Monday, February 22, 2010

What's a wife to do?

The last two Sundays we've focused, in Proverbs 5-7, on the unique challenges and responsibilities we men face as leaders in biblical marriage. Our task is weighty, profound and difficult, yet crucial to showing Christ to our wives and the world.

As a result of these recent messages, I could well imagine a married woman asking, "What am I supposed to do in light of what God calls my husband to in our marriage?" I could equally imagine a woman who listened the last two weeks concluding, "That's great for heroicly sanctified men, but my husband doesn't AT ALL match up to the picture of biblical love you painted. What am I supposed to do?"

Three answers come to mind:

1. Pray. As Proverbs 5, 6 & 7 make clear, the biblical burden on men in marriage is monumental and simply impossible without God's help. Ladies, we need your intercession so much because we need God's grace. He can soften and reshape even the most hardened, male heart.

2. Get help. Sometimes a Christian woman finds herself in a marriage with a husband who is connected to the church but is unwilling to admit his need to grow toward her in love and service. He may be locked in a pattern of sin and pride which he denies - or is blind to. Though a woman in such a marriage cannot change her husband, she does have biblical recourse to go to the elders of the church who are responsible for her husband's discipleship and growth. No Christian woman married to a recalcitrantly sinful, church-going man need ever stay in fear, hiding or despair. Ladies, as elders we want your husband's sanctification as much as you do. If your man is caught in a pattern of sin and is unwilling to get help, please come to us. By God's grace, we will seek to help him.

3. Focus on Jesus. All of you ladies probably wish that your husbands were sinlessly stellar in their Christlike love for you. Who wouldn't? Despite the fact that we elders want your husband to grow in his loving leadership in your marriage, his occasional sin is actually a blessing because it reminds you that only Jesus is the perfect Husband your heart was made for. If your husband was perfect, you would sinfully idolize him and turn away from God. Therefore, rather than growing bitter or discouraged about your husband's sins, let them prove an opportunity to remind you that only Jesus fully satisfies. Some of your husband's biggest flaws can present an opportunity for your own Christ-centered worship.

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