IN HIS BOOK, Marriage God’s Way, Scott LaPierre tells husbands, “Our Christianity is related directly to the way we treat our spouse. Our marriages are an outpouring of our relationship with Christ.”
There are doctrinal issues where I respectfully disagree with Mr. LaPierre, but in this particular context, He’s spot on. There is a direct correlation between a man’s relationship with His Savior (John 15:7; Rom. 7:4; Rev. 3:20) and his relationship with his mate. And it’s impossible for him to either neglect or mistreat his wife and simultaneously be close to Christ—because his marriage to her is an outpouring of his marriage to Jesus.
Men, we must remember #1—CONSISTENCY (see the previous blog post), but we must also remember #2—MATURITY. Jesus said, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Mat. 5:48).
No, that’s not a misprint, brothers; that’s Bible. “You.shall.be.perfect.JUST.AS.your.Father.in.heaven.is.perfect…”
Don’t choke while you’re chewing on that, okay? Jesus said it, not me. “Perfect.”
It is helpful to remember that the Greek word rendered “perfect” in our English Bible is teleios and is sometimes translated “complete” (cf. 19:21) or “mature” (1 Cor. 2:6; 14:20; Eph. 4:13). Hang on to that idea for a second, guys.
God is THE standard by which we measure ourselves as men and husbands. He is absolute perfection. But now, with that in mind, go back and re-plow Matthew 5:48 in its immediate context:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so” (Mat. 5:43-47)?
Watch it. A man’s standard, his perfectly straight measuring stick for how he treats his wife is Jehovah God (cf. Deut. 18:13; Lev. 19:2; 1 Pet. 1:15-16; Luke 6:36). And as God lavishes His blessings on both the evil and the good, a husband is to love his wife in the exact same fashion. He is to act towards her with a divine, perfect love (cf. Eph. 5:25).
“But Mike, what’s that mean…?” you ask. It means that when your wife’s words are short, impatient or terse, you don’t fire back with your own salvo of verbal weaponry. On the contrary, you express your care and appreciation for/to her—even and especially when she isn’t acting or sounding lovable (Eph. 5:28-29). And when and if your wife acts in anger, you as her husband don’t attack her with an ill-tempered retaliatory strike of your own. Instead, you show her a perfect, God-like love and give her your time and attention—even when she doesn’t appear to deserve it at the moment. And when she is sometimes emotional and easily brought to tears, you don’t push her away in frustration. Rather, you hold her close and confirm your constant devotion (Rom. 12:10; 1 Thess. 2:8) because that’s how God loves (cf. Hosea 1:2-3; 3:1).
He doesn’t withhold His love from sinners. He gives sunshine and rain to saints and sinners alike. Both are the recipients of His providential blessings and favor.