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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