Becoming Your Wife's Savior....(Ephesians 5:25)
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"
Well, when the Bible says that a man should love his wife like Christ loves the church, that opens a huge area of discussion. And in order for us to know what this type of love is like, we have to understand what that love is like.
For those that dont know...other languages have many words that are translated into English as "love." There is the friendly kind of love, there is the lustful kind of love. And others. Now, is that how Christ loves us? No, His kind of love is what is called Agape in the Bible. it is ithe kind of love that asks for nothing from the recipient. It is the kind of love that loves someone, even when that someone is hurting them.
Those that have seen the Passion of Christ can get a picture of what that love looks like. I watched that movie again recently and came to a new understanding about what God requires. And make no mistake men...it is required. It is not optional. You cant decide to love your wife, only if she is treating you well. You cant decide to agape your wife, only if she is being faithful. No, this commandment is to love her enough to die for her.
Now, most men would say that they would die physically for their wives. If a bus was about to hit them, they would jump out and push their wives out of the way and take the hit themselves. But what about other areas in their life? What about when it comes to around the house? Do we REALLY love our wives like Christ loves us?
As we will see later in this discussion, our wives are commanded to submit to our leadership in the home. So, what kind of leader are we? What do we give up, what do we sacrifice, what do we do everyday in order to "save" our wives?
As I heard in this study...you know, before Jesus met you, He was doing fine. Before He came down to Earth, He was living large. He never knew pain, He never knew betrayal. Until He met me, He was living the perfect life.
And then all of you showed up...and I showed up...with our sins, with our complaints, with our not wanting to follow Him. You know what Christ could have done? He could have said "You want me to give up my good life here in heaven, you want me to come down there and help the very people that thumb their noses at Me, who show little love and acceptance for Me...who will actively betray and even kill me? Oh no you don't. You aren't going to mess up my life."
That’s what many men say about their wives. They say “I was fine until you showed up. I had money in the bank, until you showed up. I had peace of mind, until you showed up.”
He could have said that. And we would all be doomed to suffering the consequences of our lives and actions.
So, what made Him come? What made Him give up EVERYTHING in order to rescue us...to save us? In one word...love. It wasn’t love because we deserved it. Shoot, we were doing the exact opposite of loving Him. We deserved nothing but contempt and destruction. This was a different kind of love. It was a "choice love." It is a love that says "I chose to love you because of who I am. I chose to help you, even as you spit in my face. I chose to die for you, even as you are the one who is killing Me." It is a love beyond feelings.
Ladies...if you had a husband who would die everyday for you, who would sacrifice his life, his wants, his needs...who would lay his very life out there for you...would you have some Good News for him?
Guys, women need this. All of Dr. Harley's principles, when applied to the wife...are within this genre. When a woman wants SF, it is in the context of having SF with a man who has been willing to sacrifice all for her...to make her safe and to feel safe. If her highest need is financial security, it is in the context of a man willing to work three jobs, sacrifice his health and sleep, in order to make sure the lights stay on and the food is on the table. If her highest need is respect, it is in context of a man who respects his wife enough to be her biggest fan, her biggest encourager...and to move heaven and earth in order to help her accomplish her goals.
And you know what guys?? You get to do this without expecting ANYTHING in return. As a matter of fact, you may do this and be met with betrayal or hurt or indifference. But you said you wanted to be like Jesus didnt you? Well, welcome to His world.
In baseball, there is a sacrifice bunt. The sacrifice bunt is where a hitter pushes the ball down the third or first base lines in such a way that a runner that is on base can move to the next base.. The reason for a sacrifice bunt is to move someone else along. Now you may go up to bat thinking that you are going to hit a homerun, you are going to show your strength. And them some third base coach tells you that you have to give up your right to swing for the fence, in order to move someone else along. And it usually means you will be thrown out at first base.
Husbands, God says you must lay down a sacrifice bunt for your wife. That you must always be about moving her along in life, as we will see in other sections of this study.
