Can I take a moment to clear up some misconceptions? Like the one where God uses evil to get us to act right? Where He is a mean guy, poking us with a stick or beating us into submission. The problem with that idea, is that would make it ok for us to do the same thing. Right?
If our goal, as Christian men, is to become Christlike; shouldn’t we understand what that means? If Jesus, Himself, was a tyrant, then I guess it’s ok for us to be one. If He used His headship over the church, to beat it into submission, surely we need to do the same. But, if He was a humble and kind leader, who loved the church selflessly and sacrificially, I am pretty sure that we should be doing it the same way.
When I push men towards Ephesians 5:25, I mean for them to take it literally. I treat it as a personal mission. Learning to be Christlike by loving my wife the way Christ loves us.
The problem here, seems to be that most folks don’t really have a clue how Christ loves us. They might try to do it, but without a clear understanding of that kind of love, we are lost. We end up loving like we were taught. The way our parents loved each other. The way the people, on TV, love each other. The way we see church leadership love church members. All subject to human emotions and limitations.
We imitate other imitations. We are making copies of copies. It all gets blurry after a while. Eventually, the copies look nothing like the original. That’s what happens when we try to impress or follow men. Sure. Imitate people who really are Christlike. But if you don’t know what Christlike looks like, what will you become?
We end up loving the wrong way.
Selfish love, making life good for ourselves, and maybe allowing others to benefit from it.
Immature love, only loving people when they are good to us.
Manipulative love, being good to someone because they have something you want.
The fact is, that’s not love. That’s just selfishness, immaturity and manipulation.
You don’t have to be a hardcore theologian to make simple observations. Think for yourself. How did Christ handle wounded people? How did He deal with people who were sinners? How did He handle the whole scene in the garden of gethsemane? When did He make threats, or attack anyone, on the way to the cross? He didn’t. Why would we assume He changes? Why would He be mean to us when He wasn’t even mean to the guys who actually crucified Him?
At what point did he use anger and rage, to accomplish His mission, of saving His bride?
Oh yeah. When the temple was overrun with crooks and thieves. When the religious leaders were more concerned with the opinions of men, than God. When the religious leaders were using their position to benefit themselves and not the followers. Yeah. That’s when.
What about when His own followers messed up? When did He turn into a tyrant with them?
Christlike love isn’t about demanding everyone live like us or become perfect. It’s honestly not about demanding anything from anyone, except ourselves. Get that stick out your own eye, before messing with someone else. Once you are perfect and sinless, sure, go straighten everyone else out. But until then, it’s about transforming ourselves into someone who resembles Him. Doing things the way He would. Loving like He loved.
Within this site, all that leads us back to loving our wives. Loving our bride the way Christ loves us. Gentle. Compassionate. Selfless. Sacrificial. Not demanding servitude. Not manipulative. Not as if our bride is below us. Treating her like she is our very purpose for existing. Willing to give up anything to make life good for her. Treating her like her needs are more important than ours. Disregarding anything that teaches us to demand submission from her, but able to accept it with humility, if she does.
Nobody forced you to become a Christian. Most likely, you reached a point, where the love of God became real to you. You understood that He loved you and what He did for you. At that point, you responded to His love. You chose to follow and give your life to Him. Pretty much the same way your wife decided to marry you. She believed in you and responded to it.
That whole “headship” thing, means “source of life.” It means we give, bless, nurture and love. It means she can depend on us. It means we supply her needs. Assume responsibility for our bride. It doesn’t mean we get to be demanding tyrants and own her. Get past that.
Our wives are not beneath us. They deserve an incredible level of respect, just for being willing to trust us with their lives. They deserve so much more that any of us give them. Even the ones, of us, who are trying to do right, rarely understand how important it is. Marriage is our highest opportunity to represent Christ as men. We have no other relationship that enables us to be like Him, more than with our wives.
Our wives are not even commanded to love us. They are told to respect us, but we have to become respectable first. A truly Christlike man will be a great husband. A weak performance, pretending to be a good man, will always fall short. Be like Him. Not a tyrant. Not the boss. Not demanding submission. Just a good man that truly loves his wife. Loving her the way Christ loves us.
There is no better place to practice that faith, than at home. Nobody knows the truth about you, like her. Forget the illusion or facade. Just be that Christlike kind of husband, loving selflessly and sacrificially.
Start there. If you have been doing it wrong, change now. Turn around and start doing it right. Like Him. No more copies of copies. Imitate the original.
Again, if this is all new to you, or you still don’t understand… Take my challenge.
21 Days to Save My Family was written for you. It’s a 21 day journey towards understanding how to love your bride, the right way. Do it.