It is a calling far greater than the capacity of this writer to love our wives in the way God prescribes to the husband in Scripture. I pray daily for Christ to live His life through me (Galatians 2:20) in such a way that she receives what she deserves.
In Ephesians 5:25-26, Scripture commands us to “love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word. . .”
The life of Christ illustrates to us what it looks like to give ourselves up for another. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 Do I defer to my wife, preferring her interests above my own?
To follow Christ’s example, I am to sanctify my wife. This can be realized in two ways, one involving my attitude, the other my actions and words. I can esteem her highly, viewing her with the same honor that God places on her, thus setting her apart from the rest of humanity, deserving of special consideration and attention. A second way I can sanctify my wife is by cooperating with God’s work in her life, acknowledging that I am an important tool in His hand as He constantly works to make her holy in character and day-to-day living (as He fulfills Philippians 1:6).
As God uses His Word to wash us, making us what He wants us to be, so let me be constantly attempting to create an atmosphere in our home of viewing our lives in the light of Scripture and responding with appropriate reverence. God’s Word is used in this way in John 15:3 and John 17:17.
Lord, help me to keep these instructions from Your Word always in my conscious mind in the same way that an airplane pilot uses a heads-up display of his instruments superimposed upon his windshield.
See Part II . . .