Wednesday, October 24, 2012

HUSBANDS AND WIVES: Husbands [Part 1 of 3]

Marriage - many people have had a lot to say on this topic throughout time.  More specifically requirements or at least strong suggestions on what each party, the husband and the wife, should bring to the table have been discussed ad nauseam.  One of those contributors, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I would like to highlight in this blog is Peter.  There are many places in Scripture one could go to study the topic of marriage, the husband's responsibilities, and the wife's responsibilities but for this examination I would like us to consider 1 Peter 3:1-7.

1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. 7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

This time let's take the husband's responsibilities toward a great marriage - first.  Verse 7 starts off saying, "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, ..."  Notice the second segment of this verse - "be considerate as you live with your wives,...".  This "as you live with your wives" speaks to a pre-existing condition, a condition of dwelling or living with your wife.  But here I am referring to more than just physically taking up space next to your wife.  "Living" or "dwelling" with another human being, especially your spouse, requires energy and effort that many husbands are not willing to invest by the end of their work day.  There is the challenge - invest the energy and effort.  Even if you (husbands) have had all the interaction you can handle in one day, the one person you do not want to shut out is your wife!  So, do not shut her out and do not shut down for the night.  Dwell/Live or share your day and life with your wife because before you know it the journey will end.

Husbands, treasure your wives and let them know it.  Display to her the value you hold in your heart and mind about her.  It is not enough you know you love her and cherish her forever, she needs to hear that and see that on a pretty regular basis.  There is a very bad misconception that needs clarification.  Within 1 Peter 3:7 it says - "...giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel" (KJV).  This "weaker vessel" does not communicate your spouse as less in rank or importance.  "This is the Greek word asthenes, which actually carries the idea of something that is fragile and of great value, like a priceless, beautiful, hand-painted porcelain vase that must be treated with supreme care.  Furthermore, the word "vessel" is from the Greek skeuos, which presents the idea of a vase or treasure so rare and valuable that it should be treasured, cherished, highly prized, and handled with special care." (Renner, p.760, Sparkling Gems From The Greek)

Husbands, here are some strong suggestions Mr. Rick Renner provides that I agree with and paraphrase in treating your wife with utmost care.
  1. Open doors for your wife for her to walk through first.
  2. Aid your wife up stairs, off the curb of the street, up from a seat with the appropriate touch.
  3. Set aside some money to surprise her with, knowing she has been eyeing a certain something. And remember that something to begin with.
  4. Tell your wife she is beautiful, often.
  5. When speaking about your wife in front of your friends or family - speak honorably.
  6. Take your lovely wife to dinner and allow her to talk, talk, talk (vent).
  7. While at work, call her and sing..."I just called to say, 'I love you'..." (Lionel Richie)
  8. If you have to, schedule time with her (a walk, game, movie, etc..)
  9. Write her your own version of a Hallmark Love Card/Note.
  10. Remember the time.....(special dates and events)
It all boils down to paying attention and being considerate at ALL times!  Appreciate her and love her.  "That's all I got to say about that." (nod to Forrest Gump)

Now a special word to my wife. (Everybody read this.)

Dear Tanya,

The more I spend time with you, the more I "see" who we really are.  These bodies are nothing but an imperfect shell that starts off healthy and "in shape", but later develops challenges and morphs into another body-type slightly different with the years.  However, what never changes is you - inside that shell.  Some say that the mind, will, and emotions make up a person.  If that is so then I truly have been married to the most Beautiful Person on Earth.  "Whatever is in the spirit is exactly what will be reproduced in a person's life and conduct.  ...what makes her most beautiful to me is not her hair, her face, her figure, or her clothing.  The most beautiful part of my wife is her heart.  The sweet fragrance of Jesus Christ emanates from her heart, through her attitudes, and into her words and actions, making her one of the loveliest people I've ever known." (borrowed words from Rick Renner, p.751)  I love you Tanya and hope and pray I live up to the charge - "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:25)