JESUS ONLY: Part 2 (Day 18)
Today’s devotional centers on the relationship of the husband to his wife. Paul gives his instruction in just one short verse but oh how powerful it is: “Let every husband be filled with cherishing love for his wife and never be insensitive toward her.” -Colossians 3:19 (TPT)
This is a tall order for the head of the marriage relationship. Again, this ran counter cultural to the current patterns of a husband’s relationship with his wife. Let’s take some time to unpack these specific words and the directive of this verse.
Love - "Agapao does not denote affection or romantic attachment; it rather denotes caring love, a deliberate attitude of mind that concerns itself with the well-being of the one loved." (Vaughan) This requires the husband to practice self-denial for the sake of his wife.
The husband is not the ‘master’ to be served.
Cherish - Have you ever noticed that we hear this word in the context of a wedding ceremony, but not often within the context of everyday married life? To cherish is to hold or treat as dear, feel love for, to care for tenderly, to nurture. It’s an attitude towards your wife.
Consider these words by author/speaker, Gary Thomas: “Love and cherish complement each other. Without the bedrock force of love, cherishing won’t last. It’ll be a sentimental ideal that is lost in the real world. Without cherishing, love feels like a duty more than a delight. I don’t want my wife to think I’m with her only because God says I’m not allowed to leave; I want her to think my greatest delight is sharing life with her.”
We cherish when we listen while fully present, listening not just for the words but for the heart behind them. It’s about respecting her ideas, thoughts, and intuitions without discounting or dismissing them. It’s about verbally affirming, admiring,and complimenting her.
Harshly or Insensitively – This means showing no concern for another’s feelings. Imagine how this sounded in the ears of the Colossian church where a woman was a piece of property? The man was under no obligation to show consideration towards his wife.
This verse was a challenge to early century husbands. Quite honestly, it is no less challenging today. Cultural expectations/beliefs and our human sin nature can pull a husband away from loving his wife well. Build your career, develop your skills, hobbies, and oh yes, serve others - these can often leave little time for building intimacy.
Loving this way comes easy when you are first courting the one you love. Loving this way for a lifetime is only possible when a man submits to Jesus and asks for the Holy Spirit to keep him sensitive and aware and watching for ways to delight in his wife.
Take a few moments and quiet yourself in God’s presence. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you consider the next questions.
What are some specific ways God wants you to step into this instruction and love your wife?
Are you cherishing your wife? How?
What next steps is He directing you to take?
Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs