“…Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
Yes I know.
This passage from the Bible can be a controversial one, especially in today’s society. The part about wives submitting to their husbands has been a sore spot for some in our society, as they see it as a way of subjugating women. It does nothing of the kind. I will address that first, and then I will move on to my main point.
When reading the Bible, one must try very hard not to take a single verse out of context. The Bible was never meant to be read one single verse at a time. There are two points to consider here. First of all is the first verse in the passage above, which specifies that we are to submit ourselves to each other. Right at the start, husbands and wives are to submit to one another, not simply wives to their husbands. The second point should be obvious if we read the entire passage, but especially the verse that explains that a man would leave his mother and father and be joined to his wife as one flesh. When we keep this verse in mind, we realize the necessity of the man to treat his wife with honor, love, and respect. Man is to treat his wife with the same love he has for his own body, because – after all – it is indeed his own flesh. We are to put our wives on a pedestal, presenting her without a single blemish, without a wrinkle. In that context, there should be no issue with the woman submitting to her husband, knowing that he will always treat her with the same love he affords God, the church, and his own body. In that respect, what can be more beautiful than the covenant man and woman enter into with God through the bonds of marriage?
But my main point here was not to address that particular controversy. My point was to address men. When reading this passage, what strikes me as most important is the huge responsibility God gives us with respect to our wives. The passage is very clear as to its command to men. It does not say that we are to love our wives as our own bodies, unless they get annoying, or unless we find someone else we like better. Yet we all know that the rate of divorce is very high in the United States. Would you be surprised to hear that the divorce rate is no lower among Christians? It is not. Christians have the same struggles with staying married that non-Christians do. What is my answer to Christian men?
How dare you enter into a covenant with God to love, honor and cherish your wife, and break that covenant? There are exceptions, but I am so tired of seeing single and divorced mothers raising children by themselves, and all I can think of when I see it is, how shameful of those fathers to not be standing next to those women, raising their family as God commands them. I don’t care if I am not being politically correct, and yes I know that sometimes, the women in these relationships bear some responsibility. But I am talking to men here right now, and we all know there is a huge number of men who have shirked their responsibilities as husbands and fathers. God gave us the responsibility to be the head of the family, the same way that Jesus was placed as the head of church. Please show me in the Bible where Jesus ever made an excuse as to why He could not provide for the church, or for His people?
Stop making excuses.
How many examples have we seen of men who use violence against their wives? How many examples have we seen of men who speak to their wives with disrespect? How many examples have we seen of men who refuse to pay child support, or who refuse to spend time with their children? Shame on you. Yes I am angry. I am so sick of seeing men behave like children.
Have you ever treated your wife or girlfriend with disrespect, or in a manner less than the example shown in the passage above? If so, it is time to make it right. Apologize to her. If you are already divorced and have children, make sure you pay the child support. Make sure you are a part of your child’s life.
Hey here is a wild idea.
How about you get right with God, apologize to Him, and mend that covenant you broke without His permission? If that is not possible, then maybe you ask for forgiveness, both from God, and your ex, and you work on making sure it never happens again.
When you stand in front of God the day you die, and you have to explain to Him why your child went without a father, or the resources you chose to spend else where, what will you say? When you have to explain why you laid a hand on the one you were supposed to love like you love God, what will you say? When you have to explain why you made a covenant with Him and broke it to pursue another woman, what will you say?
This won’t sit well with men who want to make excuses for their behavior.
I don’t care.