I am dealing with a guy who just can’t accept any of my stuff as truth. He is carrying his bible like a club, using as a weapon to beat down his wife. I am absolutely infuriated with men like this. I write this blog to encourage men, based on the things I know are true. I offer up my mistakes and failures, to show what I learned the hard way. I have extreme sympathy for abused wives and deceived husbands. But, men like this guy are making me crazy.
He can’t get past the way I repeatedly use Ephesians 5:25. He believes I use that verse and ignore everything that might contrast it. I don’t see it that way. I see Ephesians 5:25 as the eye of the needle. It’s the tiny doorway for married men to experience and truly understand the gospel. It is the pinnacle of human relationships and the closest we get to understanding the love of God. No other relationship includes this level of intimacy, sacrifice, selflessness and love.
When husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church, it’s like a trump card. The same way when Christ was asked about the most important commandment. Love God, love each other. That’s what He told us. Love conquers all, love endures, love is the greatest. When we love like He loved, we are virtually incapable of sinning. His love is our example to follow. Love is our ID card to show the world we are Christians. Not our theology, not our brilliance, not our ability to debate… Our love for each other.
So, having said all that, if learning and demonstrating Christlike love is our highest goal; who should benefit the most from it?
I am supposed to demonstrate Christlike love to my neighbor, my waiter, my mailman, my pastor and fellow church members, my kids, their friends, the hurt, the hungry, the imprisoned……… Right? But only one person has stood at an altar with me while I declared my unfailing love for them. Only one person vowed to spend the rest of their life with me. My friends and family have only witnessed me vow to love, honor and cherish one person in my entire life.
My wife is first in line for all that Christlike love.
And, while I am here, let’s figure out what that Christlike love really is.
Over the course of Christ’s life, what exactly did He do for the church? Not just the Easter story, dying and rising from the dead to save us. That’s the happy ending of an amazing journey. Not the essence of His life. His life was a life of sacrifice and selflessness. Everything He did was for the benefit of His bride. Nothing selfish about it.
When He was confronted and tempted in the wilderness, what do you think that was about? It was the temptation to satisfy His desires over the bride’s needs. He could have been a rich guy by using those talents and miracles for His benefit. P.T. Barnum would have only had the second greatest show on earth, if Christ had used those talents to entertain us and sell tickets.
How rich would He have been opening a winery?
“And over here is the pipe where the water comes in. That guy does some blessing thing and then wine pumps out the other side. Now, let’s move on to the wine tasting part of the tour…” Yeah. That’s probably what I would have done with those skills. Not Him. Not for His benefit. He stayed on course and finished the mission.
Even when that mission got Him crucified, He still did it. Even though He was being executed by the same people who once loved Him, He still did it. Without waiting for them to love Him. Without needing their response. Without demanding that they do their part. In absolute defiance of selfishness, He gave His life for us. Our love for Him is purely a response to that kind of love.
So. To the guys who are abusive, mean, selfish, demanding and rude. To the ones who hide behind all those submission messages, expecting to be served. To the ones who flat out lied about loving her “for richer or poorer, sickness and health, til death do us part.” To the guys who can’t seem to get those big boy pants on and act like a man…
Grow up. Shut up. Take a breath and think about how you are treating your wife. Stop being the “good Christian” and putting on a show for all of us, love her first. I don’t care how much you do for everyone else or how much scripture you have memorized, if your wife is miserable, your religion is a joke. Tinkling brass, sounding cymbals. Hypocrisy. Foolishness. Get over it and do this Christianity thing for real.
Quit asking, “what about her?” I don’t care! Get that log out of your eye first. Fix you. Make yourself act right before expecting any type of submission from her. Stop being a bully and learn to love her. Open that bible and figure out what love really is and do it. Stop using the scriptures as a weapon against the person you are most responsible for. Stop demanding respect from someone who has absolutely no logical reason to respect you.
I don’t debate. I don’t care to argue. I don’t waste much time on men who refuse to shut down their hyper religious arrogance and listen to truth. All I need to do, is see the way you treat your wife. If she is crazy about you. If she loves being with you. If she can’t stop talking about you or thinking about you. Then you are doing something right. Whether you know it or not, you are using some level of Christlike love or she wouldn’t feel that way about you.
However… If she cowers like a beaten dog whenever you walk in. If she is timid around you. If she avoids you. If you find constant arguing whenever you are together. If she always seems to be angry about something. If she has lost interest in her appearance. If she has lost interest in sex or avoids it. Maybe you aren’t the super Christian you think you are. Maybe you are one of those lovely Pharisees. Remember those guys? The only folks Jesus seemed to have an issue with? Religious people who were more concerned with the opinions of men than God?
Love her first, love her best. If your theology and religion doesn’t agree with that, your religion has some holes in it. Your faith is a lie. Face the truth and we can move on. I can’t justify teaching on anything else until we get through this verse. If you aren’t in pursuit of the heart of this verse, you aren’t much of husband or a Christian. That’s the fact.
Read it again.