- Sacrificial love involves sanctification.
There are those times I clearly am hard headed in my marriage.
There are times that I feel entitled.
The serpent whispers to my ears and tells me that I need to have my way in this marriage. He tells me that being understood is of greater importance than listening to my husband.
He tells me that submitting is just too hard a task.
He actually calls it a “task” and plants doubts in my head. He whispers, “What if you submit and your husband doesn’t reciprocate?”
He makes me doubt God’s calling over my life.
Can any of you ladies relate with me? The church, has an unspeakable privilege of being the only bride of Christ. Christ doesn’t have another plan. He doesn’t have any other bride save for us.
His love sanctifies. His sacrificial love has a goal. His love sanctifies the church.
The word sanctify means to set apart, to consecrate, to make holy, to be dedicated to. The church is sanctified by Christ though His word and by the blood that He shed on the cross.
The husband is therefore called upon by the Lord to set the spiritual mode of his house.
He is the priest of his home.
He sets apart his family for the Lord.
He dedicates his family to the Lord.
He draws his family to the Lord.
The priests in the Old Testament were known to be set apart and consecrated to the Lord’s work. They were known as the Levites and were chosen by the Lord to minister both in the temple and outside.
If a Levite wasn’t invested in the Lord, then He had no business coming before Him. They drank no wine, they didn’t shave their hair but most importantly, they took time off from people to be with God.
Husbands’ should therefore learn to seek the Lord’s face often.
You cannot receive from the Lord if you do not seek His face.
You cannot know how to draw your family to Christ if you do not spend time with the same God. A Christian man has immense ability and capability of transforming his marriage, even if his wife does not desire so.
If a husband draws to Christ, then he automatically draws closer to his wife.
Please note, am not talking about being a busy body in church. Moving around to be seen – am talking about HAVING A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS.
A relationship that sanctifies and cleanses you from within.
A relationship that causes Him to pull out the hardened heart and replace it with a heart like Christ – soft and mellow. (Ezekiel 36:26). For Christ cannot change you from within and you remain the same.
God’s design for marriage and the role God placed on you as the man allows you to have a profound impact on your wife.
Do you know that you can intercede on behalf of your wife and God will answer?
Do you know that you can speak prosperity to your kids and they will?
Do you know that you can speak life to her barren womb and the Lord will open it?
How many men in the Bible interceded on behalf of their wives?
Genesis 25:21 calls attention to such a man.
Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his Rebekah became pregnant.
The problem currently is that the men have sat on their God given responsibilities.
Others are simply lazy. Others are clueless about what they ought to do, busy but without any direction.
Others have simply agreed with the devil. They play his tune.
If you knew how much power you wield as a man, as a husband, a man with dominion over all, then you could take back your place from the devil.
You can bring your wife closer to Christ.
Not with harsh criticism.
Not by enabling her mistakes.
Not by enduring emotional manipulation from her.
Not by being a scared wimp who cannot give leadership and direction to your wife.
But by being like Christ, The Lion and the Lamb.
Christ doesn’t allow us to just walk on the grace He gives us, but He gives us the freedom to serve Him as we please within the given boundaries.
So how do you “sanctify” your wife?
By serving her and putting her interests before yours. That way, she learns by an example about a love that gives.
By showing her when she’s wrong, but doing it with love.
For instance, I love what my husband does when I have gotten on his nerves.
He always tells me, “Hunnie I love you but you have really made me pissed off because of a, b, c. ” I learnt to say that too.
I used to snap so quickly but he taught me to put out a “word of love.” It brings reconciliation so fast than angrily shooting her down.
By covering her mistakes in public, praising her in public, but sitting down with her in private and correcting her wrongs.
By gently leading but careful enough not to stifle her God given abilities.
By leading by example. Loving her through her changing seasons.
By showing her acts of kindness.
That is the love that sanctifies for it draws her to Christ.
- Sacrificial love endures.
When Christ sanctifies the church, He presents her to Himself, as a spotless bride.
so that [in turn] He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy [set apart for God] and blameless.
I love going shopping with my husband. At first, he was always impatient, restless and jittery, but nowadays, he’s refined and calm.
He checks the height of the dresses I want, the shade, the texture, if it’s too tight, too revealing, my taste, his taste. He checks all that.
We don’t go shopping for dresses that are stained, but if we happen to overlook anything while shopping for the dress, and it turns out that the dress is stained, then we will have to bear with the embarrassment.
That’s Christ. He loves His bride and her gown spotless. He patiently takes us through his cleansing, checking everything to make sure it fits his majestic kingdom.
He has a way of making us spotless. His blood washes away all our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
The process is daunting and hard but he endures.
God has designed your wife to respond to your Christ-likeness attitude. The process that requires patience and a calmness of heart.
The process that requires a heart that endures.
Do you remember your wedding day? Your bride then, who is your wife now – do you remember how lovely she looked? Her spotless gown flowing all the way down. She simply looked pure. You know that the journey wasn’t so easy.
There were lots of prayer, lots of tears, the breakups that left aches in one’s heart. But it all aimed at one thing. Marriage. The culmination was a beautiful wedding to your lovely bride.
God knows that you have a high calling as a husband and he doesn’t expect that it will be a smooth sailing for you. He doesn’t expect you to use your own strength either.
God has made a woman to respond equally or more to the way the husband serves her.
A love that endures is a love that doesn’t give up. Christ still receives us even when we have strayed so far from Him. He fights for us. He intercedes for us.
Hosea was told to lavish the wife with love even when she slept with other men. Definitely no man would just take on that issue lightly (am sure Hosea didn’t either) but it serves as a mirror to us.
A sacrificial love that endures is a love that never gives up, no matter how many times the bride runs to lesser gods to seek joy.
Although ever so often, the bride finds no true joy, only a “false fire” that quickly dies as soon as it’s lit. True joy can only be in Christ (Rom. 8:38–39).
A sacrificial love is one that endures even unto death.
Sacrificial love pays the ultimate price, risking rejection and keeps pursuing the bride, no matter how far she strays or doesn’t regard His love.
A sacrificial love is one that is a hard but beautiful.
If you want your wife to respond to you (although there’s no caveat for her not to), build a Christ like character.
Be less defensive and seek to understand why she’s asking you about an issue.
Calmly explain your whys’.
Change your attitude towards your wife and her questions. She’s not confronting you. Women simply connect emotionally through talking as you would physically.
When your wife does or says things that make you feel agitated or confronted, resist the temptation of interpreting her words at face value. She’s not challenging you or deeming you. Do not over-react.
Learn to ask her, “Hunnie what do you mean? Can I repeat what you have said so that I can make sure I have understood you”
Above all ask the Lord, “How do I answer my wife in a way that will bring her closer to you? ” “How will I preach you through my answer? ”
She might not change overnight. What should you do?
Do your part.
Keep being the godly husband.
Since we have been formed from man and we respond to a Christ like character, eventually, God will mold her if she’s willing to change.