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Summary: The message is an exposition of Paul's instruction concerning wives, reflecting over fifty years of marriage. Our world has divided into warring tribes and factions, and the conflict has entered into the marriage relationship, which dishonours God.

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” [1]

It is tragically sad when an individual is unable to learn from another person. It is doubly tragic when a man argues that he cannot learn from his wife. Such an individual likely is already dead, even if he isn’t interred yet. You may recall that the Wise Man has written,

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing

and obtains favor from the LORD.”

[PROVERBS 18:22]

This assuredly is a true statement, though it is distressingly easy for some people to ignore it. Perhaps in this day when marriage is depreciated and dating is increasingly outmoded, it will be a hard-sell to convince people of the value of marriage. And if marriage is a hard-sell, the idea of parents remaining married for years may tragically be relegated to a concept that has become outmoded. As a culture, we are the poorer if this proves to be the case.

Mother’s Day witnesses some of the heaviest phone traffic for the entire year. Undoubtedly, for most people, the name “Mother” is precious because of the memories of tender, loving care. It is an interesting fact that “mother” is among the oldest words in the English language. The concept of “family” goes back thousands of years, to the very beginning of human existence, to be precise. People needed a way to describe the person who brought us into this world, and “mother” became that word in our English language. [2]

I have frequently admitted my personal lack of qualification to speak about motherhood. My mother deserted her sons when I was but five years of age. Being deserted at such a young age had a great and detrimental impact on my life. I witnessed mothers from a distance, and though women in our little village could be nice, they could never be a mother to me. My grandmother loved me dearly and as much as possible invested her love in me. She said on several occasions after I was grown, “I had to love Mike; no one else would.”

I suppose this dreadful condition might have continued if not for the intervention of the Master. He brought a wonderful woman into my life, though at the time I neither served Him nor acknowledged Him. Lynda not only showed me love that I did not deserve, when we had children of our own, she demonstrated what a mother should be. My eldest daughter learned from her mother, and she is the joyful mother of children. Lynda’s children rise up and call her blessed. Again, observing the love of my wife for her children and the love of my daughter for her children, I have captured a glimpse of what a mother should be, and I rejoice in the thought of motherhood. May I say from experience, the man without a mother is deprived of something very special. In saying that, I do not depreciate fathers; I only observe the obvious.

MY WIFE IS A COMPLEMENT, NOT A COMPETITOR — “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior” [EPHESIANS 5:22, 23].

I have never made a secret of the fact that my mother abandoned her family. A memory was burned into my five-year-old mind of my mother denying her love for her sons and for her husband. I saw my mother intermittently during my childhood years, usually when it was convenient for her to drop by for a brief while. Though my dad was careful to teach his sons to respect their mother, it is not surprising that I would have a distorted understanding of motherhood. Unconsciously, I carried that distorted view into marriage. It would have been impossible not to have such a distorted view, I suppose. I wanted a mother, and I didn’t have a mother. I knew a woman who had been a surrogate to bring me into the world, but she wasn’t a mother. I’m not complaining; I’m simply acknowledging reality.

I have often confessed that Lynda didn’t get a bargain when she married me; I was about as smooth as the backyard fence. How could I have understood anything about love for my wife, about how a husband was to work with his wife or how a wife was to complement her husband? God was very gracious to me—He gave me a wife who accepted me, but who was unwilling to abandon me to the distorted creature I had become through my lack of training.

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