You husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church (Ephesians 5:25).
Through the years God has reminded me again and again of my accountability according to Ephesians 5:25: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" (NIV).
I am to love Vonette as Christ loved the Church -- sacrificially.
My priorities in life are to first to God, to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength; second is Vonette, my present and eternal valentine; and next are the children, other members of the family and then our ministry to the world.
Marriage is something one must work at. The romance and the bloom of the wedding day soon passes and attempts at adjustments can lead to conflicts and misunderstandings unless both husband and wife take seriously the command of God to enter into the sacred bond of marriage with total commitment. This Vonette and I have sought to do, though our marriage has not been without some conflict -- misunderstandings typical of the average marriage. But most of those negative experiences come when I have failed to love Vonette sacrificially as Christ loved the Church. Most problems in the marriage begin with the husband.
As Vonette has often said, and I agree, no woman would hesitate to follow a man who truly loves her as Christ loved the Church. If men loved in this manner, most marital problems would disappear.
Vonette and I have had 53 wonderful years of marriage, but had we not been spiritually minded, had we not both sought the will of the Lord, it would have been a disaster. Vonette is a very strong-willed woman and I too am very strong willed. Each of us naturally has tended to want our own way and do our own thing. But from even during our engagement period before the wedding ceremony we determined that with the help of the Holy Spirit
we would seek first the kingdom of God and we would each invite our Lord Jesus to direct our lives and our marriage.
He is the one who has preserved us through the years and will continue to do so as we walk in the Spirit and invite His control of our thoughts, attitudes, actions, motives, desires and words.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.