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Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church.
There is the picture, the template, and the prototype that describes a biblical marriage. Yes, there are several other images that a marriage could look like, and there are many other passages that can show you how to have a better marriage, but I want you to think about this:
…as Christ loved the church.
The husband is a representative (or picture) of Christ in the marriage. In an analogous way, he is “Christ.” Isn’t that helpful? Husband, have you ever wondered how you are to behave in your marriage? Being like Jesus clears up the murky waters, doesn’t it? (See Ephesians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 11:1, and Philippians 4:9)
You are a picture of Christ. All you have to do is imitate Christ in your marriage. What would Jesus do? That gives a new meaning to that overused marketing cliche of the nineties.
Opportunities For the Husband
These mature conversations could be a wonderful time of encouragement.
The wife is analogous to the church in her marriage. She can model the “church” to her husband. While it is true that the church is a product of the Savior’s leadership, love, and sacrifice, it is also true that the church should be humbly responding to His guidance.
“But my husband does not lead!” Passive husbands are a sad reality in too many marriages. In such cases, the wife still has an obligation and opportunity to demonstrate humility and respect to her husband. (1 Peter 3:1-6; Ephesians 5:22 & 5:33)
Opportunities For the Wife
It is a challenge to model “Christ and the church” in marriage because of ongoing sin struggles. While you may enjoy the idea of what an authentic imitation of Christ and the church could look like in your marriage, you probably struggle with the process that leads to that beautiful portrait.
Daily confrontations with the reality of sin in your individual lives can be discouraging. You both are saints who sin, and the collective sins in the picture are what mars the picture.
Here are more helpful opportunities for the husband and wife. If you humbly talk to each other about these matters, you will experience God doing incredible things in your marriage.
Whether your marriage is going through a difficult season or is chugging along in the good times, I appeal to you to sit and chat through all the questions in this article.
God gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Husband, will you humbly lead your wife while expecting to experience new depths of His grace?
Opportunities to Encourage Your Spouse
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).