The Bible says, “let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband” (Eph. 5:33). And far too many Christians think that what they just heard was for miscellaneous spouses to be nice to each other. But that’s not what it said. The Lord says that husbands must love their wives as themselves, and wives must respect or reverence their husbands. And some of you think I just said that husbands and wives should love each other. But that’s not what it says. The Bible gives different assignments to husbands and wives. God says that if you are a man and you are married, you are required to love your wife as yourself. And God says that if you are a woman and you are married, you are required to respect your husband.
Many Christians are complementarian in name only. They say that they believe that the differences between men and women, male and female matter. They say that they are not egalitarians. They say that they believe in the headship of a husband and the submission of a wife to his leadership, and then many husbands proceed to respect their wives and many wives proceed to love their husbands. But that is not what it says to do. It’s like James says, you look at yourself in a mirror and then walk away and five minutes later don’t remember what you look like, don’t remember the assignment. And it really is disobedience. We are required to not merely be hearers of the Word but also doers of the word, otherwise we are lying to ourselves. But obedience really is the perfect law of liberty.
Many women love their husbands, and they wonder why things are not going better in their marriage. But they are disobeying God’s clear instructions. He did not say to love your husband. God said to respect him, look up to him, thank him, honor him, ask him for counsel and obey it. Many men respect their wives; they really do think highly of them, and they wonder why things are not going better in their marriage. The reason is you are disobeying God’s clear instructions. He did not say to respect your wife. God said to love your wife as your own body. Sacrifice yourself, lay down your comfort for her comfort, give careful thought for her care, think about what she needs for her good, just as Christ has loved the Church.
Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash
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