Loving as Jesus Christ Loved the Church: Being a Godly Husband
- Wednesday, January 24, 2007
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But the men conveniently glossed over the verses that followed.
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God's word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.
As the Scriptures say, A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
I had always wondered exactly what Paul meant in Ephesians when he wrote that husbands are to love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. I thought it was a lovely little metaphor and a nice goal to shoot for but I did not believe it to be possible. Bob Flickner messed up the curve for me. I left Bob and Susan's house after one memorable visit with that Scripture passage reverberating through my thick noggin. I had just seen the working model of how a husband can love his wife like Christ loved the church. Bob had more impact with his simple acts of love than 10,000 words of a beautifully crafted sermon could ever have in my life.
And maybe that will be the biggest lesson I have learned from Bob as I attempt to finish strong as a husband, father, and friend. We live in a world full of noise and words and self promotion. Actions validate words. Bob Flickner's actions, the way he loved and cared for his bride over many trying months, demonstrated that he truly depended on God. I cannot begin to describe his spirit, dignity, and grace through adversity that would have caused many of us to crumble like a house of cards.
We often criticize "bad Christians" by saying things like "your actions speak so loud I can't hear a word you are saying". With Bob Flickner I would say that "his actions spoke so loudly that I couldn't ignore what he was saying." And that is the lesson for all of us. If we truly trust God and follow Him we will make a difference. You don't need to be gifted and glib. You just need to be godly. And others will see Jesus through you. I am grateful for my friend Bob and for his wonderful family.
Dave Burchett is an Emmy Award winning television sports director, author, and Christian speaker. He is the author ofWhen Bad Christians Happen to Good People and Bring'em Back Alive: A Healing Plan for those Wounded by the Church. You can reply by linking through daveburchett.com
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