Happily Ever After - Sanctified

Stacy Warner
When I was growing up in church, one of the "Sunday School" answers oftentimes given to a question presented to the class was "Jesus"...  Jesus was the answer, regardless of the question—always guaranteed to get an eye roll from my friends and me.
As I have grown older, the more I learn, the more this answer appears to be the only appropriate response.

In the event of reading through Ephesians 5 and pondering what being a Godly husband looks like, the response of "...just as Christ..." used to seem extremely hyperbolic.  "Oh, all I have to do is be like Jesus." (followed by the patented eye roll).  Without having a solid idea about what Jesus accomplished for me on the cross, there is no other reasonable conclusion.

But in the past years, as I have come to more closely understand that I have the mind of Christ, I know that I not only want to serve my wife more, but I am capable of serving her.  As a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), I will necessarily see the world around me more as Jesus does.

When I first met my wife Mendy, "I Love You" was uttered often (I knew a good thing when I saw it!) Now, although still very common, I find myself much more often stating, "How can I help you?"  When I ask her if she has heard "I Love You" enough that day if, she ever feels compelled to say “no," I always want her to be able to follow that with "...but I saw it."

So it seems the answer in 4th grade stands firm. Jesus is the answer.  He is the one who, as a believer, has perfected you and given you the "mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:13-16).  He is the one who is working in you to "will and to do in order to accomplish His good purpose" like being a Godly husband (Phil.2:13). It is His image of submission you bear when you forgo your ego and desires for the good of your wife and marriage (Phil. 2:7-8).

If we find ourselves at a place where we know our marriage is in trouble or want our marriage to be strengthened, it would seem that "Christ in me" (Col.1:27) is the pivot point.

It would seem that the crown of "Headship" that is granted to the husband in Ephesians is, in fact, often times a crown of thorns.  However, you will scarcely have a more perfect opportunity to demonstrate Christ-likeness than in your relationships in your home.

I don't know if the source is known, but there is a story that goes something like this. It is said that Cyrus, the founder of the Persian Empire, once had captured a prince and his family. When they came before him, the monarch asked the prisoner, “What will you give me if I release you?” “The half of my wealth,” was his reply. “And if I release your children?” “Everything I possess.” “And if I release your wife?” “Your Majesty, I will give myself.” Cyrus was so moved by his devotion that he freed them all. As they returned home, the prince said to his wife, “Wasn’t Cyrus a handsome man!  "With a look of deep love for her husband, she said to him, “I didn’t notice. I could only keep my eyes on you - the one who was willing to give himself for me.”

So to Todd Holt—if you ever read this, I officially apologize for every eye roll you endured from me after the flannel graph lesson in 4th-grade bible school.  It turns out, you had the right answer all along.

No Comments