Ephesians 5:33 (GW)
33 But every husband must love his wife as he loves himself, and wives should respect their husbands.
This seems so basic, doesn’t it? It seems like it shouldn’t have to be said. Yet God does indeed say it. Recently I was having a cup of tea at a coffee house (I don’t really like coffee, weird I know) with a group of pastors. One pastor commented that he had just finished reading Leviticus. He said how amazed he was that God had to tell the Children of Israel not to do certain things that seemed so obvious. What are those things?
Leviticus 19:14 (GW)
14 Never curse deaf people or put anything in the way of blind people to make them stumble. Instead, fear your God. I am the LORD.
It seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? Cursing a deaf man (who can’t hear our curses) is rude. Placing objects in the path of the blind (who can’t see them) is also rude. Why should God have to tell the Children of Israel such simple common rules of living in polite society? The answer, of course is, because human beings are not polite.
Not only are we not polite, but we very often refuse to see the obvious. How many times have you searched frantically for a lost object only to have someone point it out to you right in front of you?
We may know what the right thing to do is, but frequently, we choose not to do it. So, God through Paul tells us very plainly how marriages are to work. Husbands are to love their wives. Wives are to respect their husbands. It seems so basic. But if you think about, when you get the basics wrong, the rest also goes wrong. When a professional sports team loses a big game, what does the coach do? Takes them back to the basics. He reinforces the basics of the game so that they will be better.
It is the same with our marriages. We men know that we should love our wives. But we allow other things, other pursuits, to get in the way. We know what we should do, but we stray away from the basics. The result? Our wives don’t feel loved. When our wives don’t feel loved, they don’t feel like giving out love (yes, men, you know what I am talking about). When a husband returns to the basics, loving his wife as he loves himself, the marriage starts working better.
Wives know that their husbands are different. They know that their husbands need their respect. But when wives start listening to daytime T.V. talk shows (you know the ones I am referring to) that constantly degrade men and disrespect them, wives start to think that way about their husbands. Wives forget the basics. When the husband doesn’t feel respected, it is hard for him to love his wife who disrespects him. When a wife returns to the basics, respecting her husband, the marriage starts working better.
It seems so simple. Yet we are too dense to grasp the obvious. So, God has to remind us. Men, love your wives! Women, respect your husbands!