I have spent the past few weeks since we launched this new blog, trying to think of a compelling subject for my first article. After considering dozens of marriage-related topics, I realized that they each require a level of self-reflection and awareness that guys like us rarely engage in. So before we get topical, I think we need to roll the tape back to the beginning of our relationship and ask ourselves the only question that matters: Would my wife marry me again?
Let that question marinate in your heart for a while. Think of the last time you spoke harshly, acted selfishly, failed to show love or empathy, lashed out in anger over nothing, or lied to avoid conflict. Now think of how often we act in ways that cause her to question her choice. Are we the men that our wives deserve? Are we the husband that the bible calls us to be?
Unless you can say with 100% certainty that she would take your hand and repeat the vows before God, you probably have some hard work to do. It begins in a place that is sometimes difficult to operate for guys like us—the heart. It can be a scary place filled with feelings and desires that we keep locked away from everyone. But until we plumb the depths of our hearts and root out the selfishness, pride, and sinful desires, we can never really be the men and husbands we are called by God to be.
The Apostle Paul wrote:
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”Ephesians 5:25 ESV
This kind of passage is easy to glance over and never consider the profoundly deep command that Paul is calling us to live out in our marriage. He tells us we must love our wives in the very same way that Jesus loves the church. Not a love that merely provides. Not a love that bestows gifts occasionally. Not a love that expects reciprocity. And not a love that ensures our comfort and satisfaction. No, Paul is telling us we must have a love that includes us giving our lives as a sacrifice for our wives. Sacrificial love is the standard, and if we are honest, we rarely, if ever, come close in our behavior and attitudes toward our wives.
The awful reality is that, because of our sinful and utterly depraved nature, we are incapable of sacrificial love without the Holy Spirit. So the first order of business is to get right with God. If you have never invited Jesus into your heart, you can do it right now. It is the single most crucial decision you will ever make, and it has the power to transform every aspect of your life. You can start your journey right now by sincerely praying:
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior.”
Once we have the power of the Holy Spirit on our side, only then do we have any hope of living out our marriage the way Paul commands. But if we are courageous enough to walk by faith, in the power of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome our sinful nature anew each day, and be the husbands that our wives deserve and that God calls us to be.
>< Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with the LORD. ><