Marriage By the Book

 Image result for photo of smokey bar

Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25

Her clothing was filthy and her face was set in hard, angry lines. She bore little resemblance to the beautiful, blushing bride who had rushed joyfully into the arms of her groom such a short time ago. Now she scarcely spoke to him. Instead, she filled her days with friends who had no use for her husband. They sat with her now, at the smoky bar, their seductive counsel flooding her ears: “He’s no fun. You’re better off without him. Come with us and live a little!” She stared into the mirror over the bar and caught her breath as his image materialized through the smoke. He was dressed immaculately as always, his trademark smile in place. But pain was in his eyes. Shame colored her face, but he didn’t seem to notice. He knelt before her, clasping her hands in his. “Come home, sweetheart. I love you. I forgive you.” Only then did she notice the nail holes.

We are that rebellious bride and Jesus loves us like that. So when He tells husbands to love their wives, He has already modeled it for them. His bride is often dressed in filthy rags, with hearts set in hard, angry lines. Our loyalty wanders and we are easily deceived by worldly companions. We are often seduced by the world’s definitions and define love by the latest chick flick or perverted sexual fad. But Jesus demonstrated what real love looks like. He sacrificed His entire being in order to free us from sin. He loves His bride even when we are unlovable and don’t love Him back. Then He asks husbands to do the same.

How have you defined love? Compare it to the love Jesus has modeled for us.


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