Monday, December 1, 2008

Wives & Husbands - Part II

A few weeks ago I wrote about a topic that is constantly on the forefront of doctrinal battles: The roles of Wives & Husbands. As a follow-up to that post, and to that topic in general, I just wanted to take a few minutes to share something that I found very moving during one of my recent times in the Word.

I love to write. So, often times as I'm doing self-study I end up writing thoughts. Some day, they may be compiled into a book. Who knows. In any case, there are those rare times when my fingers move faster than my mind and I just get passionate about a topic and "on a role" so to speak. Now, there are two possible outcomes of those excited and unbridled ramblings. It's either extremely inspiring and a magnificent art of writing or extremely undecipherable and worthy of a good hack at the backspace key. I'd like to think that this was the former.

I was considering the concept of a "treasured possession" and its significance in theology. Without really thinking, I began to type. I'd like to share with you the ramblings that left me with no other thought at the end other than to truly treasure my wife and to commend her publiclcy for the ways she honors me:

Like the Sons of God in Genesis 6, God chose a people with whom to initiate a covenant of love, and this covenant was also likened to marriage. God spoke to Israel, "Your Maker is your husband—the Lord almighty is His name" (Isaiah 54:5).

Why would God "marry" mere mortals? What prompts Him to display such amazing love and mercy? To be sure, we can never understand precisely why He chose to do so. What we do know, however, is that it was not based on Israel's merit. They did not deserve this covenant. God says, "It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity" (Deut. 9:5).

We also know God's intended effect for His choice. We know why, if not for their merit, He treasured His possession, Israel. "You will be my treasured possession," said the Lord, "…you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Exodus 19:5-6). A kingdom of priests, made holy and consecrated for His worship, Israel would bring praise to God on earth. They were instruments of His praise and worship. Just as a good wife reflects well upon the husband who loves her, so would the world look to Israel and see the glory of the one who "treasures" her.

Husbands, if you desire honor and respect from your wife, treasure her! Wives, honor your husband who treasures you.

For more detail, listen to my expository teaching on 1 Peter 3:1-7 in mp3 format.

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  • I've tried being a good wife to my husband, but he doesn't appreciate me nor does he think women are of any value when it comes to ministry work. We are good as long as we do as we are told and nothing more. As long as we cook, clean, and have an occasional roll in the hay. I hate my life as it is and I don't feel in my heart to honor my husband because of the horrible way he treats me. He's flirtatous - in my face, very deceitful and cunning and he is the most eloquent liar I have known in my life. Although he says he's a man of God, his actions speak something very different when we are not around people. I'm at a lost as to what to think and sometimes I find myself questioning God as to why He would allow such a hypocrital person to lead anything. I suppose that sounds very bitter, but after 7 years of brow-beatings and put downs and name calling, how can I respect my husband?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At January 22, 2009 at 9:47 AM  

  • First, let me say that I am very sorry to hear of your situation. It saddens me.

    I have three thoughts, the first two may be of no comfort, but their important principals to understand. The third, I hope, becomes you hope.

    First, as bad as you marriage may seem at the moment, you will not find satisfaction in the long run by returning to your husband the same disrespect he gives you. Although you feel justified and greatly tempted to do so, if you retailiate, matters will certainly not improve.

    Second, building on the first comment, I want to remind you of the fact that the first goal of a marriage covenant is not to please the spouses. It is to glorify God. If you seek first your pleasure and well-being in marriage, you would have left your husband long ago. Realize that it is your faithfulness even during his unfaithfulness that shows the world how we as Christians are different. God is faithful to us even as we are unfaithful to Him. If it weren't for His mercy, we would have no covenant with God, and if it weren't for your mercy you would have no covenant with your husband. Similiarly, you must remember that it is not God's design for marriage that is flawed, it is your husband's sin nature. The root of your frustration is not in God's design for the covenant, it is in the failure of your fellow covenant keeper. Again, however, consider our position before God and take heart that you are honoring Him for God's glory... not yours, not your husband's.

    Finally, the only encouragement that I can think to offer is the promise found in Scripture. 1 Peter 3:2 is not a formula, but rather it is wisdom from the Lord, like a proverb. What this should mean to you is (as I aluded to in my first point) that the highest likelihood you have of winning your husband over is to honor him beyond what he could understand, more than he would believe. It's not easy. It's not fast. Some wives wait their entire lives with no fruit. But it is what gives us hope.

    As an aside, it doesn't sound like from your post that your husband is abusive or dangering you, so my responses did not cater with that assumption. However, I will tell you that if he is, you are of no obligation to remain in an unsafe situation. I do not endorse divorce, but separation is warranted in extreme circumstances.

    By Blogger Unknown, At January 22, 2009 at 1:40 PM  

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