If a man cannot understand the importance and depth of Ephesians 5:25 and 28-29 then neither has he grasped the importance of what Jesus truly did for us on the cross. Today I am 1st a son of God, 2nd a husband, 3rd a father to my children, and 4th a pastor & teacher. If I get any of those areas of my life out of that specific order; I risk failure in all of them and cannot live my life to its fullest potential.
Ephesians 5:28 -29, 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
This parallels Jesus’ words on the second greatest commandment as recorded in Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31, & Luke 10:27. (“And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.) There are no other commandments greater than these. There are no other greater commandment than these, is a heavy statement especially for the person claiming to be a Christian. We are first to love our God, with all our heart, sole, body, and mind and then love everyone else. The most amazing concept for me to never understand is how two Christians in a marriage, will allow the devil to play in their lives and cause them to get divorced. Robbye and I have had difficult times in our marriage and we had thought of divorce, but always came back to Romans 10:8 “What does the word say”. We also loved each other enough to look honestly at our own actions and lives and measure them to the word of God. We both realized we were living selfishly and not for God. We were claiming Christianity, but not doing what we knew to do in regards to our marriage. I had to make some serious changes and in following these scriptures I was able to gently, over time, guide our marriage back to where God intended it to be. I also realized that if God sees the two as one, then there is strength and power in that unity. Neither of us would be where we are today spiritually or emotionally if we would have let Satan pull us apart. An interesting point here before I go on. There are eleven verses in Ephesians 5:22-33 with the first three as charges for the wife, but the next five are action charges for the husband. Personally I see the greatest weight on the husband regarding the spiritual growth and stability of his home, and therefore, men need to step up to the plate and stop playing games.
With the few and rare exceptions where self-destruction is prevalent in a man’s life, he will do everything in his power to survive and be on top. Men do not hate themselves, in fact this drive to survive needs to be seen for what it truly is, self-love. I am not talking about selfish lust for oneself, which is another form of perversion, but true agape love for self. Agape meaning to desire the best, not allowing harm or damage to self, creating a level of personal worth that is healthy. If a man begins to develop this agape love for his wife, washing her with true words of love, he is loving himself. What better way for a husband to come home from work and whether his wife is already there or comes home from her job, she is kind and respectful, tender and encouraging. These desired responses do not automatically happen; there is always a cause and effect. You truly reap what you sow, Gal 6:7-9.
Verse 29 is the formula for success in marriage, nourish and cherish. A man will not purposely starve himself, except for going on a fast. He will make the time to feed himself, and usually he will feed himself well. Look inside a quality restaurant during lunch time, there is a vastly larger number of business men sitting down for a good lunch than there are women. As a man you feed yourself, but what are you feeding your wife in regards to your marriage. There is an old saying, “garbage in garbage out”. Men are going home all across this country sowing bad seed into their marriage and not liking the crop that is coming up so they start looking for another field to harvest. I have to wonder how stupid can men be to sow bad seed at home and when the first younger female showing a business level of respect at the office comes along they are ready to compare and even plan to jump ship. Those that do remarry will eventually see some of the same old crop starting to come back and never realize they are the ones sowing the bad seed still. I stand firm on my belief that Christian men are not following the word of God in their marriage, because there is no longer any difference in the percentage of divorce in the church then in the world.
Even if a man is not happy with the way he looks in the mirror, and does not like the fact that his personality is compared to the back end of a horse, he will still cherish his body. Man will do everything in his power to protect himself from harm. Let a man get hot and you will see a man running to the A/C, let him get hungry and you had better not get between him and the feed bag, watch a man see something his flesh truly desires and you will see a man get glassy eyed in his effort to bring it to himself. Husbands need to devote the same energy, commitment, and devotion to their wives. That is easy to say, but takes consistent effort to do. Cherishing your own body comes natural, God built it into us, cherishing your wife is something that must be learned and consistently developed. We have the ultimate example in Christ and his love for the church. Not only did He lay His life down for her, but spoke the necessary words over her to lift her up. Because Jesus is alive, and His word never fails or falls away, He is consistent in showing the church His love. Jesus is consistently cherishing His bride, the church, husbands are you. What seeds do you sow?
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