Today I am having my first guest blogger. I'm so excited! Hollie is a dear friend of mine that I have asked to guest post today. Here is what Hollie has to say to us today:
Most conservative, Christian women are very familiar with the Ephesians 5 command to submit to your husband ("Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." -Ephesians 5:22). There's a lot that goes into submitting to one's husband, and to be sure much has already been said on this subject. In recent weeks the Lord has brought a specific aspect of this command to my attention. Personal study, my pastor's sermons, and a study I am doing with a friend all converged toward one main point: love.
I believe many women just assume they love their husband. When asked, of course, they would affirm they do love their men! But are they really loving them ... in a Biblical way? The Scriptures give a very specific definition of love:
"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
If you look closely at this list, it is very detailed and exact. Are you long-suffering and patient with your spouse? Or do you nag, complain, and expect him to be on the same page with you instantly in all situations? Do you ever behave rudely or sarcastically toward your spouse? Do you seek your own way over and above what is best for him? Do you guard your mind and put to death evil or mean-spirited thoughts about him? Do you trust him, or accuse him? Do you encourage him?
If you're anything like me and you're being honest, you will have to answer "no" to quite a few of those. Of course, we can never love our husbands perfectly. We can't even get close to this list without the Holy Spirit's help. But we need to try! As Christians, we ought to love Christ's law as much as He does. Loving our husbands is a choice we need to be proactive about making. It does not "just happen." Look at that list of qualities in the verse above. All of those qualities are actions, they are not warm, fuzzy, romantic feelings. (There's nothing wrong with romance, but it shouldn't be confused with the Biblical definition of love). I love this example from the book The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace that demonstrates how love is truly a choice:
Just how much of a choice agapao love can be seen in the example of a wife who becomes angry at her husband. As the intensity of her anger increases, she begins to scream and throw things. In the midst of all this mayhem, the doorbell rings. She goes to the door and opens it to find their pastor. She smiles and him and cheerfully says, "Hello." It is not likely that she felt kindly disposed. (Note: Whether or not she was truly showing agape love would depend on her outward actions and her motives.) However, she (at least outwardly) chose to show her love to her Pastor since "love is kind, and love is not rude" (1 Corinthians 13:4). The point is that this wife could have chosen to show love her husband as she did her pastor whether she felt like it or not! (p. 82)
True, that may be a somewhat extreme example. Maybe you aren't screaming and throwing things at your husband. But how does your posture, tone of voice, body language, etc. change when you talk or interact with other people compared to how it is when you interact with your husband? These were things about which I had not given much thought. I had just fallen into mindless routines and habits. Thankfully, there are some small, practical ways to work on loving are husbands more like Christ loves us.
- I would first suggest memorizing 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, committing to memory what the Lord considers love to be is vital. We need to fill our heads and hearts with His definition, not the world's.
- Each week, month, or however often you prefer, pick a specific quality out of the list in 1 Cor. 13:4-7 and work on it.
- Ask your husband for input! I did this with my spouse and the feedback I got was wonderful and very helpful.
- Pray! Ask the Spirit to convict you of ways you are not loving your man, and to give you the discipline and strength to put those sins to death.
I truly believe learning to love our husbands Biblically will allow us to better submit, respect, and encourage our men. This is why we were created! Is there a better way to glorify God than doing what He designed us for?
I want to thank Hollie for taking my offer to share on my blog. We've been friends sometime now via internet and she's a blessing and sweet friend. Isn't what she said so true? I know it convicted me in areas and I am thankful for her thoughts on this topic.
Dermer Family blog.
Dermer Family blog.