As we walk and learn what Christ has to say to us and as we learn from older and wiser men, we have presented this teaching on “Eve”, our women, our wives…
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls”. Jeremiah 6:16
Yes…the ancient roads which lead us to the rest for our souls. Rich material.
David Platt was the Pastor at the Church at Brookhills in Birmingham. He now leads the International Missions Board. If you have not read his book, Radical, I encourage you to do so. It truly is “radical” and it will alter you view of money, things, etc. in relation to the Kingdom. As Platt traveled the world, he was struck by so-called “secret churches” in communist, Islamic and oppressed nations. Basement churches where believers would come and soak up the Word for hours on end. They were desperate for it. Hungry for it. And they knew it was nourishment for their soul and their very survival. 4-5-6 hours on end, they would come and devour the Word of God to learn of the King content to sit in a basement, sometimes lighted only by a single light hanging from the ceiling. And he contrasted that with the American Church – the $23 million gym with the weight rooms, basketball courts, rock climbing walls and surround sound. The sanctuaries with plush stadium seating and gigantic HD screens and members who got antsy if the sermon went past 12:00. So their church started the “Secret Church” where they would gather on a Friday night from 6pm to midnight to tackle a subject like sex or marriage or money and literally pull every single Scripture to see what God had to say about the topic. They’d publish 100 page study guides and immerse themselves in the Word. Those are available online by the way. Here is what David had to say about marriage…
It’s not always easy. As soon as I say – I know that as soon as I say, “Men, the priority in your life is to love your wife. Love your wife”, I know that there are men that are saying, “You don’t know my wife”. I know. There are difficult situations represented across this room. You say, “Well there are a lot of reasons not to love my wife”. This is where I want to remind you, men, that your love for your wife is not based on her worthiness to be loved. It is based on God’s command in you to love them. That is huge.
The world says your love for your wife is based on what you get back (go back and read last week’s post on “covenant or contract?”). It’s based on how much they deserve it. It’s based on what is most fair and right. And if they don’t do something right, then they don’t deserve your love. That is not what Scripture says. Scripture says, “Husbands, love your wives.” And this is why – this is why we need to see the connection between the Gospel and our families. How can men who live with unlovable wives love them?
The only answer is the Gospel. This is the picture of the Gospel. The whole picture of the Gospel is a God, not who loves the lovable, but who loves the unlovable – who gives His life for us when we were the most undeserving. How in the world can you love your wife? By the love of God in you. It is His grace in you. It’s 1 John 4:19. We love, why? Because He first loved us. This is a love that God alone can give in us. This is why the Gospel and Grace is at the foundation of our families, because His Grace is the power to do this.
And you think about these tough marriages, tough wives, and you think, well how – how can God call me to love my wife in those situations? And the answer is the Gospel – it’s the Cross. It is you going to God (daily) and saying, “God, my wife is very unlovable right now.” And God says, “Loving the unlovable is my specialty.” And He gives the Grace – God never gives a command that He doesn’t empower us to carry out. Say that one more time – God never gives us a command that He doesn’t empower us to carry out. His Grace – this is why we need the Gospel, this is why we need Grace.
Culture says as soon as things are inconvenient in marriage, when things are not working out with your preferences – well, then you move on. No, the Gospel says when things are inconvenient, when things are not working out in preferences … then you love your wife. You love your wife. Love your wife. Love your wife. This is the priority, that you love your wife.”
Let me end with this thought – when things get tough, we tend to think the grass is greener on the other side. That surely there is a woman out there besides my wife that will love me as I need to be loved. As I deserve to be loved. Let us be reminded that your grass, it would be green … if you watered it. If you fed it. If you nourished it. If you take, take, take from it, it will brown up and die. What you feed grows and what you starve dies. May your wife be a lush, green, nourished, rich lawn. May she be radiant to reflect the fact that you are loving her well…