The Sacrificing Husband!

Yesterday we looked at The Submissive Wife and how for years the church has used  and misused this idea of a wife that has no rights in a marriage and must do whatever her husband says.  I hope you read it before passing judgment on it.  My  abusive_husbandsMother-in-law, who has read all of my posts, commented to me that she thought it was going to be the first time she had ever disagreed with me but after reading it she had learned something and was quite happy with what I wrote.

Now it is time to look at the mans responsibilities as outlined in our passage from yesterday.  Here it is again.

21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.[a] 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body.

31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”[b] 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:21-33 (New Living Translation)  Emphasis mine.

I think we men have been skipping over what this passage is really trying to show us.  Most of us agree that we would be willing to die for our wives but this passage seems to indicate to me that that is only the surface of this passage.  I believe it goes considerably deeper than that, even deeper than it did for the wife’s role in marriage.  While the wife is called to give up some of her rights I believe we are called to not only be willing to die for our wife but we should also be willing to sacrifice our life as well.  This is two separate and wholly different ideas.  It is easy to die for someone, it is a lot harder to live for someone else.  Dying is a one time choice, but deciding each day to give up your life is something else all together.  Let me try to explain.

Before I met my wife I had plans.  I wanted to travel, see the world, go anywhere I could.  I even volunteered for a position in the military that would allow me to do this.  Then I met Amy and my love for her overshadowed my desire to travel.  I wanted to spend time with her, I wanted to be with her.  My dream of going turned into a desire for staying.  I had to change my life to meet her needs.  Unfortunately the job I volunteered for happened anyway and we moved to my new job where travel was the main part of my new job.  I hated it.  I hated being away from her and my two small children.  My first three month temporary duty assignment was hell for me.  I never wanted to do that again, so we prayed and discussed it and I decided to abandon my career in the military and get out.  Why?  Because my priorities in life had changed.  I was more focused on her than on me.

You see Paul said that we as husbands are to love our wife as Christ loved the church.  How did He love the church?  He died for it of coarse, but He also lived for it.  He was 30ish years old when He began His ministry, what did He do the 30 years prior to that?  He was a carpenter, and while the Bible doesn’t give us a whole lot of insight into His life pre-ministry I think we can reason that He was a good carpenter and enjoyed working with His hands.  I assume He took pride in His work and tried to be the best carpenter He could be.  But when He found the love of His life, the church, He left it without a second thought.

I am an electrician, I love electrical work and I am pretty good at it.  About 4 months ago I lost my job and I have had to temporarily go full time Air National Guard to pay the bills.  After sending out several resumes and not receiving any phone calls or emails for a job interview I have decided to go full time Air Guard.  The problem, I have to re-train.  There is no open spots for an electrician.  I have no desire to do anything other than electrical work or full time ministry in the church.  But here I am giving up my love for electrical work to retrain into a job I know nothing about.  Why?  Because I am separated from my wife and I don’t want to be.  I am willing to do anything to be with her and be a part of her.  superman2

We are to love our wives as we love ourselves, and we tend to treat ourselves pretty well don’t we.  How well do we treat our wives?  We are to submit to one another in our separate areas or expertise, see the first verse in the passage above.  I submit to my wife when it comes to raising our children.  She has a natural ability to know what our children need before I do, I trust that and allow her the freedom to express those  needs to me and then I make it happen.  I submit to her with how our house is decorated.  She can make a house look like a home, I would put pictures of Superman and Florida Gators stuff everywhere.  We submit to each other in our finances.  We both discuss what we feel we need and then prioritize it based on our budget.  servant

We must learn to submit to each other and allow each other to lead in our area of expertise.  The only place I can see a clear line of who is to be the leader according to God is in the spiritual health of our family.  That burden falls completely on me.  I am the man and I am to be the spiritual leader in my family.  It will be my responsibility to answer to God on this issue when I die.  It’s not Amy’s, not my Mom’s and not my Pastor’s responsibility, but mine.

Men, it’s time to lead by example, through servant-leadership.  Serve your wife, submit to each other.  Don’t act like some monstrous king and rule over your wife.  Love her, listen to her and serve her needs before your own..

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The Two Shall Be One

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7 Responses

  1. […] The Sacrificing Husband! […]

  2. I like it, and I do agree that you give up your desire to travel if it separates you from your wife. I don’t think you have to totally give it up though. Getting married doesn’t mean you give up all the things you enjoy. People joke about the old ball and chain, or about getting married being the end of your life, like something inside you dies when you get married. Nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, exactly the opposite happens. You should have more life than ever when you get married. Okay, back to the things you love…..

  3. If you have something you are passionate about, whether travel, service to God, or whatever, you don’t have to give it up. You may limit it, and definitely don’t pursue it like you did before. You do have the thoughts and feelings of your wife and family to consider. Men are wired for an adventure to live, and one of women’s deepest desires is to be caught up in a great adventure. They don’t want to be the adventure, they want to be part of the adventure. So I don’t think you have to give up your adventure all together, but find some way to make her and your family part of it. Just my thoughts. I know I’ve only been married a little over a year and still have alot to learn, but just some ideas I had. Check out the books Wild at Heart and Captivating if you get a chance.

  4. Hey Jason,
    Thanks for the comment. I completely agree. If I didn’t explain it right I apologize. No, you don’t have to give up the things you love. However when you get married your priorities shift and what once sounded so enticing may taste like a lemon now. That was how it was with me and traveling. I didn’t want to anymore. At least not without her and the kids. I no longer wanted to be gone for 6 months at a time. I wanted to be with her. Most of the things I love stayed the same, I love football and that has not changed although I have occasionally given up a good game I wanted to watch to do something that she wanted to do. One of my passions is teaching and discipleship of God’s Word. She has backed me 100% on that and encourages me to write this blog and teach Bible Studies. It is about balance, she is my top priority after my relationship with Christ. She is my #2 while God is my #1. My next post will go into this a little deeper.
    Have you ever noticed that the Wedding March and the Funeral March sound a lot alike? There is a death, it is the death of you as a singular person. The two become one, the old “me first” mentality must be sacrificed for the “us first” mentality. I can no longer make decisions based on what I want but based on what we want. Obviously God is and has always been a factor but it still always comes down to what I want to do. Do I want to follow God or self.
    Adventure is awesome and together it becomes so much harder and so much more exciting at the same time. We have had several adventures and are in the beginning of a new one right now with the move and going back into full time military, an adventure we are both starting together and looking forward to. If your bored in your marriage you are probably bored with God as well, life needs challenges, do something new, try something different. There are a lot of opportunities out there to do amazing things for God. I am convinced that we will never plumb the depths of a relationship until you serve God together in some form of ministry. There is something about working together for Christ that brings a couple closer together.
    Hope that clears things up, if not let me know.
    Thanks for the comment.

  5. […] The Sacrificing Husband! […]

  6. Wasn’t really confused about your post, just adding my thoughts. As for doing something for God, I agree. Still, the enemies of the world, the flesh, and the devil are there anytime someone attempts great things for God, and the battle sometimes wears me out to the point of feeling like giving up. Thank God He gives me the strength even when I feel like my strength is almost gone. I am determined to stay in the battle no matter what the enemy throws at me. Have to remember too that God doesn’t let anything happen to His children that He is not fully aware of and that isn’t for His good, and sometimes, worry and stress make things appear bigger than they are. Anyway, just some thoughts. Gotta go for now.

  7. Awesome comment!
    When we are weak, that is when His strength is made perfect in us.

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