I am so thankful to have my wife,
My true companion, and best friend,
I am so thankful to have my wife,
My true companion, and best friend,
I want to share with you scripture that shows us how to treat each other. In it, we find 4 action steps that show how to approach one another daily.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church– for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Give Yourself Up for Her
There is nobody else on this planet that is more important than your wife. As a man, it is your job to give yourself up for your wife in order to make her holy. It’s not about you anymore. Just like Jesus made it not about himself. He made it all about you.
We have to realize that it is about giving up your selfish desires and devoting yourself to her so that she is separate from all others.
Wash your wife with the Word. Many times Audrey says to me that she is struggling reading the Bible or that she wants a “scripture of the week” to help motivate more reading and learning. This is a clear callout for action. She wants me to be the man that I am called to be in Ephesians 5. She wants me to cleanse her with the Word by sharing with her and relating it to our world around us.
Present your wife as a Holy and blameless person. Build her up when you communicate with your peers. Don’t joke about arguments or personality quirks. It’s not funny. She has to be presented as someone who is above any other human on earth. She is your wife. She mothers and otherwise spends so much time with your kids. In doing so, she unselfishly devotes her life to raising them appropriately. Be a good man then and speak well of her. She deserves it.
In the end, it’s all about love. The definition of love is Christ. Pay close attention to His actions and His words in the Bible. Make sure to recognize how he treats his disciples and other followers (the church). When you read the Bible with purpose, many times scripture will jump off the page and affect your thought patterns in the future. I pray that this happens to you as a result of reading this reflection of Ephesians 5.
In my life…
As a final note, I need to do a better job at loving my wife. I need to have compassion in times of weakness. I need to be more diligent about having empathy. I should passionately seek ways to improve our communication. I should pray more. I should seek out moments where she really needs me to step up and be the man she wants me to be. I should cleanse her with the Word. I should build her up around peers and not joke about any inadequacies that I think she has.
And so it starts…
My wife is awesome. She shows our children how to love and how to behave. She is ademate about preparing meals for us. She ensures that the kids are healthy. She notices little “bad” things that our son does and nips them in the bud so that those little things don’t become monsters. She’s incredible at noticing details. She keeps the house clean and keeps me in check.
She is a true friend, and I don’t know where I would be without her.
There are many pathways to creating great children. Great people can sometimes rise from the worst possible parenting and have an everlasting positive influence on people around them. Take Joyce Meyer, for example, who was abused all her life but has become one of the most trusted sources in the Christian community and invests time in showing women how to break boundaries. She is a true hero; I learn from each message she delivers.
Abuse is definitely not the correct way to parent, however, and most people that are put in those situations as children abandon their parents and live lost lives restricted to their memories of affliction and torment.
On the flip side, my wife is an awesome human being. She encourages our children and shows them what it is to love through service, affection, and doing things that are fun for them. Just before our first son Clay was born, she wanted to display why I was going to be a great father. I was really moved.
Here is what she had to say :
Each of us can learn from my wife’s words and soak up the different things that we ought to do to be awesome fathers. Having a servant’s heart is huge, praying for your family, undeniably important. Making your wife a priority each and every day, and openly communicating schedules and desires is an absolute must. There is no doubt that her words of wisdom run deep, and a preacher could make a sermon (or even a series of sermons) on each point.
I encourage you to go through the list one more time but replace “you” with “I”. See how it transforms you into a better mindset. Walking through this list at least weekly will definitely keep my priorities straight with my family.
Numbers 1 through 9 are reasons that any man would make a great father. The one reason that motivates me the most, however, is #10. The reason that I am a great father to my children is because I am me. Simply put, there is no substitute for who I am. There are only a couple of roles in my life in which there is absolutely no substitute, being a husband to my wife and a father to my kids.
Make a Decision
In a life full of demands from outside circumstances that seem to pull us away from the family, we have to decide on how we are going to spend our time. And if we find ourselves spending less and less time with our family, our family is growing without us, apart from us. We have to make a lifestyle decision so that our family is a priority, not the leftover. Family time is absolutely crucial to growing together into one unit.
Let’s face it…
You can be replaced in any position you have on earth. If you’re a teacher like me, there is another teacher out there that can replace you. If you’re a coach, replaceable. Even if you are doing the Lord’s work and must be away from home to spread the word of the gospel, you are replaceable. The only unique roles that you have in your life is that you are a husband to your wife and father to your children.
There is no substitute for “Daddy”
Even God in Heaven does not want you to claim someone else as Daddy. We are jealous of that title and rightly so. I urge you to please take time to watch and/or listen to this thirty minute message from Andy Stanley on making Breathing Room (Part 4 of series). If you don’t have 30 minutes, you can always download the podcast through your phone and listen on the way to work.
So what are you going to do, Daddy?
It’s time to make priorities in your life. Is your wife a priority? She loves you because she wants to. Your kids love you because they want to. They are pulling for you to be a dad who has great influence on them. They want you to support them and to make family time as important as making a dollar. Family time is more important than nearly any other event that I can name. Don’t cover up family time with television; kick the thing off. There is no substitute for you in your role as a father. I, just like all of us, am working on prioritizing my life and have some accountability to make sure that it happens. I encourage you to do the same.
I encourage you to leave a comment below to let me know what you will do (or what you have already implemented) to make family time a priority. As I stated, I am still figuring out how to balance work and family time so seeing your comments will benefit me as well. Let’s learn together.