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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

When a Man Loves a Woman Part 1

When a Man Loves a Woman

For the husband is the head of the
wife as Christ is the head of the
church....Husbands, love your wives,
just as Christ loved the church...
Ephesians 5:23, 25

So how does a man go about being a husband? Is there a manual he can turn to and look up exactly what he needs to know in any situation? Is there a list of rules he can follow that will make him the husband he should be?

The Bible's emphasis is not on rules but on a role model. It does not provide something to do, but rather someone to imitate. There is a marriage relationship in which the husband is the perfect example. A man can look at this husband and be completely confident in imitating his life and example. Who is this husband? Jesus. Who is his wife? The church.

The relationship between Jesus and the church is the pattern that God wants men to follow in building a marriage. God does not lay out many specific rules - "if this happens, do this" kinds of statements. Marriage is simply too large and dynamic an enterprise to be reduced to a set of rules. Instead, men are shown an attitude to possess and a model to imitate. And Jesus possesses that attitude and is that model.

God gives husbands this challenge: Be like Jesus in the way you treat your wife. In any situation that arises in his marriage, the husband is to ask himself, "What would Jesus do?" Jesus' relationship to the church can be summed up in two great concepts: He leads her, and he loves her.

The Husband As Leader

There is a great deal of confusion today about the concept of the husband's leadership in marriage. It is critical that we address it. I urge you to open your mind and your eyes to what God has to say about this crucial and difficult subject.

The Bible teaches that "the husband is the head of the wife" (Ephesians 5:23). As such, he has the role of leader in the marriage relationship. That men are to lead is not merely social convention - it is intrinsic to the very nature of creation:
Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God (1 Corinthians 11:3).
This principle is made even more clear by the charge given to wives to "submit to your husbands as to the Lord" (Ehpesians 5:22). God has ordered and arranged marriage so that men are to be the leaders of their wives. This is the clear and unmistakable teaching of the Bible.

You, as the husband, are in charge. It is neither arrogant nor presumptuous of you to lead. It is wrong for you not to lead. Marriage is a partnership, to be sure, but the husband is the senior partner, put in that position by God. The husband must be a leader who will listen, weigh and consider but who he has the charge, challenge and accountability for the final decision. There is a time for the husband to give up his rights and wishes and submit to his wife, but he must never do so out of weakness, nor must he surrender his position as leader.

When circumstances are challenging, God does not throw out the plan; he makes a better man! God is not so much concerned with the position of leadership as with the heart of the leader. He gives the position, and then teaches us how to go about filling it. The right model and the right motive will produce the right method. The model is Jesus. His motive is love.

Friends & Lovers chapter 3 When a Man Loves a Woman

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