Oh How I Love You!
Continued – Part Three
A good wife isn’t rude to her husband, isn’t self-centered, doesn’t get angry easily, and isn’t suspicious. She is as polite and respectful to her husband as she would be to the king; she treats him with the same care and attention as she gives herself because they two are one; she is as patient with him as she wants him to be with her; and she always expects the best from him, as she naturally does of herself.
Since mortal marriage is a picture of Mashiach[i]’s relationship to the Church and the Church’s relationship to Mashiach, a wife who loves the Lord will cooperate with her own husband in the Lord. Of course, if he asks her to sin, she will meekly, humbly, and with love refuse. She will treat him with respect, love, co-operation[ii], and awe that are a good demonstration of the Church’s behavior toward Mashiach. She won’t be manipulated by her husband’s behavior – she will be responsible for her own emotions and reactions. She will not try to supervise her husband’s reactions in order to control any given situation in her marriage; she will subjugate to her own emotions and reactions and prayerfully leave her husband’s in the capable hands of the Lord to work in his own way and time.
She will recognize the power and right of God to work in her life and in her marriage as he wills. She will reject her own tendency to try to direct the situation – she will reject any thought of her own rights and remember the high price paid for her redemption, who it was that created her, and from whence she came. She will recognize God’s right and mercy in training her to look for lessons to learn and strengths to gain in each new trial. She will not be envious of another Christian’s lot because she knows that, no matter how it looks to her, every Christian has his own proving ground on which he learns to lean on God and trust his guidance. Each trial is tailor-made to suit each child of God. He knows what we need and will give it to us – so the good wife will live as she is called to live and thank God for her own proving ground. She is in training for holiness and will practice for holiness so faithfully – with love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control – that whenever occasion to sin arises – naturally and without deliberation – she knows what to do and does it with ease and expertise. An angry and unreasonable husband may be the training tool of the Holy Spirit. It may be the environment he uses to get the good wife to practice regularly, systematically, ad habitually until holiness is dominate, natural, and easy. Practice will etch the pattern of holiness permanently into her life. It is on this proving ground that she will find the rest Paul speaks of in the fourth chapter of the letter to the Hebrews. She will sow discipline, reap righteousness, and acquire peace.
This does not mean a couple can have a happy marriage without the cooperation of the husband, but the wife can be happy in the Lord without her husband’s cooperation.
A happy marriage; however, requires the full involvement of both partners. Most of the things that make a good wife also make a good husband with a lot more required of the husband, as in our relationship with the Lord; he accepts the greatest responsibility.
The Bible says it is required of a steward that he be found faithful and the husband is the guardian of his wife’s affections, possessions, and life. He is to love his wife as Mashiach[iii] loved the Church and gave himself for it. When he sees that his wife has feet of clay he will say, with the prophet of old, “and now, O Lord, thou art our Father; we are the clay and thou art the potter…” recognizing that he is also clay.
A good husband will watch out for his wife’s spiritual well-being and if she starts to stumble on the track, he will guide her back to a steady run, gently and humbly with a forgiving spirit. He will be in control of and responsible for his own actions to emotions and events, controlled by the Spirit. His love will be a good picture of Mashiach’s love for the Church.
Marriage is an exclusive union, toward each other and away from parents – both must let go. It is a private union of a male and female, no other included. It is an effective union, the two shall become one – he the head and she the body – neither can survive without the other. They are one flesh, a single organism. Couples must cleave tightly to each other emotionally, physically, psychologically, and spiritually. The Almighty God said it should be permanent – enduring, and he is the only one who can make it so with the cooperation of both parts of the whole. Divorce is a dismembering of a living being.
A good husband will be patient and tolerant of his wife’s weakness and lack of knowledge. He will please her when he is able. He will be concerned for her spiritual improvement, patiently using the comfort of the Scriptures to give her hope so God will be glorified in their collective life.
A good husband requires accountability from his wife and assumes she expects his behavior will also be trustworthy. They are patient and supportive of one another, encouraging and cooperating with each other. They are unselfish and honest with each other and demonstrate mercy, kindness and patience toward each other; in love forgiving and comforting other. They will not want to grumble about or to each other; but, rather show understanding and compassion. They will be faithful, affectionate, and thoughtful in every aspect of live. They will dwell together in the conditions God has placed them in and cultivate faithfulness together. They will think not as “he and me” or “she and me” but “Us” or “We”.