“Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly…” (Col. 3:19)
“…the head of a wife is her husband…” (1 Cor. 11:3)
“However let each of you love his wife as himself…” (Eph. 5:33)
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church, and gave Himself up for her.” (Eph. 5:25)
“In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies…” (Eph. 5:28)
“Likewise husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7)
These are a few verses that highlight the nature of a husband’s call toward his wife. Eph. 5:25 is obviously where I took the name of this blog from. There could be no other phrase more powerfully said, in such few words, that would hold husbands to such a high account of their love. Lord help me to walk according to this way.
But lately it’s been 1 Peter 3:7 that God has been directing me to over and over again. Gina and I have had two deeper issues come up in the last month (sorry, no juicy gospel material getting spilled here), wherein I needed to apply this verse well. The first issue caught me off guard a little, therefore I did not have a chance to go to God’s Word for an answer. Therefore I responded in the wrong way. Needless to say we had our first legitimate fight. Once I quieted my soul and turned to the Father, He took me to this verse. My NRSV version says, “show consideration for your wife in your life together…” which actually makes better sense in my case over “live… in an understanding way…”. I am to strive to understand her as deeply as possible. I need to understand her needs. I need to understand why she wants things a certain way. But for me personally it’s more helpful to see that word “consideration”. I can understand all day long that she wants her shirts flipped inside out for the washer and right side out for the dryer (that wasn’t the issue at hand), but I still think it’s over the top to go through all the trouble. My call as a husband though, it to show consideration for what makes her happy and satisfied.
So I could be a prideful man and lay down my authoritative foot and say, “This laundry business is ridiculous. You should be glad that I’m doing laundry at all.” But then she would rather me never touch the laundry at all because my heart was not right in the matter. Instead, I’m given a very easy manner in which I can reach out and touch her heart and satisfy her soul. When I do laundry her way, with a cheerful heart, simply because I am striving to love her well, she could not be happier.
The big issue that we fought through demanded that I show consideration for the life that she and I have right now. That sort of consideration meant sacrifice on my part for the time being. This is a good thing. I need to be the one from whom sacrifice is demanded more often. It keeps me humble. It keeps me motivated.
When the second deeper issue came up subsequently, I went right back to this verse and thought through it. I asked the Lord how I could apply that truth to the specific situation. He showed me how. I applied it. My wife was satisfied. There was no fight. Eureka!! It’s like God knows what He’s talking about or something.
All that to say that I’m loving going to His Word for answers to my husband-responsibilities questions. And my wife is loving that I’m doing it.