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The worst way to read this article is with the word “but” at the tip of your tongue. I’m speaking of excuse-making here. If your initial reaction to anything I say points first to your spouse, you could be beyond help. Jesus talked about “log assessment” before any “speck considerations” (Matthew 7:3-5). If you don’t do it His way, you won’t find the help you desire.
Secondly, you have to read this article without mapping your experience over the situation. I realize nobody is purely objective. On your most objective day, your experience will still influence you. Nevertheless, you must fight to be biblical and not elevate your experience above God’s Word. It may serve you well to share this article with a courageous friend who is not afraid to speak truth to you.
Finally, before you go further, ask the Spirit of God to help you with these two things. Tell Him that it’s your desire not to make excuses or be experience-centered. Your goal is to be open, honest, vulnerable, and willing to change, no matter how hard it may seem at first. Broken marriages require triage; there is no other way. What I’m asking you to do is impossibly hard, which is why you need the Lord’s empowering favor and guidance.
The wife is analogous to the church in the marriage. She has the opportunity to model the church to her husband. While it is true that the church is a reflection of the Savior’s leading, loving, and sacrificing, it is also true that the church should be humbly responding to His leadership.
“But my husband does not lead!” This retort is a sad reality in too many marriages. In such cases, the wife still has an obligation and opportunity to demonstrate humility and love toward her husband (1 Peter 3:1-6; Ephesians 5:22, 23).
She can love her husband in a similar gospel-centered manner in which the Lord loves her: when she was not responsive to or meritorious of His love (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:8-9). To love only the lovable is where the culture places the bar in a relationship. Christian spouses must do better than that.
If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same (Luke 6:32-33).
Picture this: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church.” What a beautiful picture. It’s a template for you to imitate. The prototype for what all relationships should look like in a marriage covenant. It’s the clearest and the most profound picture for husbands and wives to emulate.
The husband is the representative or a picture of Christ in the marriage. Analogously, he is Christ. Isn’t that helpful? Dear husband, have you ever wondered how you are to behave in your marriage? Doesn’t that clear it up for you? You are a picture of Christ to your wife.
All you have to do is imitate Him. What would Jesus do? Doesn’t that give a new meaning to the overused WWJD marketing cliche from the nineties? Paul gets right to the point. In nine words, he gives you the most comprehensive and precise job description you need to be a rock star husband. Here are a few questions for self-assessment. Enjoy!
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25).
It is a challenge for many couples to model Christ (husband) or the church (wife) in their marriages because of their ongoing struggle with sin. They like the idea of what the imitation of Christ and His church could be in their marriage, but they struggle with the process that leads to that picture.
For some couples, they do not carefully consider the respective fallen natures that they brought into the relationship. Perhaps these questions in this article will help both of you as you talk about your marriage. Discussing them could open the door for you to experience the Lord working in your relationship.
God gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Husband, humbly lead your wife through this piece. Wife, humbly put on a respectful and loving picture of the church. May you both expect and experience new depths of the grace of God.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).