Marriage: Husbands

When looking at the relationship between husband and wife, often one does not look and think of the relationship between Christ and His church. But marriage is to be a display of that wonderful relationship. Your marriage is to be a beautiful display of the Gospel. Often we rather look at marriage as a business relationship more than a living organism. In this post and next, my hope is to help us see how we are called to represent the Gospel in our marriages.

Ephesians 5:25-33 “25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that He might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.28 In the same way, husbands should love their 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 Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” More difficult words have never been uttered. In the marriage relationship, the husband is given the task of representing Christ in the relationship, to resemble the relationship of Christ to His church. Yet we so flippantly cast off this call because we are often so caught up on the wives task of submission that we negate the husband’s daunting task. Love your wives, as Christ loved the church. How did Christ love the church? So much that He set aside His Divine rights and went to the cross. In Philippians 2, Paul says that Christ laid down His rights, taking on the form of a servant. He humbled Himself and became obedient, obedient to the point of death. That is the call upon the Husband. Laying down rights and willing to humble yourself. To put her interests before your own. To sacrifice for her good. That she would be spotless and blameless.

“Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.” How much we love us some me. We love ourselves dearly. Paul says to the husband, as much as you love you, love her. Willing to sacrifice for her, to take care of her, to nourish her. Think about that imagery, what does that look like practically in a marriage? That is a lot of investment in the marriage relationship. That is being intentional in your reactions and actions towards her. Husbands, this is a call that God has upon us. So before you begin quoting to your wife for her to submit, check yourself.

Leading through serving

Romans 16:1-2 “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.”

In this chapter we are introduced to different folks who have served and assisted the church in different ways. One of the people we meet is a lady named Phoebe. In looking at Mother’s Day, we should look at women like this and see them as the inspiration that they ought to be. Phoebe, likely the individual that delivered this letter to the Roman church. She is a servant of the church, she was known for her serving and sacrifice for the church.

When we see women leading in the church in remarkable ways, we should not hinder their serving, rather encourage them to remain true to the Word of God, how He has gifted them, and bless them in their work. I know that in many circles, we see churches holding women back for fear of allowing a woman to “preach”. Churches can’t operate out of fear, their is so much women can do to serve the church, God has gifted her, allow her to serve. Yes she cannot be an Elder of the church, but she can serve in leadership, she can teach, she can share ideas, etc. Encourage her.

Sacrificial Living

Romans 16:1-2 speaks of a woman named Phoebe. Paul has such high regard for this woman. For how she has served the church and also how she has served Paul in his ministry. In reading about Phoebe one can’t help but look at her as an example. For so many men in the church it is easy for them to overlook these women in scripture. I just want you to take the time to look at the example that these women are, how we can learn from their example and seek to imitate them.

Mother to Motherless

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. A time in the year to celebrate the mothers in our lives that have helped us become the people that we are today. In this quick entry I want to propose another aspect to Mother’s Day that is all to often neglected.

Romans 16:13 “13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well.”

In this verse is something very small, yet so impactful. A mother to me as well. So many can attest to women in their lives that have been mothers to them despite being their actual birth mother. They influence you and are nurturing towards you the way a mother is. But what about those who don’t have a mother? What about those who are a product of the system of the state? For Christians we should take a hard look this Mother’s Day at the ones without mothers. How can we help thousands of children that are under the foster care system and allow them to experience the nurturing love of a mother?

Who Told You?

In Genesis 2:24-25 we see our ideal family once again. “24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” This text is something that we should take notice of. First, the marriage instituted by God and the results of that marriage. Marriage is a unique relationship. One that causes the bonds between a mother and father to their child to be overcome by another. That a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife. This first marriage also showed that a marriage is to bring with it complete vulnerability. Verse 25 says they were naked and were not ashamed. 

Nakedness brings with it the idea of shame. Part of the torture of crucifixion was for the accused to be crucified naked to further add shame upon them. To be naked is to be exposed. Adam and Eve were both naked with no shame, they were not afraid, they didn’t carry with them the guilt of sin. Therefore, they were able to be naked and without shame. This didn’t stay this way very long. The family didn’t stay ideal.

Genesis 3:6-7 “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.”

They both ate of the tree in the garden that they had been commanded not to eat of. Once they ate their eyes were opened and they knew they were naked. They now had shame upon them. They felt exposed. Their first action was to seek to cover their nakedness, to cover their shame. As people today, we still seek to mask and cover our shame, to cover our nakedness. We try to find ways of our own to cover our shame, it might be through religious actions, moral goodness, or actually in complete secular thought to deny the idea of shame. But shame is there, we still try and cover it.

