I know I am headed for trouble with this article, but I have been in this kind of trouble before. I don't relish trouble, but I am not afraid of it as long as I am writing what I believe to be true.
February finds itself highlighting valentine's day and the cards and flowers will be flying off the shelves of merchants because many believe that a sparkly card or a long stemmed rose will tell the object of our affection that we really, reallllly do love them and they will believe that from now on. Husbands rarely tell their spouse that they love them and wives nag their husbands so much in between the biscuits and gravy that the words, 'I love you.' bounce off like BB's off a tin can. The biggest problem is that we have allowed our customs and hollywood define what love truly is. Ask a person under 20 to define love. You may be shocked to find the answer has a definite flesh tone. I need to add a proof picture about here. Why is it that the ratio of first time marriages and divorce are almost merging in the civilized and developed nations. No telling what it is in the undeveloped.
You do realize this is a Church bulletin, so you should expect a Bible passage to be inserted somewhere, and I expect the verses to be relevant to what I am trying to say. Ephesians 5 gives ample proof. God tells the husband two pertinent things. First He tells the husband to love his wife as himself. Sir, did you ever look at yourself in a mirror and vow that from now on your wife will be just as important as you are. Your wife will get something she needs every time you get something you need. She will go wherever you go (if she wants too.) Whatever you want will be equaled by whatever she wants. Half your total income is hers. Share and share alike, because you love her as you love yourself.
The second pertinent thing in Ephesians 5, is that we husbands should love our wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. Now, I hope you realize this is next to impossible. But, as it seems impossible, God put those words there and expects us to react in obedience. Back up a little. The first pertinent was to love our wife as our self. This seems impossible, but is possible and it requires commitment. It simply means that we wake up to the fact that we have a second part (two become one flesh!!) She is to be treated as part of you. You may have to make some big changes in your attitude and practice, to put your wife where God told you to put her. But, you have to do this your self. Now, back to the second pertinent. As Christ love the Church, and gave himself for it. Right, you cannot die on a cross for your wife. That would pretty well end the proposition. Look at the meaning of that passage. Jesus loved the church so much that he gave himself for itů Everything that Jesus did that we know about was on behalf of his church. He founded it upon himself, he builds it himself, he perfects it himself, he removes its blemishes and spots himself, he shed every drop of His blood and died for it. Do we realize that ultimately we glorify HIM!!! Read Ephesians 5 again. When we husbands love our wives as our self and as Christ loved his church, we will win. First, we will have a wife that truly loves us back doubly. We will have a wife that will equally enhance our partnership (I hate that word, but it fits only here.)
If your wife truly knows that you love her, and are treating her equally with yourself, and that you are committed to her welfare and existence then God will bless your obedience and will enable you to do that which may seem impossible. Your life being blessed by God, will reap all sorts of benefits.
By now you have about decided that I am nuts or that I am on to something that might work. It works!!! Wilda and I are a living example. She is the joy of my life on this earth and I haven't lost my freedom to be me.