Posted On February 14, 2013

Every year Valentine’s Day comes and goes with men buying their wives roses, taking them out to dinner and more. Many men view Valentine’s Day as the day to spoil their wives and treat them special. For many wives this is one of the only days a year that they will be treated this way. For many more, Valentine’s Day is just one more day they are neglected by their husbands.

About a week ago I was doing some research on what people think of love online. What I found didn’t surprise me, and it likely won’t you either. My research pointed conclusively to the fact that our secular culture confuses love for sex. This shouldn’t shock us as this confusion gets to the heart of why our culture is experiencing in its eyes a “liberation” from its Judeo-Christian foundations. Do you believe that the foundation for love is sex? Or do you believe that the foundation for a healthy marriage is growing in an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ?

Christians are those who the Bible says have had the “love of God poured out upon their hearts” (Romans 5:1-11). Christians are those who are called to “love one another” (John 13:35). Christians are told some fifty-four times in the New Testament to one another each other, because they have experienced the love of Jesus. Loving God and loving others is the Great commandment. Undergirding the Great commandment is the fact that for Christians the love of God has taken their hearts of stone and replaced it with a new heart, new desires and new affections.

Christian men are called to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5). Christian men are to love their wives because Jesus has given them what they don’t deserve; mercy, grace and His love instead of His wrath. Do we consistently demonstrate the Gospel to our wives, men? Men, how we treat our wives is a reflection of what we really believe about the Gospel. Paul ties the institution of marriage with the Gospel in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

Husbands, we are told to love our wives because Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Paul doesn’t stop at this connection between Himself and marriage but explains the purpose of this connection, “that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of the 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.”

{In the same way husbands should love their wives as their won bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respect her husband.”

In this passage Paul connects what Christ has done in His death, burial and resurrection with the Church. Christ not only died for the Church, but sanctified the Church “having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so 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” (Eph. 5:26-27).

Men, Paul makes it clear that believing the Gospel and having the love of Jesus poured out upon our hearts should result in love towards our wives. The Gospel is not the great suggestion. Once we believe the Gospel we need to demonstrate Gospel like behavior. To follow Jesus is to follow Him in the way of death to ourselves, so that He may increase and we may decrease.

Valentine’s Day is just a day and as a day it comes and goes, but when we married our wives, we signed up for life. Marriage is often treated today as if it is non-binding contract that can be rescinded whenever anyone feels like it. This idea that marriage is negotiable is a lie straight from the pit of hell. Paul links the institution of marriage with the Gospel, which means how we treat our wives has a direct bearing on our profession of the Gospel and our relationship with God.

The Gospel is superior in everyway to Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is just a day, but the Gospel is the message that takes sinners with hearts of stone and replaces those hearts of stone with a new heart, new desires and new affections to pursue Christ in all of life. Christian men can only love their wives because Christ has first loved them. “Christian” men who abuse their wives by yelling at them, belittling them and treating them poorly demonstrate that they do not understand what mercy and grace Christ has shown to undeserving sinners. Paul says, “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (Eph. 5:28). Paul makes it clear in verse 28 that Christian men those who profess the Gospel should love their wives not treat them poorly. He continues explaining “for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church” (Eph. 5:29).

Valentine’s Day is just a day; and like everyday, we will either obey God or rebel against Him. Christ calls men to love their wives and to reflect His love to their wives. Those who profess to be Christians and fail in this task fail to understand the depths from which Christ has delivered them. The Gospel compels us as men to treat our wives as Christ treats us with graciousness rather than with harshness. The love of Jesus ought to compel us as Christian men to love our wives, because we have tasted of the grace of God in Christ, and found it to be all-satisfying.

Men, if we have truly tasted of the grace of God in Christ, we must love our wives well. A lip service to profession of faith doesn’t justify bad behavior. If you’ve abused your wife with your words, emotionally or physically, repent. Christian men, of all men, ought to reflect the love of God, because they have had their hearts of stones replaced with new desires and affections for the person and work of Jesus. Don’t make Valentine’s Day just a day to demonstrate you love your wives.

Men, what our wives want is for us to love them, and the only way we can love them is to come to the God of all grace who saves and sanctifies a people for His own possession. If you’ve treated your wife poorly, repent. Whether you’ve reflected the love of God well to your wives there is still room to grow and repent. I’ve been married to my wife six years now and I will be the first to admit that I have much to learn, as I strive to model repentance in my household. The Gospel calls us as men to model repentance before our wives and to demonstrate the Gospel we profess with our mouths and believe in our hearts. Men, let us model repentance well in our homes before our wives, children and families so that we might take the Gospel first to our own homes and then to the nations.

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    excellent blog


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