Genesis 3:10-11 “10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Once God was walking in the garden, came to speak to Adam and Eve, yet they had hidden themselves, they had tried to hide their nakedness from God. They felt shame before a Holy and Righteous God. God replied to their feeble act of trying to hide their shame with, “who told you that you were naked?” Who told you that you should have shame? Who told you that you were exposed? You have brought shame upon yourself, you seek to cover your shame, yet you are completely exposed. Friend, do you not feel completely exposed? Do you not fear that your shame will be exposed? Are you trying to cover your shame as Adam and Eve did? 

Genesis 3:21 “21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” You will never be able to cover your own shame. You will never be able to hide it enough, it must be paid for. For Adam and Eve, their acts to hide their shame with leaves were not covering, God had to sacrifice an animal to give them a garment of skin, to cloth them, to cover their shame. You cannot pay for your shame. You cannot cover your own shame. Christ has come and become the ultimate sacrifice to take upon Himself our shame. He was naked before the world so we could be covered by Christ. You and I will never be ideal, but to Christ is the only place that we can take our shame? Will you cloth yourself with Christ today?

The Ideal Family

Currently, our church is going through a series called “The Ideal Family”. At the start of this series we looked at the only perfect family to ever exist, Adam and Eve. We find in Genesis their story, of how they lived and also their fall from being the ideal family.

In Genesis 1, we see the creation of man, his mandate, and his job to fill. Genesis 1:28-30 “28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.”

God created man and gave him the “cultural mandate”, the mandate to first, be fruitful and multiply. To have children and lots of children. For mankind to fill the earth and to subdue it. In culture today we see a lot of leaders claiming that we are to stop having children. One politician is even stated that because of climate change we are to seriously question if we should have children. Christians should respond to this with understanding our mandate as Christians. Scripture speaks of children as a blessing and a responsibility that we are to have. For the couple that is biologically unable to have children and for those that can, adoption is something else as Christians that we should prayerfully consider (more to come later). God has called families to have children, it’s a good and godly thing to have children.

Mankind is to also exercise dominion and to take care of the earth. As stewards of God’s earth, we have a responsibility to take care of it. This means that we are responsible for the resources that are available to us, that we make sure that we are doing all that we can to preserve it. This in and of itself is not a religion that we must take upon ourselves as many in our culture do, but rather a responsibility of good stewardship. This was the calling that was given to mankind, for Adam and Eve to do, but it didn’t take long for it all to go wrong as we will look at in our next post.

As Christians, we must take seriously our mandate, to fill the earth, to subdue it. We should also take seriously the mandate that was given to us by Christ in Matthew 28:18-20 “28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.” We are commanded to make disciples, this means to make disciples of those children that we have under our care. I know that this goes completely contradictory of our culture, but as Christians, we are not called to live completely in sync with the culture, rather, we are called to live under the guidance of God’s Word and His Commands. 

Gospel Conversations with your children

“Dad, why is the sky blue? Does chocolate milk come from brown cows? Why do I have to clean my room?” These are ordinary questions from both my six-year-old and my three-year-old. These questions are a young mind trying to wrestle with the reality around them. To make sense of a very complicated world in which we live in. These questions though are opportunities for parents to turn to the Gospel.

 

In Acts 17 we see a conversation with the Apostle Paul and the people of Athens. In this conversation he points out to them observations that he had made about their culture, one of which that they were very religious and that they worshiped multiple gods. One of those gods was a god that was unknown. Paul seizing the opportunity began to explain to them the God they sought to know but didn’t know. He reasoned with them through their understanding how Jesus was the one who brought redemption, that He was the creator of all things.

 

As parents it is our opportunity to take those opportunities to share with our children the story of Jesus. When speaking of creation, when you notice a beautiful flower, tie that conversation to the majesty and creation of the Lord. When you are doing the hard side of parenting and discipling your child, point them to the Cross of Jesus Christ, how He took our punishment of sin. These may seem like they will have no impact, but constant Gospel conversations will help your child seek to understand the true God. How He loves them and took their sin upon the cross. That He alone is God, He is Creator, they are creation made to worship Him.

 

I do not do this enough as a parent, nor any parent. This post is simply an encouragement to seek out these opportunities to have these Gospel conversations with your children. Point them to Jesus. Let them see the wonder and beauty of God’s creation.