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Summary: A look at the Christian Husband’s obligation to love his wife.

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WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO, GOT TO DO WITH IT? TINA TURNER ASKED THAT QUESTION IN HER 1983 HIT SONG. THAT QUESTION COULD VERY WELL HAVE BEEN ASKED BY THE HUSBANDS IN THE EPHESIAN CHURCH. WHAT HAS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH MARRIAGE. YOU’LL REMEMBER THAT LAST WEEK WE TOLD YOU HOW THE JEWS WERE VERY ENLIGHTENED IN PAUL’S WORLD? HOW THEY AMONG THE OTHER CULTURES OF THE DAY VIEWED WOMAN AS ALMOST EQUAL TO MEN.

BUT ON THAT NOTE REALIZE THAT EPHESUS WAS NOT A JEWISH CITY, IT WAS A GREEK CITY. A CITY WHERE THE VIEWS OF DEMOSTHENE "WE HAVE COURTESANS FOR THE SAKE OF PLEASURE, WE HAVE CONCUBINES FOR THE SAKE OF DAILY COHABITATIONS, WE HAVE WIVES FOR THE PURPOSE OF HAVING CHILDREN LEGITIMATELY." AND XENOPHON "LET HER LIVE THAT SHE MIGHT SEE AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, HEAR AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE AND ASK AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE." WERE THE VIEWS OF THE DAY.

LOVE YOUR WIFE, HARDLY. YOU LOVED YOUR CAMEL, YOU LOVED YOUR SON, BUT YOUR WIFE IF SHE WAS A GOOD WIFE SHE DIDN’T ANNOY YOU, IF SHE WAS A BAD WIFE THEN YOU GOT RID OF HER. YOU CAN WELL IMAGINE THE SHOCK WAVES THAT MUST HAVE RIPPLED THROUGH THE CONGREGATION WHEN PAUL’S LETTER WAS READ OUT LOUD. "DID I HEAR RIGHT? DID HE REALLY SAY THAT WE WERE TO LOVE OUR WIVES? LIKE CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH?"

I MEAN THESE GUY’S WERE RIDING HIGH, PAUL HAS JUST TOLD THEIR WIVES TO SUBMIT, LIKE THAT WAS THE TYPE OF PREACHING THEY WANTED TO HEAR. I CAN JUST IMAGINE THE APPLAUSE, FOOT STAMPING AND WHISTLING THAT ACCOMPANIED THAT ONE. BUT NOW, HE HAD GONE FROM PREACHING TO MEDDLING. BUT PAUL WAS SERIOUS. I’M SURE THAT HE HAD SEEN THE WAY THAT CHRISTIAN HUSBANDS WERE TREATING THEIR WIVES. IT WAS JUST AS IF THERE HAD NEVER BEEN A CHANGE IN THEIR LIVES. THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP IN THE CHURCH WAS THE SAME AS IT WAS IN THE REST OF GREEK CULTURE. GRANTED CHRISTIAN HUSBANDS HAD GIVEN UP THE COURTESANS AND CONCUBINES, BUT THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR WIVES HADN’T CHANGED. AND PAUL WAS SAYING, "HEY GUYS, NOT GOOD ENOUGH, LET’S MAKE A CHANGE THAT IS NOTICEABLE TO EVERYONE. LET’S CHANGE OUR MARRIAGES."

NOT ONLY DOES PAUL COMMAND THE HUSBANDS TO LOVE THEIR WIVES BUT LISTEN TO SOME OF THE WAYS HE TELLS THEM TO LOVE THEIR WIVES. AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH, AS YOU LOVE YOUR OWN BODIES, AS YOU LOVES YOURSELF. THAT’S NOT JUST INFATUATION, OR PUPPY LOVE THAT IS PRETTY SERIOUS STUFF.

PAUL HAD GIVEN BASICALLY THE SAME COMMAND TO THE CHURCH IN COLOSSE, IN Colossians 3:19 HE WROTE A husband must love his wife and not abuse her.

PRESUMABLY BECAUSE WHEN PAUL WROTE IT WAS OFTEN ADDRESSING A PROBLEM WE HAVE TO ASSUME THAT THE MEN IN THAT CHURCH WEREN’T LOVING THEIR WIVES BUT THEY WERE ABUSING THEM.

AND THAT MAKES SENSE CONSIDERING THAT COLOSSE WAS VERY SIMILAR IN CULTURE TO EPHESUS AND WAS LESS THEN A HUNDRED MILES AWAY. THIS WAS A NEW AND REVOLUTIONARY TEACHING TO THESE GREEK CHURCHES. LOVE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH MARRIAGE, IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH WIVES. WIVES WERE MARRIED BECAUSE THE MARRIAGE HAD BEEN ARRANGED BY PARENTS YEARS BEFORE. SOMETIMES WHEN BOTH PARTIES WERE STILL CHILDREN. YOU GOT MARRIED BECAUSE THAT WAS THE THING TO DO, YOU GOT MARRIED TO HAVE CHILDREN, YOU GOT MARRIED TO HAVE SOMEBODY TO RUN YOUR HOUSE, TO RAISE YOUR KIDS, TO COOK YOUR MEALS AND MEND YOUR TOGA, YOU DIDN’T GET MARRIED TO HAVE SOMEBODY TO LOVE.


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