Kristie and I were married on March 30, 2002. That was over 11 years ago at the time of this writing. It has been the happiest season of my life. We graduated college together, moved to a new city and state together, served together, worked together, have been without jobs together, have had 4 beautiful children together, and have experienced many hardships and life lessons together. Through all of it, God has been gracious to us.
We may not have always understood what God was doing with us but we have always believed that he was doing what was best for us. We know this because we affirm that the Bible as his word of truth to us. We know that he has laid down his life for us. We know that Jesus sacrificed everything so that we could be reconciled with God. This is what’s most important to us: knowing that we have a ‘great high priest’ mediating for us before God. This high priest is not one who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are. We serve a God who gave himself up us… and that’s the point of this post. Do I, as a husband, love Kristie as Christ loved the church? Do I sacrifice my comforts and myself unconditionally? Do I sympathize with her weaknesses?
Ephesians 5:25-33 has many strong words for husbands. It says that we must love our wives like Christ loved the church. That’s a tall order. Jesus “gave himself up” for the church. He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Christ, the preeminent, firstborn of all creation humbled himself to be born a helpless baby in the lowliest of circumstances. He did this to became a servant. His purpose was to reconcile us with God. The ultimate outcome of this was his death on the cross and the redemption of the church. He who knew no sin took on our sin. There is therefore, now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
As believers and as children of God, we are all instructed to follow Christ’s example of servanthood. Ephesians emphasizes this mind of Christ – this position of servanthood – for husbands:
- We are to love our wives as we love ourselves.
- We are to treat them as we would treat ourselves.
- Our devotion to our wives should be unconditional – no strings attached.
- To love our wives as Christ loved the church is to forgive unconditionally and to serve unconditionally.
- To do it all for the glory of God and with the goal of our sanctification.
Husbands, its time to love our wives like Christ loved us.
This will be the first of an ongoing series of posts that come from my desire to give myself up for Kristie like Christ gave himself up for me. They will be very practical ways that I, as a husband, can serve Kristie better. They come from years of experience. Most of them are rooted in specific events. Some of them are old struggles, some of them are ongoing.
It is my prayer that this series of posts would not be an intellectual vanity but a sincere look at how I am to love and serve Kristie as a Christ loved the church. I pray that I will be challenged, convicted and changed though purposeful and ongoing self-evaluation of how I serve Kristie. I pray that you would be challenged and encouraged as well.