The Holy Bible
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor—since they're already "one" in marriage.
(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – Ephesians 5:25-28)
For those who are following these daily devotionals, I'm sure you are aware that I am intentionally and strategically reading through the entire Bible, a certain reference in the Old Testament and from the New Testament each day, therefore no scripture is left unread. This section of Ephesians is part of my strategic reading for today, so if you feel like I must have an issue with God-ordained relationships, please instead look inward, as God may be saying something to you about your particular relationship, or some other person to whom this was intended, because He is strategic in bringing scripture to us at very necessary times in our walk with Him! Also, this is not targeted at men, because the theme/subject obviously reads both wives and husbands. So with that disclosure behind me, let me share what I believe God is saying to us in this scripture. Marriages are encouraged and designed around the Bible and were always intended to be between a man and a woman. Husbands have a humongous responsibility in the family and particularly in marriage, as we will see clearly in this study today, but wives also have a great responsibility, and I shared more on that yesterday. I believe that when each are properly aligned with God's Word in their respective area of responsibility, the result is a happily married couple that represents God before all others who might be considering such a union, and before those who have gone sideways in their relationship. While wives have the responsibility of being submissive to her husband, husbands are ordered to be submissive to God, and to follow the same example of love, devotion and sacrifice shown by Him to the church. Friends, fellow husbands, I question how could we do this if we know not the One that we are supposed to imitate? Although this particular passage referenced above is pretty direct, we must know the mind of Christ in order to do those things that we believe that He would do, and the ways that He would react to circumstances that arise. When we bring two distinctly different genders together with all the various thoughts and beliefs about everything in life, I would dare say that it is God that keeps us on the same page and continuing to love one another in spite of our differences. The infatuation, bliss and lust that comes from young 'puppy' love will often last until the first disagreement or upset. The Corinthian 13 type love, and the love spoken of in this chapter of Ephesians, comes from two lives dedicated to God and desiring to serve Him and honor His Word, even in our marriages. Christ loved the church enough that He willingly and lovingly laid down His life for its survival and ongoing dedication to God. Husbands, are you willing to lay down the hunting, the bowling, the fishing, the play buddies, the extraordinary church responsibilities or the 80-hour week job, for the survival of your marriage and in order to show the ongoing love and devotion to your wife, like God showed, and continues to show to His church? Are you able to look deep within your marriage and find ways to make your wife shine in her holiness, in her happiness in being married to you, and stand tall among her friends in being your wife? These things don't automatically happen because you are the 'male' in the marriage. It is through your dedication to God and your ongoing dependence on Him, that you are able to overcome the pride of selfishness and instead look to raise up your wife, as Christ does for the church. I believe that a happy marriage is one built around the principles of God and His leadership. We need Him in our individual lives, and in our marriages. Do you know Him friend? Have you strayed away from Him and see the effects of it in your marriage? Please follow the tips in the 'Footnote' for help in resolving these issues. Jesus will return soon, and I want you to hear Him say 'Well done good and faithful servant' because of all that you have done to draw closer to Him and in building a happy and godly marriage!
Lord, You created us to worship You; to honor You and to follow in the example You set before us. Please touch Your children today, particularly our marriages, and help us to take our commitments seriously, one to another. Paul obviously saw issues in his day and addressed them in this scripture. Divorce rates are at an all-time high, so we know that there are deficiencies in our marriages today as well. Please help us to re-examine our personal relationships with You and better align our individual responsibilities with Your Word so that we may see happier marriages, loving families, growing churches and the lost won to You because of what they see in Your children. Fortunately the world sees hypocrisy in us much like You see, and they have therefore chosen to stay in their world of sin instead of following You or us. I am ashamed that this happens, because I know that the time is drawing close for Your return and only those who have accepted You will leave this earth with You. Please touch Your children once again today, and this year, so that we may not be a stumbling block to anyone seeking You. May they instead see Jesus in all that we are, so that they may welcome every opportunity to accept You and follow You. Please use even us to help grow Your kingdom, especially through our humble, obedient and respectful relationship with You and with each other. For all things are possible through Him who died that we might live eternally, and I ask these things in His name, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day's devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!
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