Love and honor go both ways

From What About Women? A Spirit-to-spirit Exposé

bridal bouquet

God designed marriage to picture the mutual submission of Christ, the sacrificial Savior, and the Bride whose delight is to honor him.

In a marriage that reflects God’s kingdom, love and honor go both ways.

Husband and Wife, I bless your marriage with being a multi-faceted picture of God’s relationship with his people. I bless you with not trying to paint the picture as you think it should look or as your church culture may have told you it should look, but rather giving God permission, moment by moment, to paint the picture through your marriage that HE wants to paint. Paul described one facet of the picture: “For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church” (Eph. 5:23 NLT). Genesis 2 describes another facet of the picture: “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him’” (Gen. 2:18 NLT).

Husband, be blessed to walk in increasing revelation of what being “the head” means – and what it does not mean. We’ve thought it meant, “having authority over.” Yet, look again. Ephesians 5:23 says, “Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” Jesus is Lord. He is Lord of the church. Yet Scripture does not equate Jesus’ headship of the church with his lordship and authority. Rather, “Christ is the head … he is the Savior,” who “loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25). The Greek word translated head can mean “source” or “origin,” and Jesus’ sacrificial death is the source of our life. Colossians 2:19 describes Jesus’ headship this way: “The source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body” (MSG). Husband, fix your eyes on Jesus, and follow him. “Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph. 5:2). In relating to your wife, especially, be blessed to learn the kind of headship the Savior practiced: Walk in life-giving love.

Wife, be blessed to walk in increasing revelation of what being “a help” means – and what it does not mean. We’ve thought it meant “serving under.” Yet, look again. The Hebrew word for “helper,” ‘ezer (ay’-zer), is used 21 times in the Old Testament. Every time, it describes one who brings aid, reinforcement and rescue – one who proves himself or herself strong in behalf of someone else. In Western movies, people desperately needing help would cry with joy, “The cavalry is coming!” What the cavalry was to those people, the Lord has created you to be to your husband. But there’s more! Most of the time in Scripture, the word ‘ezer is used of God himself: “We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield” (Ps. 33:20). “Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Ps. 124:8). In John’s Gospel, Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as the Helper. Wife, be blessed to walk by the Spirit and so to become the same kind of helper to your husband as the Holy Spirit is to the church.

I bless you, Husband, with not usurping the role of Jesus in your wife’s life. I bless you, Wife, with not usurping the role of the Holy Spirit in your husband’s life. At the same time, I bless you both with so cooperating with God in the picture he is painting that each of you, in very real ways, reveals God to the other and to everyone around. As each shows love and honor to the other, you are doing it to God. As each shows love and honor to the other, you are reflecting the image of God.

What About Women?From chapter 13, What About Women? A Spirit-to-spirit Exposé. © 2013 by Deborah P. Brunt. All rights reserved.

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