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Wednesday: Love Your Wife as You Do Yourself — 12 Comments

  1. One of the things I know about computer blogs is that people hate to scroll down. If a blog entry is longer than fits on a screen, it has to be really interesting for people to read past the bit that is on the screen. (Remember that - those of you who write long comments! 😀)

    And, it's like that with the husbands and wives in this chapter. We read about the wives and by then we have to use the scroll button to read the next bit. For the reader in Paul's day, the next couple of paragraphs were quite radical.

    Marriage in the first century was pretty one-sided. If, after paying a large bride price, a wife turned out to be poor value, you could kick her out. And that meant she was essentially abandoned. So when Paul says, "Husbands, love your wives as much as yourselves!" he was presenting quite a radical view. A wife was worth dying for!

    We like to make the parallel between the love of a husband and a wife, and God's love for us. That is fair enough. But, the reverse is also true. Paul is emphasizing the that the relationship between husband and wife is much more than just ownership of chattels. It is a special bond - one flesh - equality - unity.

    Is there a message in it for modern Christian marriages? The stock answer we like to give is that "Young people should ..." But, given that the readership of this blog is probably not as young as we like to think we are, let us not foist the issue onto the young people whose eyes are full of romance and heart-throb stuff. Do we older people follow the Pauline instruction, "Husbands, love your wives as yourselves"? Just something to think about when we have our next argument with our spouses.

  2. First of all, one has to learn to love oneself! Without this, how can anyone love another? First, I need to know what faithful Love is, based on Jesus' example, the ultimate demonstration of Love, and what honest Love can do for loved ones. Then, I reach out for the Love of others. By the profound admiration of the Love nailed on the cross, anyone can have what is needed inside to restore what has been broken and balance the Love of self and those around.

    • Loving oneself, as far as also serving Jesus and being guided by His Holy Spirit, goes beyond just simply "Loving oneself first." It goes on to focusing on the "Roses of Life." Life has "Roses" and also "Thorns." When we focus on the "Thorns of life," we end up being very "Critical, joyless and fault finding, unhappy Seventh Day Adventist Christians." But if we focus on the "Roses of Life," we end being "Happy, Joyful, Funloving, Seventh Day Adventist Chrisians." It is no wonder that even King David wrote in one of his Psalms, "Make me to hear Joy and gladness, so that my bones that you have broken may rejoice."

  3. [Ok…I didn’t realize I was a day ahead in my study and consequently posted my Wednesday comment under Tuesday 🤦‍♀️. So here it is again and hopefully makes more sense in the context of Wednesday’s discussion😊]:

    To me, Paul is simply expressing the words of Jesus when he said to “love your neighbor as YOURSELF “ (Mark 12:31), and “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matt 25:40). In the same way Jesus is identifying with believers as members of his own body (the church), husbands are being asked to do the same with their wives. Jesus is always our model.
    Although culturally we’ve come a long way (at least in the western world) in legal terms of how wives are treated, there’s much more to learn and practice in the way our minds think and respond to one another. Seeing Jesus in everyone helps me to approach people more carefully.

    • You took the words right out of my mouth. To take it even a bit further, I have to go back to the beginning of this earth. We have Genesis 1 & 2, God creating a perfect sinless world for us. Then we have Genesis 3 all the way down to Revelation 21 & 22, where we are presented with an earth made new, beautiful and sinless. All the stuff in between is God, guiding humans back into a perfect relationship with Him. And to put it into a nutshell, (so people will read the whole thing ☺️) God want us to live like all the rest of the universe lives. We need to love our neighbor as ourselves. We need to put God first. His law is simple to obey when love for others is the rule we live by.

  4. As we grow in our understanding of God’s love (1 John 4:19, 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15) then we are better equipped to begin to learn how to love our spouses and others.

  5. Looks to me like that the Apostle Paul now goes as far as to counsel us to "Love" each other like Jesus' own "Flesh, Blood, and Bones." So now my question here is: How does one do that other than by our "Faith," here?

  6. Volume 2 of the EGW biography, chapter 29 gives us a glimpse into the White's marriage. Summer of 1874 James is having another "crisis". They are living in California so James can establish a press and the fledgling Signs of the Times. Ellen felt called to go east to speak at campmeetings and decided to leave James at home as she didn't think he was up to the trip. Her letters to him indicate that she wants to have him join her but doesn't want to put up with his blaming, censure, criticism, jealousy, and control nor his moodiness. He repented and did join Ellen. Then in 1876, he heads east to speak and insists that Ellen join him. She has work to do on a book and will join him only if God directs. It appears He did as she joined him some days later.

  7. Further Reading for today and tomorrow and any day!

    1 John 4:7-21. Especially verse 8. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
    1 Cor.13:1-13 NKJV. The love chapter
    Romans 5:8. While we were yet sinners.
    Eph.2:1-8. God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.

  8. If the vow was genuine, committing to love each other 'till death parts us, we ask the Holy Spirit to guide us through all impediments; what better ‘handbook for the Christian marriage’ then following the Way laid out by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    After committing oneself to the marriage union, similar to when we committed to faithfully follow Jesus Christ, it requires that we understand and accept the cost and benefits involved. It is obvious to me that by engaging with my spouse in a loving, kind, considerate manner, I express how I want to be loved. Seeing oneself as the 'servant' of the other requires an enlightened, spiritual mindset which we humbly accept to learn how to employ.

    “Serve one another in love" – Gal.5:13, is synonymous with 'love your wife as you love yourself'. In a marriage, husband and wife serve each other in their roles, and as parents serve their children’s needs. Seen spiritually, no one’s role is more important than the other. Ideally, spouses have become one through the marriage bond promise, drawing strength from sharing their loving, caring presence in each other's life.

    Just like we become one with Christ by finding our being in Him, His Spirit - Acts 17:27-28, we gain greater, more intimate ‘togetherness/oneness’ when the marriage union goes through challenges in life aided by the Holy Spirit. Facing life’s challenges together, committed to support each other, is much better than facing them alone.

    • Pete, I think you are observing a need for balance in the church towards its attitude about marriage. Maybe we don't have more examples about marriage because fact is, married or not, life is not about being married. Its about preparing for the second coming, which marriage points us to. The marriage earthly marriages point us to is the great marriage between Christ and His church. But while life is not about being married, we can't underestimate the powerful influence of godly marriages and godly families. After all, we may not all be married but we do al have families. Jesus was not married but still had a family. Since marriage is so important I believe we do have some good Biblical examples of godly marriages, but keep in mind part of what makes a marriage or family so godly is everyone in the family willingness to forgive each other. No marriage or family is perfect, and while you are right Pete, many of the marriages in the Bible were flawed but we can also find some good examples even in the flawed marriages. Just like Jesus uses us today as examples even though we are flawed. We make mistakes but we also do a lot of things right and it is what is right about each other that we need to learn from each other.


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