Summary: One of the biggest tragedies in the Christian home today is when the husband fails to demonstrate selfless love toward his wife. The failure often stems from a basic lack of trust, fear or ignorance to exercise faith in the Word of God.
A Word To The Husbands
A story is told of a tyrannical husband who demanded that his wife conform to rigid standards of his choosing. She was to do certain things for him as a wife, mother, and homemaker. In time, she came to hate her husband as much as she hated his list of rules and regulations. Then, one day he died -- mercifully as far as she was concerned. Some time later, she fell in love with another man and married him. She and her new husband lived on a perpetual honeymoon. Her new husband was committed to her and her interests. Joyfully, she devoted herself to his happiness and welfare. One day she ran across one of the sheets of do’s and don’ts her first husband had written for her. To her amazement she found that she was doing for her second husband all the things, her first husband had demanded of her, although her new husband had never once suggested them. She did them as an expression of her love for him and her desire to please him. He had won her devotion by his demonstration of selfless love.
One of the biggest tragedies in the Christian home today is when the husband fails to demonstrate selfless love toward his wife. The failure often stems from a basic lack of trust, fear or ignorance to exercise faith in the Word of God. And failing to exercise faith in the Word of God robs many a marriage of the joy God intended. Since faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God, listen to God’s Word to husbands in Ephesians 5:25-33:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”
Husbands are commanded three times in this passage to “love your wives”? The Greek verb used for love is “agapao” which is a God love, a sacrificial and selfless love of actions. Agapao love is based on your sincere interest for the best interests of your wife. Agapao love will do what is best for your wife and says you are to love your wife in spite of what she does. Therefore, you are to love her sacrificially and unconditionally because Jesus loved the church that way. When a husband exercises faith in God’s plan for marriage, the Holy Spirit goes to work blending the two lives together.
Praise the Lord husbands! Aren’t you grateful God said, “…It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18)? “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." (Matthew 19:6) God is bringing about a unity of body, soul and spirit. Husbands, thank the Lord everyday for your wife. She is your special gift from God to make you stronger in Him. Often, first Corinthians 13 is read during wedding ceremonies. It is referred to as the Great Love chapter. The same Greek word for love used in Ephesians 5:25-33 is repeated 9 times in this chapter. It might, therefore, be paraphrase for husbands like this:
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love for my wife, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love for my wife, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love for my wife, it profiteth me nothing.”
God’s word tells husbands that “agapao” love suffers long, and is kind; it envies not; it vaunts not itself and is not puffed up. “Agapao” love does not behave itself unseemly, it seeks not his own, is not easily provoked, and thinks no evil. “Agapao” love rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. “Agapao” love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. It is a love empowered by the very Spirit of God for the purpose of making two people one.