So, the first part of this Agape for your wife is to be her savior. It is to die for her, to lay yourself out there and be "The Man." Sure, it will hurt. Crosses hurt. Spikes in your hand hurt. Spikes in your feet hurt. Spears in your side hurt. No one is saying that loving your wife wont hurt.
But if you want a marriage that survives, if you want a woman that will respond to your leadership, who will reverence you...if even if she doesnt...if you want God's blessings in your life...then you must love her enough that you take the chance that she might "destroy" you.
The study shows that in order to become your wife’s savior, you need to do three things: sacrifice, suffer, and substitute. If you are going to love her like Jesus loves the church, then you will have to sacrifice. As I have listed above, sacrifice…true sacrifice…is a public event. It has to be seen, by your wife and by others. Sacrifice also means you must suffer. It is the nature of sacrifice. If you are not suffering, then it isn’t sacrifice yet. As I outlined above.
The last area is substitution. Everyone that knows anything about baseball knows what a designated hitter (DH) is. The DH is a guy who bats in place of the pitcher. For the team, the pitcher is more valuable…the game rides in his hands. The team does not want an errant throw from the opposing pitcher to take out their pitcher. So, they put in a DH in his place, to bat in his place. Now, the DH is powerful, the DH can hit homeruns…most pitchers cannot. But it is in the best interests of the team that the pitcher be protected. Thus, the DH is asked to substitute for the pitcher because the pitcher is more valuable.
God is asking every man to be the designated hitter for his wife. To recognize the value of his wife, and stand in there and take the pitch for her.
A great example of all of this was a hail storm one year in Texas. Four women were trapped in the storm as baseball sized hail rained down. And that sized hail can kill you. Their husbands were underneath an overhang, and when they saw their wives trapped in the deluge, they bolted out from underneath and ran thru the hail to them. Once there, they draped their bodies over them to protect them from the hail. As they tried to move back to safety, the men were being bludgeoned by the hail. Some had cuts on their head, their ears. One was knocked unconscious, but as he went unconscious, he fell on top of his wife, covering her and protecting her. After the storm was over, the TV news asked the women what they thought of all of this. One of the wives spoke up…”Everytime I see those scars on his ear, on his neck, on his head…I love him more. I love him more, because he took the hit for me.”
When we get to heaven, we will get a new body. Everything that is wrong with us here will now be right. But there will be one in heaven with scars. You will know Him. He will still have the holes in His hands and feet…and the scar in His side. And a billion years from then, you will still know Jesus by those scars. And those scars will remind you over and over again…that you have been loved.
You see, in order to be a Savior guys…you have to die first. You do not get Easter on Sunday, without going to Calvary on Friday. Many men say that they cant see God working on His wife. They cant see God raising their wife and their marriage from the dead. Well, God can’t raise something or someone that hasn’t died yet. In order to have a Crown, you have to have a Cross. You must die.
Now God asks you to lay yourself on the line out there. That you will sacrifice, suffer and substitute for a woman that will take advantage of that or ignore it. It is a risk. And many of you are asking the question…why? Well, Jesus believed in something. He believed that if he risked everything, if he sacrificed, suffered and substituted for us on the Cross…that God would have enough love for Him to get Him up out of the Tomb. We husbands must begin to believe that if we handle the savior part, by sacrificing, suffering and substituting for our wives…by dying for them…that we can trust that Easter will come for us, and God will get us up out of that grave.
For many of us, no marriage counselor in the world is going to fix your wife. She is gone. But if we take care of our end of it, God will take care of her. If we die for her…God will raise us from the dead…and we will find a transformed life, and possibly a transformed wife and marriage.
As I have stated all long here…Dr. Harleys principles directly dovetail in here. Sacrificing?? For example, we do that by meeting those three top ENs, even to our own detriment.
Remember, if you want to be a lover, a REAL lover...that love looks like the Cross.
Okay…next post will be Becoming Your Wife’s Sanctifier.