The standard has been set. The bar has been raised. Men, we have been called out by a man named Paul who came from Tarsus. Will you answer the call or will you wimp out? We need to man up and be the “525 Man” our families and wives need us to be and the Bible calls us to be.
The Word of God tells us through the Apostle Paul,
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” Ephesians 5:25
Men, he is talking about you and me. We are called to love our wives as Christ loved the church. We have all heard the meaning of the word love that comes from the Greek word “Agape” which means a love-feast, to love with all we have. But I found the word in Hebrew for love, “Agab” to be equally compelling – “To breath after…” Think about that for a moment and it’s implications. We could go on for days about nothing but that. In fact, why don’t you consider what it would mean to be so closely tied to your wife that you breathed after her.
In scuba diving, you learn to “Buddy Breath”. This skill is necessary when you are diving and you or your partner “BUDDY” run out of air. What you do is one person breaths in through their regulator and then hands it to the other person so that they can breath. Each buddy has a firm grip on the buoyancy compensator of the other, so that you don’t float away. In this case, you are literally breathing after the person you are with. You are face to face, looking your partner in the eye. You have a firm grip on that person, your life depends on them not getting away. Just as they have a firm grip on you, because they don’t want you to get away from them. This is how we are to love and breath after our spouses – just like our lives depended on it.
So when we look at this and the statement “even as Christ loved the church…”, what does this mean today and how do we apply it today? Well, the passage is actually pretty clear – “… and gave himself for it.” The word gave means to surrender, yield up, entrust… We need to look a little closer to see exactly what Christ did for us, His church.
1. He came down off His throne, set down His royal crown and robe and became human. He began as a child in great humility. This means that maybe we need to get down off our high-horse and be humble. To seek to understand more than to be understood. To listen and truly care about the worries, concerns and cares of the people we are to care for.
2. He modeled purity. We didn’t want to go there, did we? Yes, that means what you think it means. We must be men who are open and honest and transparent. That means when we are alone, we model purity. When we are in public, we look away when the opportunity to lust presents itself. To think on a woman in a lustful manner is very similar to actually doing the act physically. We have to be better than that and we can only do that by seeking after Christ and being empowered by the Holy Spirit.
3. He modeled obedience to God. Obedience needs to become our obsession. We must seek the word of God and to walk it out. This isn’t easy guys but it is oh so necessary. How can we expect to have the life we have dreamed about and God has planned for us if we are not willing to live the life He has outlined in His word?
4. He led. Too often, we wimp out and abdicate our responsibility here. We are called to lead and lead we must – even when it means we have to give up something we would prefer to be doing. Our Buddy, who is breathing after us, is just too important, not to mention the family that usually comes along with it.
5. He taught. He was able to teach because He knew the word of God. Do you know the word of God? If not, begin today but don’t wait to begin teaching till after you have learned it all. You will never learn it all. Just begin with something simple. Maybe you choose to pick up a daily devotional and take today’s lesson and read the passage and the story that goes with it. Then, think about how it might apply to your life and the lives of your family and share that. It doesn’t have to be complicated or extensive. The word of God will do for you and them what you could never do on your own.
6. He provided. We know the story of the 5000 being fed with the few loaves and everything left over. He took what He had, asked God to bless and look how far it went??? What we will often miss in our own lives is we think we need to work endless hours and miss all the family stuff so that we can be adequate providers. But the truth is, our family really wants us more than they want anything we can provide and if we will just take what we have, give it to God to bless, He will do for us what we could never do for ourselves. God is in the multiplication business still today.
7. He kept His word to them. Whatever Jesus said He was going to do, He did. How many times have we been guilty of telling our spouses or kids something and not doing it. I have to tell you I was really bad about this. Men, we must be men of our word. It is better to say nothing than to commit to something we are unsure we can do. Our word and the keeping of it is something our family needs to be able to lean on without exception.
8. He empowered His Church. Jesus Christ promised that when he left to go back to the Father He would send them a Comforter, the Holy Spirit. He wanted to make sure they had all the things they needed. As husbands and fathers, we need to be empowering to our wives and children. They need to know that we are there for them and with them. They need to know that when things get tough, we have their backs. If we are busy teaching and instilling them with the things of God, this can give them a Holy Confidence that the rest of the world can’t touch. In order to do this, we need to make sure that we have that same confidence. We do this by becoming students of the Word of God and spend real quality time with God in prayer.
9. He healed the brokenhearted. This is found in Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18. As husbands and fathers, we know that there are going to be times when bad things happen. Our wife is going to lose someone close to them. Our kids are going to get their hearts broken in one of a multitude of ways. We need to be that person they can come to and talk to and we need to be really good listeners. We need to learn when to just hold them and let them cry. We need to know when to speak the life-affirming words of Jesus to them and over them. We need to be men of prayer with them and for them. Yes, pray right there and then with them in their pain. Cry out to God for them when they can’t. They will never forget it and God will always hear it.
We are going to continue this blog post tomorrow. I look forward to any comments or stories you may have to share.
2 Timothy 4:2,5