As we were discussing in my post prior this, this is no easy task. To love, as Christ loved the church, is a very tall order. We discussed much of what that looks like in the other post and today there is more.
1. He broke the chains of oppression that binds the broken. Again, this a reference to Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18. This applies to us in that we are called to make sure that our families, who may come from diverse and very broken backgrounds, are set free from the past patterns and hang-ups that destroyed previous generations. You can call it breaking the generational curses if you want. The only way they can soar like eagles is by having those chains to the past cut away. We must do that for our wives. We must get to know them so well that we know them better than they know themselves and then be the men God has called us to be in their lives – living by example is a powerful tool that has chain-breaking power beyond what the world can understand.
2. He set the prisoners free. Sometimes the chains can be cut but the prisoner still remains in his or her cell. They are free but they live like an inmate. The stone may have been rolled away but the person who has been given new life still remains in the cave. This requires that we lead them out. We let them know that the past is not important – Paul tells us this in a way that has really stuck with me…
“…this one thing I do, forgetting what lays behind me and reaching forward to what lies ahead…” Phil 3:13
So, leaving the past in the past is important. When God forgives it, He forgets it. We must do the same and help the ones we love to be set free and then walk in that freedom.
3. He was compassionate. Are you? The challenge for too many of us is that we are fixers more than we are listeners. We want people to get to the point so that we can go about making it better. Sometimes we won’t be able to make it better by anything we do, unless we just choose to be there and listen, comfort and listen some more. Maybe we just need to hold the one’s we love till our arms stop working. This is real compassion.
4. Jesus was authentic. He cried with the people He loved because He was being real – they hurt, so therefore, He hurt with them. Do you? It’s ok to feel their pain to the point it makes you cry.
5. He was giving. His time was a gift and so is yours. If you give them enough quantity of time, there will be plenty of quality time to go around.
6. He went out of his way for one person. Lazarus, the woman at the well and the maniac of Gadares are all such examples. As men, we need to be willing to go out of the way for the woman in our lives that we swore before God to love and to cherish.
7. He cared about the children. This should go without saying but it can’t. If they don’t see us loving them, keeping our word to them and giving ourselves to them, how are they ever going to learn what is supposed to be or even look like? From what they see on TV? I certainly hope not. We need to be the example by being present in their lives – teaching them, playing with them, blessing them, giving them our time, our lives and our hearts.
8. He gave those He loved beauty for ashes. For a woman, beauty can be seen in the security she feels knowing that the one she gave her life to is there for her. She is more beautiful when she has confidence in her man that she is the most important thing in his life and she knows that she can trust him with her heart. The ashes is what the world leaves behind when it is done using you up. A good husband replaces those ashes with the beauty of his heart that he places in the hands of his wife for life.
There is more but I am going to stop here and ask you a question – Does any of this describe you? If it does, then great. If it doesn’t, then be assured that there is hope as long as you are still breathing and you can turn it all around. Jesus gave us an impossible standard to fully meet but He also gave us His Holy Spirit that can empower us to do the impossible. If you will simply choose one or two of these characteristics today and commit the next week to focus walking it out – you will be amazed at the response. Then the following week, pick out one more and so on.
Let me give you a word of caution here: Your goal is to just give without regard to whether she notices or does anything in return. Your relationship may be in such turmoil that she doesn’t notice yet. That’s ok. Just keep giving and remember it’s not about you, this is a command from Jesus Christ and part of the marriage covenant you made before God Almighty.
I want you to pass this message on to as many others this Valentine’s Day Season. When we love our wives as Christ loved the church, giving our lives to them and for them, breathing after them, then we not only honor them, we honor God. He gave us an incredible gift, a wife, that is precious beyond words. Our lives need to be dedicated to cherishing that gift. Are you up for this challenge, men? It will change your life more than just about anything else you can do.
Be a 525 Man today!
2 Timothy 4:2,5
One of the reasons I researched and wrote this was so I could come to a better understanding what Jesus expected of me. I do not pretend to be all that these posts say to be. My goal is to become the man that God intended me to be and when He blesses me with the opportunity again (Yes, I have been married and it failed. If I had known and acted then as I know to do today, I believe things would have been very different.) to receive the gift of a wife, I can seek to be a 525 Man myself by the power of the Holy Spirit. So, as you look at the last two days worth of posts and see the incredibly high standard that Jesus has set for us I want you to become inspired by it. Inspired to strive for it. Jesus would never ask us to do anything that He didn’t also enable and empower us to achieve. Imagine what our world would be like today if more men became like the example depicted in these posts. I believe it would turn the world upside down. I believe families would be restored. I believe our children would have a future altogether different than the one they currently see being played out before them. I look forward to hearing your comments and thoughts on all of this. Happy Valentines Day!