There’s a way to handle a woman, said the wise old man.
Simply love her.
~ From Camelot.
Earlier this month, Julie Sibert, of Intimacy In Marriage did an excellent post for wives on Three Ways To Like Sex (When You Hate Your Body). It was an excellent post, and as I read it, this song from Camelot came drifting back to my mind. You know that I have a problem with the way that the today’s church has twisted Paul’s instructions for husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church.
Yes, the church has absolutely transformed an exhortation to love into a cudgel to be used on husbands. But that doesn’t mean that its misuse is an excuse to excise Eph. 5:25 from our bibles or from our obligations as husbands. Sibert’s article sparked one way that we can fulfill this apostolic exhortation to love our wives.
When I read Sibert’s post, I realized that she had an important message for husbands, as well. I’m not going to rehash her post; you can go read it for yourself at the link I provided. But I do want you to think about her first point, and your role to be the person your wife trusts to tell her the truth about herself. To wives, she wrote, Listen to the Right Voice:
I get it [she wrote]. At every turn, society blares out what “beautiful” is. Magazine covers. The Internet. Clothing that leaves little to the imagination. Reality shows (how is it that this Bachelor show has even survived this long?!).
We are bombarded with what suffices for hot and what is relegated as not.
And she’s only right, you know, and not just about what our Cosmopolitan culture is saying on Beauty, either. Through so many different voices, through many different channels, our culture and society communicate so many lies to our wives, telling them that they aren’t worthy of love, that they don’t measure up to the current paragon of perfection being touted as today’s Ideal. And as the years go by, wives find themselves drifting further and further away from any hope of ever measuring up to that impossible Ideal.
Sibert’s first point, listing to the right voice? That should ring in your heart, because our task, as husbands, is to BE that right voice. Yes, I know that Sibert’s post went on to say that instead of accepting the world’s ideal of beauty, wives should instead be focusing on God’s ideal, that the Right Voice is God. And I agree with her, completely.
Guys, You Be The Right Voice, Too
I agree, except for one thing. As husband to Wife, Eph. 5:25 calls for me to love Wife like He does. And, believe it or not, it gives us guys a hint or two on how to do this. The next verse speaks of our obligation before God to care for our wives to the point of caring for her soul and spirit.
that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, (Eph. 5:26, ESV)
With so many destructive voices, some very enticing, calling to our wives, we husbands need to be the voice that speaks love and worth into their hearts.
Does she hear messages that say she’s not good enough to be loved, let her know that you believe that she is. Jesus died for her, and you can live for her.
Does she hear voices that say say that she’s not beautiful enough, let her know that she is beautiful in your eyes.
Does she hear voices that her past makes her unforgivable, be the voice that speaks forgiveness to her heart.
I know that you have all heard the parable of the talents, and have heard it applied to your spouse. “God gave you his daughter”, the parable goes; “what have you done for His child to help fit her for Heaven?”
Our task, as husbands, is to be the voice that counteracts all those others that seek to drown out God’s voice and communicate love, delight, and hope for the duration of her “til death us do part.”
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
And speak tenderly to her.
And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.”
~ Hosea 2:14-15a