What a Woman Brings to Marriage
- Thursday, September 25, 2008
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases … Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him (Matthew 4:23-25).
"Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked. "Isn't this the carpenter's son? …" (Matthew 13:54b-55a).
"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19).
A woman's character can add to her husband's reputation and not subtract from it. Her sphere of influence in her husband's life is far more powerful than she realizes (some would even argue that a woman can "make or break" a man just by her words). Just as Jesus' example convincingly shaped how mankind viewed God, so can a woman's example help determine how others view her husband and his household.
A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones (Proverbs 12:4).
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land (Proverbs 31:23).
When Boaz spoke with Ruth for the first time (Ruth 2:8-12), he commented on her reputation: "I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before."
And later, when Ruth asked him for protection as her kinsman-redeemer, he said: "You are a woman of noble character" (3:11). Not only did Ruth rightly influence (not manipulate) Boaz in his decision to fulfill his kinsman obligation, but she also offered the invaluable gift of character (her reputation had proceeded her!) to her soon-to-be husband.
A Servant's Mindset and a Sacrificial Love
It is interesting in Scripture that Jesus always points out that his agenda is not his own. It is his Father's will that he serve and not be served. As the ultimate servant, he gave his life for us without complaining, "But this is my life!" Jesus kept serving without reservation and loving unconditionally, even when rejected.
"Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:26b-28).
In the same manner, and in fulfilling the command to love one another, a woman should be ready to serve her husband and not enter marriage so that she may be served. Or be made comfortable. Or happy.
Just as she offers herself as a living sacrifice to God, she knows that her life—her body—is not her own. And in marriage a woman offers all that she is to her husband, as they now belong to each other.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2).
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control (1 Corinthians 7:3-5).
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