Tag Archives: husbands

You surpass them all

“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all” (Proverbs 31:29).

Many newly married men have made the mistake, or been perceived to make the mistake of comparing their wives’ cooking with that of their mothers.

“My mom made really great fudge brownies” sounds to a new wife like a comparison, with her at a position of disadvantage.  Like jumping into the crocodile-infested Zambezi River. It’s best to just not go there.

But a wise husband could flip it the other way. Has he known great cooks (or talented women, or beautiful women, or charming women)? Why sure he has! But, and here’s the kicker: “You surpass them all.”

Of course when a husband says his wife is “the most beautiful” woman in the world,” that statement is not strictly true. Somewhere there is a woman more beautiful. But it is an understandable, even necessary hyperbole. She may (or may not) be the most beautiful woman in the world, but in his eyes, she should be.

To both husbands and wives: Squeaky door hinges need WD-40, brownies need ice cream, and spouses need to be complimented once in a while!

To Love Their Husbands

In a Christian discussion list, a lady asked recently what type of love toward husbands Paul referred to in Titus 2:4.
Considering what the world saw in the Mary Winkler trial, the question is very appropriate.
In verses 3-5 Paul wrote:

(3) Older women likewise are to exhibit behavior fitting for those who are holy, not slandering, not slaves to excessive drinking, but teaching what is good. (4) In this way they will train the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, (5) to be self-controlled, pure, fulfilling their duties at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the message of God may not be discredited (NET).

The phrase, “to love their husbands,” comes from a single Greek word, philandros, or husband-lover./1 It’s common for words to be built off the phil- stem (meaning to love, have affection for). Also in verse 4, the phrase “to love their children,” is a compound word with the phil- stem.

Louw and Nida’s lexicon defines philandros as “pertaining to having affection for a husband –‘having love for one’s husband, having affection for one’s husband'”.
W.E. Vine says the word was common in epitaphs. A tomb inscription of third century read, “Julius Bassus to Otacilia Polla, his sweetest wife. Loving her husband (philandros) and loving her children (philoteknos), she lived with him unblameably for 30 years.”/2
In the NT, philandros is used only here in Titus 2:4.
The word calls to mind being “devoted” to one’s husband. Barclay so uses the word in this sense./3
The seventeenth century commentator, John Gill, understood the love for husbands to mean

… to help and assist them all they can; to seek their honour and interest; to endeavour to please them in all things; to secure peace, harmony, and union; to carry it affectionately to them, and sympathize with them in all afflictions and distresses; for this is not so much said in opposition to placing their affections on other men, and to the defilement of the marriage bed, as to moroseness and ill nature./4

In ancient society parents often arranged their children’s marriages. People did not marry because they fell in love. Notwithstanding, the Christian wife was called upon to love her husband and devote herself to him.

In our society, physical attraction and emotional feelings usually determine the choice of a mate. So the verse continues to be applicable to us, for this thin basis for marriage soon collapses, and when no deeper commitments have been developed, marriages break up.
A brother in Christ was in my office last Friday. His wife abandoned him because he wasn’t what she wanted him to be. Instead of loving, accepting, and supporting him, she diminished him and finally left him.
Even when some couples stay together, marriages may limp along for years, dominated by selfishness and competition.
Therefore, we still need Paul’s instruction today, when society’s values encourage the woman to satisfy her own desires and advance her career rather than her home.
This husband-love is something that can be learned and taught. Hence, Paul’s instruction to the older women to train the younger to love their husbands. It’s an acquired attitude, a mature mindset, a practiced posture.
As much of the Christian life, it’s an informed decision.
Paul says the wife should look upon her relationship and duties to her husband more as a calling than a chore. Her love for him is the luster which makes her duties a pleasure, not a pain, a delight rather than drudgery.
And it’s probably not insignificant that, of the seven items young wives need to learn, it comes first.
1/ It’s ironic that the English word “philander(er)” has this word as its Greek root.
2/ www.realtime.net/~wdoud/titus/titus07.html
3/ William Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, Daily Study Bible, rev. ed., p. 249.
4/ http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commentaries/GillsExpositionoftheBible/

Continue reading To Love Their Husbands

How to Love Your Wife

by Richard Mansel, managing editor

Men must learn how to be the type husbands God desires. Ephesians 5:22-29 offers powerful advice for husbands. God’s plan is to create people that are the best spouses they can be.

Husbands must love their wives unselfishly. In Ephesians 5:22-29, wives are told to submit to their husbands while husbands are commanded to love their wives. And since God’s definition of love always includes unselfishness, husbands are to treat their wives as Christ does the church, with great tenderness (Ephesians 5:25-27).

God’s love gives and gives, while man’s love constantly takes without regard for the other.

Walter Trobisch wrote,

“Let me try to tell you what it really should mean when a fellow says to a girl, ‘I love you.’ It means: you, you, you. You alone. You shall reign in my heart. You are the one whom I have longed for, without you I am incomplete. I will love you alone, and I will work for you alone. And I will wait for you … I will never force you, not even by words. I want to guard you, protect you and keep you from all evil. I want to share with you all my thoughts, my heart and my body — all that I possess. I want to listen to what you have to say. There is nothing I want to undertake without your blessing. I want to remain always at your side.” /1

Love is far more than sex and protection. It is cherishing and nourishing as Christ does the church (Ephesians 5:28-29). It is placing the needs of the wife above his own in importance. God gave her to him as a beautiful gift and he should treat her with requisite respect.

“Any woman would find it easier to defer to a husband she knew would die for her than to a husband she felt might sacrifice her to his fears, lust or ambition.”/2

Jesus lived a life of sacrificial love and knew what it meant to die for the objects of our love (John 15:13). For husbands, it does not necessarily mean that we give up our physical lives, but that we die to self so our marriages can be blessed.

In counseling a wife said, “Dear, I know that you are willing to die for me; you have told me that many times. But while you are waiting to die, could you just fill in some of the time helping dry the dishes?” /3

“A husband should never use his headship to crush or stifle his wife, or to frustrate her from being herself. His love for her will lead him to an exactly opposite path. He will give himself up for her, in order that she may develop her full potential under God and become more completely herself.” /4

Love must not be restrained but allowed to flow freely and unencumbered. Wives want their men to express their love in tenderness and with a listening ear.

Men and women generally differ greatly in communication skills. However, if he, will be open and transparent before her, it will allow them the level of intimacy they both desire. If she will handle his openness properly, he will be comfortable doing so again. Wives have a great responsibility in creating a safe environment for him to share his fears and feelings.

Finally, husbands, as David Sain wisely advises, “the best time to tell your wife you love her is before some other man does.”

1/ James Montgomery Boice, Ephesians (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1997), 200.
2/ John Phillips, Exploring Ephesians and Philippians (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1993), 163.
3/ Boice, 201.
4/ Ibid.