togetherness, working through your differences and the power of flowing under God’s truth. I ♥ being married.