Every Tuesday we’ll be posting an article about restoring and strengthening marriages that have been damaged by sexual sin. Hope it’s helpful.
I didn’t just get a wife 24 years ago. I was entrusted with one.
More to the point, I was entrusted with Renee by Someone who created and redeemed her, and to whom I will someday answer for the way I’ve handled the lady He trusts me with.
Husbands, let us not kid ourselves about this: We will answer to God for the way we’ve treated (as in, loved or not loved) the woman He gave us. We’ll in turn present her to Him at the end, when we’ll give an account for the condition we return her in.
That’s the stewardship principle spelled out in Matthew 25 , and it’s a very relevant parable indeed to any married man. In it, a hard-driving master doles out amounts of money to his servants, instructing them to invest what they’ve been given, with the obvious intent of recouping it with interest. A day of reckoning comes later, at which time each servant is required to show what he’s done with what he’s been given. Most of them wind up being commended for their investment skills, since most are able to say, in essence, “I’m giving you back more than what you originally gave me.”
Likewise, a just Heavenly Father entrusts daughters to men who identify as His servants. They’re commissioned to cherish what they’ve been given in the boldest of terms – “Love her as I’ve loved my church” – with a full understanding on the Father’s part that the man He’s given His daughter to is well suited and fully equipped to meet the demand.
A day of reckoning will come later (though probably sooner than any of us realize) at which time .the steward will answer to the Master for what he’s been commissioned with: his gifts; his opportunities; his bride. The Lord will inquire to what extent she’s been improved as a result of their union, requiring of His servant a return. Those able to say “I’m giving you back more than what you originally gave me. She’s more mature, peaceful and godly for having been mine” will be commended. Those unable to say that will be judged, and harshly.
The goal of marriage, then, is not for me to be as happy as possible. Rather, it’s for me to seek diligently to build my spouse up, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I’m commissioned to do so daily, finding ways to nourish and soothe her, putting her needs above my own, and making her well-being my primary goal. And in doing so, paradoxically, I make myself incredibly, ridiculously happy. Paul said it well: “He that loves his wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:28)
That’s the principle of Spouse Building. When we recognize our wife as someone we’ve been commissioned to strengthen and bless, and when that becomes our marital goal above all others, we find levels of satisfaction beyond description. And so, as always, we find that losing our lives is indeed the way to find them.
So ask me today if I love my wife, and I’ll say Sure, why not? I love her daily, diligently, passionately.
I’m far too selfish a guy to do anything less.