May 07, 2008

Husbands and Wives (2)

1 Corinthians 13:1-7

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her …
Ephesians 5:25


An old television commercial portrayed a husband with a common cold who acted as if he had an incurable disease. The not-so-hidden message was that men cringe at the thought that something bad might be happening to them, especially if something has gone wrong with their health—and some will do almost anything to keep themselves in shape. One husband I knew had no time to spend with his wife and children because he worked out every single night. He loved his own body more than he loved his wife.

In Ephesians 5 Paul tells husbands to love their wives “as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” and to love their wives as they love themselves. When they do that, their marriages show it. Perhaps some men need to spend less time with self and more time showing attention and care to their wives.

Someone in a nursing home once asked an elderly man why he came to visit his wife every day when she no longer knew him. His answer: “But I still know her, and I promised to love her for better or for worse.” Years ago, when my mother was dying of a contagious disease, my father was told not to come close to her because he too might get sick. He ignored the doctor’s advice. Both men understood something of what it means to love their wives as they loved themselves.

Lord, please fill us with your love so that we can love others for your sake. Give us wisdom to be patient and kind in all our relationships, we pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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