From The Heart

Publish date: 11/27/2011

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 22 Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body. 24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Ephesians 5:21-24 AMP

However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].  Ephesians 5:33 AMP

Marriage – between a man and a woman who truly love and care for one another – is God-inspired and God-ordained. Marriage has been around for as long as people have been around – it is not merely an institution of man. The institution of marriage is not born out of a mere practical necessity or as a cure for lust. It is a picture of Christ and His Church. There are successful marriages and there are unsuccessful marriages. God’s word shows us how to have a successful marriage. Marriage is a Holy, living thing – it is a precious relationship that requires our tender care and self-sacrificing love and commitment. The key to a great marriage is more than just choosing a compatible mate – it is choosing to conduct yourself and your life in such a way as to build and strengthen the marriage, rather than acting out of laziness and selfishness and undermining the marriage. A great marriage is in the power of your mouth, your actions and your attitude. These things will make or break your marriage.

When discussing marriage, Paul takes more time – using twice as many words – to tell husbands to love their wives, than he does in telling wives to submit to their husbands. What is this love Paul talks about? It is the agape love of God – the unconditional self-sacrificing love. If a husband loves his wife like Jesus loves His church then he should be willing to sacrifice everything for her, he should make her welfare his most important priority, and he should care for her as much as he cares for his very own body. His wife should definitely not have any fear of submitting to him when he treats her in this way!

If you are an unmarried woman, then you should judge all potential marriage mates by the standards of God’s word. Does this man, who says he wants to marry you, treat you the way Christ does the Church? Love is not selfish, fearful, controlling or manipulative. Perfect love casts out fear. The right husband for you is one who truly loves you as you are, without trying to change you. He will love who you are as a person and he will love who God has made you; he would also love the call of God on your life.

If you are a married woman, then you have an obligation to treat your husband with the same respect that you would show to your Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ! As a believer, you have the agape love of God shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit. You have the God-kind of love in your heart and you are equipped to truly love and honor your husband. You are to show him the same respect that you show to Jesus, your Lord and Savior.

No – your husband is not Jesus in the flesh! No – he is not perfect – but he deserves all the love and respect that you can show him! Every day, marriage partners make little decisions that add up to big decisions. God knows that the greatest need of a woman is to be loved and cherished and the greatest need of a man is to be honored and respected. That is why He told the husband to love his wife, and the wife to respect her husband. Wives – you must make a decision to show honor and respect for your husband. Don’t be looking for his faults and magnifying them – look for his good qualities, look for his strengths – and magnify them! Focus on all the good you see in your husband. Look for opportunities to say kind and loving things to him that build him up. Tell him that you respect him; tell him that you think he is wonderful; tell him that he is the greatest. You want him to tell you that he loves you and that you are beautiful – so you tell him that you think he is a great husband!

According to verse 33 wives are to show respect and reverence for their own husbands by noticing them and regarding them – that means you should pay attention! Just because you have been married for a while or because you have kids and are very busy with life and living, is no excuse to ignore your husband and his needs. He needs your attention as much as you need his. So, look at him when he walks in the room; greet him with a touch – a kiss and a hug; smile at him; notice his moods and respond to him positively; show that you care about how he feels or what he is going through; encourage him; let him know that you believe in him. Make sure that you spend time with your husband – he needs to know that he is more important to you than ALL your other relationships are to you – including friends and family. No other relationships should intrude on your marriage relationship! Take time to listen to him – create a safe environment for him to share his heart with you. He needs to be able to share his hopes, his dreams, his fears and his concerns, without fear that you will mock him, disrespect him or talk to other people about your private conversations!

Defer to your husband – show respect for his opinions. Admire him and praise him – every good thing that you see and know about your husband should be on your lips – tell him all the positive things you can about how much you respect and admire him! Do this on a regular basis!

The “perfect” wife – the Proverbs 31 virtuous woman, who is our ideal example – is a wife upon whose tongue is the Law of Kindness (Proverbs 31:26). She comforts, encourages, and does her husband only good as long as there is life within her (Proverbs 31:12 AMP). Proverbs 14:1 says that every woman, who is a wise woman, builds her house, but the foolish woman tears it down with her very own hands. Do not waste the opportunities you have to be a blessing to your husband. Do not be a dead-weight with nothing good to contribute to your relationship! The power to build a healthy, successful marriage is in your mouth and in your hands!