A long time ago in a land far, far away there lived a man whose name was Alex. This may or may not be based on a true story…. But it so is….
My mother was doing some cleaning at her house and had gotten some new dishes and asked if Tara and I wanted these white dishes (the whole set, I mean plates, bowls, cups, the whole 9 yards) They were white with blue floral trim around the edges. I remember eating with these plates for the better part of my childhood and teenage years. When I was looking at the plates and thinking about all of the meals that had been eaten with them and family time together (yes I’m sentimental) I turned the plate over and dropped it (I am also clumsy). The plate seemed to hang in the balance for a small eternity and then, BAM, right on the hardwood floors. With bated breath, I opened my eyes, and the plate hadn’t broken!! When I picked up the plate, I noticed something that I hadn’t seen before. In small print on the bottom of the plate just below the maker’s logo, the word unbreakable. Now I’m not sure how you all feel about that word, but all at once the sentimental wore off and I audibly said: “challenge accepted bro” (yes, I talk to inanimate objects, don’t judge me, man). So at that point, I did what any man would do in my position, I started looking for a way to break this plate. I hit it on the kitchen table, WHAM-O, nothing. So then I’m all like “well played Mr. Plate, you’re going down homie”. I bent it across the kitchen counter (or at least I tried). I hit it with a hammer, KABLAM, still in one piece. By this time, as any man would be, I am livid. Blood boiling and red-faced I lift the plate over my head, let out my greatest war cry and slam the plate as hard as I could across my own knee. With a loud pop pieces of the plate (somewhere around 47 million pieces to be exact) go flying out in every direction like it had been hit with the Hadouken by Ryu in the last round of streetfighter. The victory was mine at last! It felt good to know that I had utterly decimated something that was considered unbreakable.
Then my loving mother looked at me with that mom look (you know the one) and said: “You know where the broom is, clean it up”. That stupid plate that had been my great victory over something unbreakable was now spread somehow across my mother entire house. Literally the whole place, every room, somehow had remnants of my mighty destruction. I cleaned for at least 3 days (the space-time continuum had been ripped by my awesome deathblow to the plate….. ok, so it was only like an hour but whatever). For real, I hate sweeping and it was like everywhere I looked there were more tiny bits of the plate. The victory was less and less sweet the longer it took to clean it up until eventually, it wasn’t a victory at all. Fast forward to a few years later. Mom had to replace her stove, and guess what she found under the stove. That’s right, pieces of that plate. I thought I had cleaned up my mess, but there it was hiding a dark corner just waiting to be exposed.
What does a stupid plate have to do with being a godly husband? Everything.
1 Peter 3:7
7 Likewise, you husbands, live considerately with your wives, giving honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they too are also heirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
This is not to say that women are weak. They aren’t at all. Tara and my mother are two great examples of what an unbreakable woman looks like, but if mistreated and demeaned they will eventually reach the maximum capacity of what they can take. They can be broken. What Peter is saying is that we as men are to treat our wives like a crystal vase, or a fine piece of China, or something of great sentimental value.
In other words, we should not try to break the unbreakable. We should instead do everything in our power to preserve it with care and love.
Malachi 2:14. Also states by treating your wife harshly your prayers will be hindered. Apparently, this is something that the Lord takes very seriously!
We are to love and cherish our wife far more than any material object, we as husbands are called to love her like Christ loves the church.
22 Wives, be submissive to your own husbands as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head and Savior of the church, which is His body. 24 But as the church submits to Christ, so also let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 and that He might present to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 In this way, men ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord cares for the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I am speaking about Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
So what does it mean to love your wife as Christ loved the church?
How did Christ love the church?
He served people(the church) and laid down His life for them.
I know that most of us won’t be put in the position of literally laying down our lives for our wives, however, we should be willing to serve her just as Christ served. One great example of Christ’s servant outlook can be found in John 13. When Jesus lowered himself to wash the feet of the disciples. He laid aside his garment or cloak and girded himself with a towel. In the time and culture, your cloak was a symbol of your level of importance or a way to be identified. Jesus was willing to lay aside his identity as the head to wash away their dirt. In the scripture from Ephesians 5, it says that Christ gave himself for the church (his bride) so that she would be sanctified and washed by the word.
So how do we “give ourselves” for our wives?
Every day as a man of God we must lay aside our own goals and motives for our bride and spend time encouraging her in God’s Word. In today’s society, it seems that too many men sacrifice their marriages for their job or hobbies or whatever else when it should be the other way around. I know that as a man, you want to work hard and put in the extra time at work so that you can have “the good life”, but at what cost?
If your wife had to make a list of what you have sacrificed for her needs or desires, how long of a list would that be? I was presented with this question when reading “Kingdom Marriage” by Tony Evans, and it was such an eye-opener.
What are some things that I can do to help my wife to achieve her needs and desires?
Be a source of protection.
Protection – a person or thing that prevents someone or something from suffering harm or injury.
Tara told me the other day that one of the things that I had done that made her feel safe and protected was in December 2017. I was in Peru on a mission trip with some friends of mine and had seen that back home in Alabama the forecast was calling for snow. I immediately jumped on the phone and called her with a list of things that she needed to accomplish before snowfall began. As soon as I got off of the phone with her I called Andy and asked him to keep an eye on Tara and her mother. Too many people (myself included) this may not seem like a huge deal, but Tara felt that even a few thousand miles away that I was protecting her.
Andy had this to say about protection for his wife Penny.
One of the biggest compliments Penny has given me concerning protection was about sleep. It seemed insignificant to me but she travels a lot with work and never sleeps well out of town. The first night back home she always sleeps peacefully and she always says the same thing. I know I’m safe and I don’t have to worry. She knows because I love her as Christ loves the church she is protected and cherished. Like a precious vessel.
Our wives need to know that we care about them and want them safe and taken care of. To a woman security is important, and it is our job to provide that security.
Be a source of provision
Provision – supply with food, drink, or equipment, especially for a journey.
Provision is not just monetary or physical. One thing that we want this whole blog to show you is that life together is one big adventure and journey with your love. On this journey, there are certain things that are necessary to survive. Food and drink are two very important things to have on your journey in the physical sense because let’s face it no one is their best self when they are hungry and dehydrated. Now let’s look at it from the stance of Spiritual provision. Matthew 4:4 says that we cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. John 4:14 says whoever drinks of the spirit will never thirst again. So when you look at it from this perspective, whenever a situation arises (good or bad) it is our responsibility to be lead by the Spirit and provide encouragement through the Word of God. We need to get into our Word so that we can present it to them. When you are not spiritually dehydrated, it is much easier to care for your bride in the way that God has called you to.
It all boils down to you get the best out of something when you have put your best into it. If you will put your best into your wife by loving her, protecting her, and providing for her, she will, in turn, give her best for you. This is a win-win! A no-brainer!
Remember just because it says “unbreakable” doesn’t mean that it cannot be broken. The victory of breaking it will soon be lost when you have to pick up the pieces.
However, if you take care of the “unbreakable” it will stay strong and beautiful and last a lifetime! It will be something that you can be proud of!
You can do this! We believe in you and we are praying for you!