Follow Me

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

When a Man Loves a Woman Part 2

When a Man Loves a Woman

The Husband As Lover

Husbands, we are challenged to love our wives with the greatest love that has ever been shown - the love of Christ for his church. More than anything else we do for our wives, we are to love them. We must love them with all of our being, all of our heart and all of our passion. The only love that is to surpass our love for our wives is our love for God himself. In this definitive passage for husbands, Paul describes several specific ways we are to love:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or nay other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church - for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband (Ephesians 5:25-33).

1) An Unselfish Love

So great was his love for his church that Jesus "gave himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:25). He loved the church enough to die for her. He willingly endured privation, abuse, ridicule, suffering, pain and torture for his bride, the church. He gave up his own will that she might be saved. Throughout his life he willingly laid himself aside that he might serve her and save her. Any leadership he exercised was not for the purpose of glorying in his power or in gaining personal benefit; his leadership was for the blessing and benefit of his bride. Aside from sinning against God himself, there was nothing Jesus would not do to demonstrate and prove his love and win the heart of his bride.

As husbands, we must sacrifice ourselves for our wives in a number of specific ways. We must give up our time. A man must be willing to give up what he would like to do to meet his wife's needs and spend time with her. If we are unwilling to do this, how can we say, and how can they feel, that we deeply love them? We must give of our energy. It takes expenditure of vast quantities of physical and emotional strength to love. Jesus gave unstintingly of himself. He was so weary that he could sleep his way through a life threatening storm (Mark 4:35-39) and so exhausted that he finally collapsed beneath the weight of his cross - but still he loved. As disciples of Jesus we have a number of needs crying out for our attention. We can feel pulled in a lot of directions. There are children to love and Christians to serve. Then there are the poor and the lost, but our wives must not get the leftovers. God will bless you when you put your wife's needs above all others, giving you strength to help her and others. How much pure effort are you expend and desires. Jesus did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life (Matthew 20:25-28). A man who has to have everything his way is not loving his wife.

2) A Sensitive Love

Paul wrote that "husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies" (Ephesians 5:28). This passage describes a special kind of love husbands should have - a sensitive love. Wives must be loved with a profound degree of feeling. Since we are one flesh (Ephesians 5:31) we must treat our wives as if they were part of our own bodies.

Men are notoriously insensitive. why else are we told firmly and repeatedly to be sensitive unless it does not come easy for us? If there is any time when I see the pain of wives sidered by their husbands. The hurt can be etched deeply in a woman's eyes, or it may come out as a hard edge of cynicism and bitter wit, but it is unmistakable and widespread. I hurt for woman live with unfeeling, insensitive husbands. The woman who is married to a kind, gentle and loving husband shows it. Jesus' goal is for his church to be "radiant" (Ephesians 5:27). The original language carries the idea that she is meant to be "glorious." If Jesus' goal for his bride is that she be radiant and glorious, then our goal for our wives should be the same. A wife should have a sparkle in her eyes, a confidence to her bearing and a joyfulness in her smile. Radiance and joy need to flow out of her and be instinctive, unstudied and unbridled. She will be confident, yet without arrogance or conceit, because she is deeply secure in her husband's nurturing love,

Husbands should be sensitive to the emotional needs of their wives. Is she discouraged? Is she lonely? Is she frustrated? As a husband, you should be aware of nay feelings of this nature. You should not be slow to realize these situations - you ought to know your wife so well and care for her so much that you can pick up on her needs immediately and instinctively, without always having to be told.

We should be sensitive to our wives' physical needs. Is she tired? Weary? Sick? Does she have any physical discomfort at all? Peter says that women are the "weaker partner" (1 Peter 3:7). This is a simple reference to the fact that normally women are not as physically strong as men. This has nothing to do with superiority, but with simple biological fact. Men are often unsympathetic to the fact that normally women are not as physically strong as men.Men are often unsympathetic to their wives' lesser physical stamina and strength. If she is weary and tired, we should step in and help her get some rest. If she is ill, we ought to help her get well.

We must also be sensitive to our wives' social needs. Women often feel stifled socially because they feel as if their entire lives revolve around their husbands and children. In one sense, this is true for both wives and for husbands - the most significant relationships in terms of time and emotional investment are those of our own household. But we can not limit ourselves, or our wives, to these few social contacts. As wonderful as you are, husband, you are not enough. And as cute and special as our kids are, they are not enough, either. Women need contact with other adult friends outside the family circle. We need to have relationships with other couples with whom we can go out and have fun.

We must be sensitive to our wives' spiritual needs. A woman's relationship with God and her spiritual life must be encouraged by you, as her husband, more than by anyone else. You should pray with her and discuss spiritual subjects with her. You should encourage and lead her to put God first and to grow spiritually. You should encourage her to spend daily time in prayer and study of the Bible .

