Husbands get the wives they prepare for themselves based on Ephesians 5:26–27:
That [Christ] might sanctify and cleanse [the church] with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
This is discussing what Christ does with His, Bride, the Church. Since the context is marriage, it’s also explaining what husbands should do with their wives. Christ “sanctifies and cleanses” His bride, so husbands should sanctify and cleanse their brides. This makes a husband at least partially responsible for his wife’s sanctification.
Just as Christ gets the church He prepares for Himself, so husbands get the wives they prepare for themselves
There is a tremendous truth contained in these words. Christ does what He does in verse 26—sanctifying and cleansing the church—so that He can obtain for Himself the glorious church, or bride, described in verse 27 that “has no spot or wrinkle but is holy and without blemish.” The simplest way to say it is: Christ gets the church He prepares for Himself.Continue reading Husbands get the wives they prepare for themselves
Giving correction is vitally important to the health and joy of marriages, families, churches, businesses, teams, etc. You name it – any group or organization that involves relationships – requires giving correction.
Why is that? We’re sinners. We sin against others and others sin against us. We have to be able to give correction to others, and we have to allow others to correct us. Here are three reasons this is so important!
1. Giving correction protects against bitterness.
When people sin against us, it can create an offense. We have to talk to the person that upset us. The alternative allows bitterness to develop, and it can have far-reaching consequences:
Hebrews 12:15b Lest any root of bitterness spring up causing trouble, and by this many become defiled.
Thursday I went skiing. I can’t wait until I can move again. When I was growing up my friends and I had cheap snowboards and we used to climb local mountains and pretend like we actually had talent. At the mountain I was trying to remember – as I had lots of time to think lying on the snow looking up at the stars, wondering whether I wanted to get up and fall again – and I think I only went one time to a real park and snowboarded. I brought my cheap snowboard, but the bindings broke. I took it to the repair place on the grounds and they fixed it, but then I broke it again and had to rent a board. That summarizes my previous snowboarding/skiing experience; therefore, Thursday constituted my first time ever skiing. I hope that’s the case anyway, because I don’t think it’s possible to be as bad as I was on your second time.
You’re thinking, “You couldn’t have been THAT bad.” Let me put it in perspective: I fell getting off the lift. My ski came off. They had to stop the machine. Malyna was nice enough to get my ski for me so I could put it back on. I thought, “Maybe nobody from our church saw me.” Then I looked over and saw all the youth were waiting for me so we could go down together. That was cool. There are a lot of words I could use to describe my experience on Thursday, but the word I’d choose is humbling.
Humbling experiences are great for us. They destroy our pride and flesh, and they give us wonderful memories to help us in the future when we start to look down on others, become self-righteous, think more of ourselves than we should, etc. All we need to do then is think back about the time we fell off the ski lift, or the time we got pinned in wrestling in front of the whole school, or the time we forgot to print all our notes for the sermon and didn’t realize it until we were in front of the whole church, and the list goes on. These humbling and even painful situations allow us to sympathize with others and extend grace to them when they go through things. Paul said something along these lines that God comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (2 Cor 1:4). In other words, painful and humbling situations helps us treat others as wonderfully as God has treated us.
A few weeks ago a local Christian camp sent me an e-mail about a free stay at their grounds to hopefully stir up some business (they hoped I’d end up sending our church to stay with them). Katie and I celebrated our six-year anniversary on Aug 5th, so we were able to have a nice little vacation away while checking out the camp. This was the first time since our honeymoon the two of us have been away by ourselves and it was wonderful!
Speaking of marriage, I started rethinking a part of last Sunday’s sermon. I said something along the lines of, “Don’t expect your spouse to change. Instead focus on learning to accept the things you want to see changed.” I thought more about this comment (actually, Katie said something to me about it), which made me feel like I should’ve said it differently. The issue for me came down to sanctification, or the reality that all of us should be changing throughout our Christian lives into the image and likeness of Christ. Saying people don’t change in marriage is difficult to reconcile with sanctification…even though experience tells me people don’t often change the way their spouses want. It’s sort of been my experience when marriages improve, it has more to do with people becoming more accepting of each other, extending more grace, exhibiting more forgiveness, etc than it has to do with individuals changing. Although, you could make the case that being more forgiving, gracious, etc is changing. It’s just that the person changing is the one who wants to see the other person change…if that makes sense.
Katie reminded me that during our marriage I’ve changed a lot (hopefully she meant for the better), and I know she’s changed a lot over these six years (all for the better). So I feel like my statement was too strong and possibly even discouraging. I’d still encourage people to learn to accept the parts of their spouses they want to see change though. I think most married couples would be happier if they didn’t focus on trying to change their spouses, but instead focused on the good things about them. The only difference is I wouldn’t sound so negative regarding people changing, because hopefully all of us are changing regularly in our Christian lives as God works on us.