Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nuture Your wife

As Christ loves the church, you should love your wife. I honestly have to say there are many couples that have convicted me in the way they live (or seem to), yet i have to say that only one preacher has really helped me to see things a lot more biblically and that is Paul Washer (whom i have met and will see this weekend-hoping to blog the mini conf). Most of what i have heard concerning husbands loving their wives sounds more like Dr. Phil (never watched him-I've been out of the tv programs loop for over 5yrs- and it's no loss). You know an emphasis on keeping the romance and being nice, nothing more than what most secular counselors will tell you, beyond that it may be briefly added in a sermon.
To love you wife as Christ loves the church, is to sacrifice for her benefit; not to please her every desire (because you can't). Paul Washer made the point that as Christ will present a spotless bride to Himself, so should we strive for the holiness of our wives. Are you caring for the spiritual well-being of your wife? Of course i don't mean taking her to church, or buying the latest women's book out. Surely you care for her physical well-being, yet even in that it might be possible to hinder her growth if you encourage the wrong things. Like giving way to materialism, or not cautioning her regarding the way she dresses (reveal to her the way men see things), or even putting a stop to gossip and perhaps there's lots more. Yet more than anything i want to call you to bless her positively. Do you know where your wife is at? you should, you should know her strengths, her weaknesses; otherwise you won't know how to help her.
Husbands, fathers let me stress this point with intensity: If their is spiritual immaturity in the believers in your home (especially your wife) and/or your marriage or relationship to your children (something that could described as increasingly problematic) then you have no business at all giving time to anything else: if anyone has to sacrifice time in order to insure the health of the family, it's YOU! All else is vanity; fishing, golfing, sport games, the car, new additions to the home, any and everything else must go. Give yourself to the spiritual health of your family. In what ways are you holding her accountable, are you helping to give her time so she can study and pray? Are you concerned about what she listens to and watches and who she's around? (I'm addressing 'Christian' things-have you built into her discernment?) Are you quick to lead in repentance when doing wrong (for me it's when i react too quickly and am harsh). Now before all these things, i'm assuming that she is truly saved. Lead with passion, by sharing with her the exciting things you learn or are seeing God do. Learn to express things like a good puritan, by that i mean you talk about the truth in light of a passion for Christ (not something that eventually leads there somehow), but draw out the heart of every truth; someone said next to be a bad preacher the worst you could be is a boring preacher (speak with fire-consumed for Christ).
My position has been unique because i met my wife on the day of her conversion, and was married shortly after. So we've had the blessing of pursing God together from the start. I also went through significant changes in thinking and theology, which i was able to see my wife go through with me. We even ministered together for almost two years (juvenile jails 2x a week) and we moved three hrs from home (so she's definitely my best friend!). Whenever i saw something in the word for the first time, I was excited to tell her about it, I also realized she would never read as much as I do so i would read a quote or tell her something i liked or strongly disagreed with. We have also spent some significant times reading together, (well I read and she listens or gives a massage or something)-Biographies and straight to the point books are great for this. You have to do what works: when we went through Voddie Baucham's book on the family, we read just before bed, even while she's doing the dishes.
Maybe for starters set Sundays aside to listen to some good teaching, or read a book together, but plan to do SOMETHING!
Of course this can only be done by the grace of God and if you feel condemned then that's not the intent nor is it the proper response, revert those thoughts of self failure and look to the cross and grieve the sin/neglect in light of the offense to God and pray for strength and wisdom.


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