3) An Exclusive Love

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh" (Ephesians 5:31). Our love for our wives is to be our greatest human love. Our wives must occupy first place in our hearts. Only God himself is to have a greater devotion. Only with our wives are we "one flesh." We are one person. There is no other relationship like it, and therefore no great human love. Our loyalty and love for our wives must be greater than our loyalty to our parents. We are to leave them and build a life with our wives.

Certainly, another woman should never have any place in our hearts or our interest. A man with any tendency in this direction must deal with it decisively by getting open with God and another make friend who holds to God's standard. Our wives should know beyond any shadow of a doubt where they stand with us. A wife should be totally confident that she is number one and no one else is even close! When she knows this, you will have the foundation upon which you can build a great marriage.

4) An Initiating Love

Our love for Jesus is a "because" love: "We love because he first loved us" (2 John 4:19, emphasis added). Our relationship with Jesus began by his loving us first and is sustained by his continuing to love us. He is the initiator, we are responders.

During courtship, men are usually the initiators. Even if the woman is the first to be interested, somewhere along the way the man has to start taking the lead. Once we are married, this pattern must continue, or the marriage will suffer. The wife will especially suffer. She will continually bear the uncertainty of wondering how her husband feels about her and will be insecure. Being in the role of follower, she wants to be loved and protected. If this reassurance is not there, she will feel inadequate and unworthy. Or, she may begin to look for love from some source other than her husband: her children, her parents, her job, her friends or another man.

Men, we should be the initiators of love. Years into our marriages, we should still be the aggressive givers of love and assurance to our wives. We must never back away from showing our love in words and deed. We should be a fountainhead of love for our wives. Many times I have heard men say that their wives and children do not love and appreciate them. My answer to this complaint is this: If you pour out love in generous measure, you will be loved in return. Your wife will be utterly devoted to you, because you love her as no one else does. And the same will be true of your children.

Take the initiative. Show her you love her. Show extraordinary courtesy and consideration. Say the words of love. In this way you imitate Jesus, who initiates love to his church and continues to win her heart by his continued love, attention and sustenance.

5) A Love Without Bitterness

"Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them" ( Colossians 3:19). The word translated "harsh" in the above verse has as its base meaning "to make bitter." It is the same root word used in Hebrews 12:14 to refer to the "bitter root." A good translation could also be, "Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them." The verse is and admonition to husbands to not be embittered against or frustrated with their wives _ to not be critical, nagging, angry men.

Husbands, ask yourselves, Am I bitter toward my wife? Do I have a critical attitude? Do I make her feel she can never do anything right? If you are bitter against her, she may feel the same way about you, so ask yourself another question? Is my wife radiantly happy, or is she bitter? If she is bitter, then take a look in the mirror, and ask yourself if it is your fault.
She is in the role of follower. If you, as her leader, do not treat her with love, you may drive her to bitterness. Some of us who have been so free to blame our wives' bitterness on their lack of spirituality and ingratitude need to take responsibility for our part in their problem. A husband can go a long way toward making his wife's life a joyful and more spiritual one by his tender concern.

6) A Considerate Love

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with
your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker
partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so
that nothing will hinder your prayers (1 Peter 3:7).

Peter tells us we should be considerate of our wives. The literal translation of this phrase is "live together with understanding." To love our wives is to be understanding of their nature. We should treat them like women, not like men. We should treat them as our wives and not as employees or as our personal servants.

Second, Peter says we should treat our wives with respect. A more literal translation is "showing honor." This means that in private and in public, we should treat our wives with utmost respect. In private we should praise our wives for their great qualities and tell them continually how much we admire and appreciate them. We should hold up our wives before our children and families as women we revere and appreciate. In the presence of our friends, business associates and neighbors we should lift up our wives with praise and appreciation. We should do this when they are present and when they are absent. This kind of treatment causes a woman to blossom with high self-esteem. She also falls more deeply in love with her husband with every compliment he gives.

Third, Peter notes in this passage that our wives are joint heirs with us of the gracious gift of life. As men, we are the leaders, but we must remember that before God, our wives are our equals. We are not superior. Sometimes, we feel because we are in the role of leadership it means we are better than our wives. Nothing could be further from the truth. It has been my privilege to serve as a leader in God's church for many years, and I can say that there are many people that I lead who are far more talented than I. Many of them have qualities of character that are superior to mine. I am their leader because I have the ability and talent to do it, not because I am innately superior. If I begin to feel that I am better than they are, I will become an arrogant, oppressive leader. Anyone, especially a wife, who is led by someone like this can lose hearts, become discouraged and lose faith and confidence.

Fourth, Peter gives us a solemn warning in this passage. He says that if we do not treat our wives respectfully, God will not hear our prayers. God views disrespect for a wife as disrespect for him. God opposes oppressive, dictatorial leaders. He will ultimately judge them. This somber warning serves notice that God holds us who are husbands accountable for our treatment of our wives. We must strive with all of our hearts to love our wives in the way that Christ has loved his church.

Friends & Lovers chapter 3 When a Man Loves a Woman

No comments:

Sewing Octopus Etsy MIni Shop

YoU May Also LikE theSe sToRies:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...