Wives and Husbands

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:22-27 ESV)

This will be my last post this week. My wife and I are traveling from our home in the Kansas City area to Oklahoma City for a week. While there we will be renewing our vows. Our 25th wedding anniversary is the 19th. We will be having the ceremony at the chapel on the campus of the University from which I graduated in 1985. My children have arranged and set up everything. They have also got us two nights in a Victorian Bed and Breakfast in Guthrie, Oklahoma. I should be back home sometime next Monday the 23rd. I don’t think I will have time to write, post or moderate much for the next week, but I will try to check Possessing the Treasure to make sure everything is okay when I can.

In the mean time, I would just like to take this time to encourage each one reading this with Paul’s exhortation to husbands and wives from his Epistle to the Ephesians. None of us are perfect. The environment of a husband and wife living under the same roof is ripe for conflict. That is, it is if one or both of them are selfish, self-centered and looking out for number one. These things poison a marriage. My mom and dad are in their eighties and have been married since 1945. Probably the number one thing I learned from that marriage is that selflessness is vital to a healthy marriage. This is not selflessness by one party and selfishness by the other. If both seek the best for the other in all things, with a determination to love the other by choice, not feelings, then that marriage will be healthy. Notice, I did not say anything about money or possessions or children or a job. These are part of any marriage, but they are not what makes the marriage. Children are blessings from God, but they do not necessarily make a marriage healthy automatically. I love my children, but I love my wife more.

How can we do this? Having a deep personal relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ is key. Married Christians who are growing unto Christlikeness will also treat their spouses as Jesus would. I heard a pastor say once that he was counseling a woman who was complaining about her marriage because it was full of conflict. The pastor then asked this question, “Do you think your spouse would be in this conflict with Jesus?” She was stunned and replied, “No, of course not.” So, if we treat our spouses as Jesus would, will we struggle with hurt feelings, anger over harsh words, or worry about everything?

Finally, love the Lord your God with your whole mind, your whole heart and with your entire being. Give Him your all then watch how all of your relationships, including your marriage, become subject to Him.

In Christ

Mike Ratliff

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13 thoughts on “Wives and Husbands

  1. God bless your time with your family and enjoy the time away. I pray for a safe journey for you and your family. I pray that God goes before you and is glorified in your ceremony and all that you do! Have a great time and we’ll miss you for a week :o)

  2. Mike,

    May the presence and joy of the Lord fill your week and renewal ceremony. My wife and I had been married about 5 years when I was born again back in 73. I had not been a very good husband and one of the first things Jesus began dealing with my heart was about changing that and being the best husband I could be. What He impressed on my heart was that the one of the greatest measures of my love for Him would be in how I loved my wife. He has had to remind me of this a few times over these past 33 years but by far we have had a loving and supportive marriage. You are right about selflessness being vital to a healthy marriage. And I would add to that be quick to forgive. Judy and I have never allowed any disagreement extend for any period of time. Peace in our marriage and family has always been a priority for both of us. I trust the Lord will give you and your wife many more loving and joyful years together.

    Your brother in Chirst

    Loddie

  3. Loddie, my brother in Christ,

    Thank you for your blessing and may the Lord continue to bless you and Judy with a joyous, God glorifying marriage. You are right about the forgiveness. We could not stay married very long in a giving relationship without that could we? You have a blessed week as well my brother.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  4. It gives me great joy and encouragement to read of this trip for you and your wife. May God be glorified!

  5. Good post. Many good thoughts. I often think of Eph. 5 and Paul’s admonition to “wash our wives in the Word”. What a remarkable priviledge it is to open the Word with our wives and seek God’s face together as He grows us in the faith!

  6. David,

    Yes, that is a special joy to fellowship in the Word with my wife. To see her exhult in her God is an awesome experience for me. Thanks for bringing this to light. Very good comment.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  7. Hapy 25th Aniversary to you and your dear wife Mike!
    I pray for a safe journey and a wonderful celebration of 25 years!
    I was listening to someone share about a documentary coming in the next few months. One of the stories was about a husband and wife being married for 60 years and someone commented on how “Lucky” they were to be married that long. The wife answered “It was not luck that kept us together, it was commitment, it was Love , it was work at times”

    and I will add for the christian, it was God and our commitment to Him also. Folks now a days take marriage lightly, even christians I’m sad to sad.

    I thank the Lord when I hear 25 years, 50 years and God willing 60 years and I praise the couples that take that commmitment forever. I pray the next 25 years will be a great blessing to you both!

    Look forward to your blog on your return.

    Cristina

  8. Cristina,

    Thanks Cristina. Yes, without God sustaining us and our committment and love it would be impossible. My wife and I know a lady who has been married over 10 times. Only one of those marriages lasted more than a couple of years. Most of them lasted about a month. We marvel at her. Yes, it takes work to stay together, but we are committed and our Lord sustains us. We are committed for life.

    PS I didn’t notice the typos because your message was perfect. :-)

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  9. Mike,
    Congratulations on 25 glorious years of marriage. May God strengthen your marriage for many years more to glorify Himself on this earth.

    We will be celebrating 19 years of marriage this year. In the 19 years I can not say everything has been fun, and pleasant. But I can say that God in His sovereignty led me to marry the very man I married, and His will is being accomplished in each of our lives as we spur one another on to good works and deeds, by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. We are maturing together on this pilgrimage of becoming Christ-like. This is the purpose of marriage.

    Marriage while can be extremely wonderful is not about us. It is as all of life is, about GOD! He desires for us to be sanctified and conformed into the image of His Son. Marriage is the perfect work space for God, because our sinful and wicked hearts are revealed so readily. There are none of us who enter marriage in our own strength with a perfect heart that is willing to lay down his/her own desires and prefer the others needs above our own. This takes Christ breaking, molding, and renewing our minds. Even those of us who have walked with the Lord for several years find ourselves drawing lines in the sand…because “I have a right/need.”

    I am so thankful to have a husband who desires to love God with his whole heart, and do God’s will above all. I am glad he chooses Christ first. I am also glad he washes me with the pure water of the Word. Together may our lives magnify the One who set us free from the bonds of sin, and has purified us with His blood.

    Mike, thank you for continuing to be faithful to the call God has placed on your life here. God bless you, your wife, and your children.

    Boy have I missed this place!!

  10. Bruisedreed,

    Marriage sure teaches us much about God and His ways doesn’t it? When we partner with our “partners” in seeking God in all we do it sure makes a difference. I see that you have learned that one well. :-) You have been missed my dear sister in Christ!

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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