In Pt. 2 of this series, I make the following claim:
“In a healthy marriage, in a functional marriage…you’re serving your spouse, your spouse is serving you, and together you’re serving God in the way that you serve one another. And we need to be mindful of that.”
And on this point you may be asking yourself, ‘Where is this idea of husbands serving their wives and wives serving their husbands found in the Scriptures?’
Well, I’m glad you asked, and I shall endeavor to tell you.
Serving Up Love and Respect
Consider Ephesians 5:22-33.
“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.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 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.”
Not every Christian husband loves his wife as perfectly or blamelessly as Christ loved the church. And just so, not every Christian wife is that excellent one from Proverbs 31:10-31.
But what the aforementioned is talking about is the ideal. This is the target we are aiming for. Women need love, and men need respect. And since we have these commands, we can assume that with God’s help, and by God’s grace, men are capable of loving their wives and women are capable of respecting their husbands.
And it just so happens that these ideals embedded within commands give us the intended flavor of the service husbands are to render to their wives, and which wives are to render to their husbands.
Love and respect are more than feelings. They are concerted tones and tenors of thought, speech, and action intended to produce positive and tangible effects. To put it another way, they are seeds planted which grow up into good trees which bear good fruit. And that fruit, while spiritual in nature, is nevertheless also intensely practical.
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