As my soon to be wife and I have been approaching our wedding day, we have been reading a few different books to help us be more prepared. In the book Love That Lasts by Gary and Betsy Ricucci, there are two chapters on the biblical roles and complementary natures of the husband and the wife.
If there is anything that I have learned so far in these few chapters, it is that the calling of the husband is high. We must love our wives as Christ loves the church, and lay our life down for her.
From this command of scripture, there are many implications that should be of great comfort for any wife, or soon to be wife. The marriage relationship between a man and a woman is a picture and reflection of the relationship between Jesus and the church.
One thing for certain is that that the relationship from the perspective of the church to Christ, it can be a struggle. Those who are in Christ know what it is like to question and doubt our standing before God. Circumstance of life and feeling can influence how we think God sees us. If you have not ever come to this point, then you will soon. Thought such as…
- If I pray more, He will love me more.
- If I read the bible more, He will love me more.
- If I serve the church more, He will love me more.
- If I love God more, He will love me more.
And because we struggle with our performance, we forget what God has already said and done. In the high priestly prayer of Jesus, He said, “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am.” (John 17:24) This prayer is for every single Christian in the world. The desire of Jesus here is for His bride to be with Him.
Did you notice any of the conditions Jesus made? None.
His desire is not based on the love of the church for Him, but because of His love for the church. And just as Christ’s love for the church does not depend on the church’s performance, so should the love of the husband be for their bride.
The love of the husband is not based on the wives ability to keep the home by cooking or cleaning. The love of the husband is not dependent on the ability of his wife to raise their children. The love of the husband is not based on the level of intimacy that they share. The love of the husband is not even dependent on the wife’s ability to love him.
The love of the husband is first based on the love of Christ. We are able to love because God first loved us. But soon to follow, the love of the husband is based on his desire for his wife, because she is his wife.
As God brought eve to Adam in the garden, so has God given husbands the gift of their wife. Adams response when he saw his wife was “at last!” And this response has before anything she did. It was a response for who she was.
Husbands, love her as that treasure and gift. And rejoice in the wife of your youth, because she is of infinite worth.