Marriage is a holy institution headed by Christ. It entails a lot of sacrifices in love on the parts of the couples. The husband should love his wife as Christ loves his church. And what Christ is to his church so must a husband be to his wife, a Pastor and a Comforter.
Love is the Bridegroom's commandment. It is not the deed of a man but of God that, a man should love his wife. Christ as the shepherd of the Church, loves and protects her. He takes care to ensure that no sheep goes astray. The husband has the same duty towards his wife.
To marry is not a difficult thing. But can you be the keeper and lover of your wife? This means laying down your life for your wife. If the marital home is not at peace, the husband is answerable. He is not a good Pastor.
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If the wife goes astray, and perishes, God will demand her soul from her husband. God does not know the woman, but he places everything under the care of the man. And God uses the responsibility of caring for the wife to test the man to see whether he will love his wife as Christ loves him (the husband).
If a husband wants to apply God's example of love to wedlock, he should first of all, ask himself whether he has received his instructions. Christ is telling all husbands to take good care of their wives and children, and to keep them as a good Pastor does his flock - guiding his wife that the sheep may live. He has warned us, that if a man does not love his wife, his prayers will not be heard by God.
But, how many husbands today are ready to learn from Christ? For our sake, Christ suffered to the end; so that for our wives' sake, we may likewise suffer as good Shepherds.
What day has Christ scourged you? What day has He cursed or pronounced woe unto you? What day has He refused to give you food? or has He said unto you: "From today, I don't want you again, go away to your mother." What day has Christ told you " This house is mine, I do not want you"? Has He ever told you not to touch anything because you have brought nothing into this world? No, never! Christ is the Bridegroom without blemish.
But contrary to Christ's expectations, husbands today are selfish and cause division in the home. They maintain strictly exclusive ownership over this or that thing in the house, whereas, a husband and a wife should have the same right over everything in the house.
They should share the same trunk box, spoon, plate and cup. There should be no harm in the husband using the wife's wrappers and vice-versa - they should have everything in common.
Yet, instead of heeding Christ's instructions, some husbands treat their wives spitefully, disgracing them whenever and wherever they like. They boast that they can marry as many women as they like and in their foolishness, forget that any Pastor who cannot take care of a single sheep, cannot in anyway be safely entrusted with two; let alone more.
Look around the world today and see how men suffer the consequences of the ill-treatment they give the wives. Through their negligence, they wreck marital homes. Tribulations, litigations, fear, illness and death are among the things any husband, who does not love his wife, is most liable to suffer.
DANGER IN POLYGAMY:
Since it is so difficult to successfully be the husband of one wife, polygamy is a real danger we should dread. The man who ill-treats his wife with the hope that he can marry another tomorrow, should note the danger to which he has exposed himself. This gospel has peace to offer to those who practice it, and war to wage against all those who do not practice it.
"Husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it."
Some people claim that they are behaving as Europeans, first, by living a happy marital life. This is not true. The only fact is that Europeans first embraced Christianity and have successfully applied the principle of love in marriage life. So the man who behaves well in marriage life is not doing as Europeans, but is doing the word of God as Christ is doing in showing perfect love towards his church.
Of all things in the world, what is most precious to a man is his wife. She is the life-time cross that the man has to carry till death separates them. All truth, humility, long-suffering and patience should be employed in the love for his wife. She is the only person with whom you are one flesh in this world. Something you do to your wife is something you do to yourself.
Money does not show love in marriage. First ask yourself whether you will be able to carry your wife's cross during sickness, tribulation want and misfortune. You are her Father in tribulation. You are also her mother. You are her brother, sister and husband. You are her all in all. You cannot think of her clothes, health and food without thinking of how you can supply them.
But disappointment comes when the man who is opposed to be provident in love, comfort and godliness chooses to deprive his wife of all these rights simply because he prefers wine, hotel and outside women to his wife. He leaves his wife too worried to be comfortable. The bad husband causes his wife to wander and get lost like a sheep without a shepherd.
And what punishment awaits such husbands? Their punishment should be heavy for there is no reason why the love of a husband should be turned from his wife to hotel, bar and outside women. Why should we give our wives stones instead of bread?
Why then should our wives knock and we refuse to open and admit them into our bowels of love. Why should we be stone-hearted against the weaker vessels of the Lord.
Why should we desert them in their poverty. Why should we be bad shepherds and anti-Christ?
CHRIST SURRENDERED HIS WEALTH:
Christ saw how poor we were, and so, came and surrendered all his property and heavenly glory and suffered that we might be filled.
He saw how weak we were and so surrendered his strength also that we might be strengthened. But if we fail to follow this example in loving our wives, our punishment is indeed great. We are created in the image of God and Christ. If we do not love our wives, we are no more in the image of Christ and God is no more in us.
WIFE FINDS GOD IN HER HUSBAND:
All the above mentioned godly qualities, which Christ shows towards us and His church, are expected to be seen by the wife in her husband. She finds God in her husband. But supposing the husband does not care to seek, find and abide in God and his Christ, how can the wife see God in him? How can a marriage be successful without the head - Christ? Any husband who does not have Christ, is useless and a house where the man is useless is good for nothing.
Before now, you were saying; some one has spoilt my house, but now, you have seen that by telling lies to your wife, causing divisions in anything with her, and by not loving her as you should, you are the sole cause of unhappiness in your home. Accept Christ as the head of your house, otherwise you are ruined already.
If you do not love your wife, you cannot do the work of God and God cannot give you God-fearing children.
You cannot have any good thing in life. Because you cast your wife out, you have cast out Christ and all good things. If you desert her and sleep in some corner in the town, you have deserted Christ.
You have exposed her to the danger of death. You have crucified Christ a second time. You are a murderer. Cain was asked by God: "Man where is thy brother?" On the judgment day the husband will be asked: "Man where is thy wife?" How will you be saved if you are a bad husband?
YOU NEED CHRIST:
To be a good husband or good shepherd, you need no money, drink or medicine - all you need Christ. You should use Christ's instructions to keep your family away from sin, else, their sins will be counted against you.
Christ is calling upon all husbands to come and learn from Him, how to care for the flock and lay down life for them and have peace and life eternal. Amen.