When you hold your marriage up to a mirror what do you see? What should you see?
The image I pray to see is that of the image of Christ and his relationship to the church. He set the example for us to follow. Unselfish sacrificial love and devotion is the height of the bar.
The book of Ephesians in chapter 5 puts it in God's words. Some of the words your about to read have fueled our culture to become quite upset. Sometimes the truth is hard to take, but it's still the truth.
Here we go. Eph 5: 22-24 "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."
What proceeds verse 22 in 21 is this; "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."
Ok, husbands pay attention. God has a command for us. Eph 5:25-27 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless."
My love letter to you.....
This is a very hard letter to write, I am struggling to find the words. I know you don't know me but I am all too familiar with you. I hope you will hear my heart as I share with you the impact you have had on my life and my marriage. Please bear with me as I preface this letter by giving you a glimpse of what my world has looked liked........
Even though you may see your husband moving forward on his journey towards deliverance, sometimes it is difficult to see him as God sees him. I can relate all too well. We tend to see through eyes of the past. We see through distorted lenses. We see through the pain, the tears, the memories.
"I cry out to God, I run to Him in my pain, frustration and even shame. I just can't seem to get it all together. Why God, why can't you just "fix" me? Can't you just remove those ugly things deep in my heart that seem to still be there, forever a part of who I am? Lord Jesus, there is this battle, a struggle raging inside of my soul. I see the woman I WANT to be, the one I desire to be and I am so very far from that. She is buried beneath the hurts and insecurities. I thought you and I together had conquered these things once and for all, but here I am, finding myself in this cave of despair AGAIN. There are days when it seems the harder I try, the worse it gets. As if the ground that I had gained was all but lost and I find myself back at the beginning of it all. Old feelings, thoughts of the lies, the betrayal. They weigh heavy upon my soul like a weight with no mercy."
Have you ever had similar thoughts? You are NOT alone, my friend!
My home fellowship group has been doing a study on the gospel of Mark this year. As I was preparing for our lesson this week, I read the section in Mark where Christ is about to go to the Cross. One of the sections of that lesson talks about how important Jesus’ sacrifice really is. We cross-referenced other verses to study the point.
Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (The Message)
Jesus gave everything to us in order that we might have a life that is impossible for us otherwise. The verses go on in Ephesians.
Don't allow love to turn into lust, setting off a downhill slide into sexual promiscuity, filthy practices, or bullying greed. (The Message)
Ephesians 5: 8-10
You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You're out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it. (The Message)
We are bombarded with so many messages and so many images from television, from movies, and from the internet. We don’t take big steps into the darkness, but instead we slide into it. Every day I need to remind myself that I need to focus on “the good, the right, the true.”