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I recently decided to put one of the scriptures regarding marriage and how spouses should treat each other into practice. I wanted to see what it would do for my marriage and my relationship with my wife. I believe that this is the secret to not only a successful marriage, but also staying in that new love feeling. That magical feeling that makes you feel so good, as if you were in the most amazing dream of your life. So which scripture holds the secret to this amazing dream-like marriage? Well here it is:
"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30because we are members of his body." Ephesians 5: 25-30, ESV
The Lord has given us the blueprint of how he loves his own bride, which is the church. So, I said to myself, let me love my wife the way He does. Well, the scripture does begin by telling us to do it the way Christ does it, right? The beauty is that it tells us exactly how he does it.
So, how does Jesus love the church? First of all he gave himself up for her. So like Christ, we must give ourselves up for our wives. This means that we put her interests before our own, even to the point of dying for her. In other words sacrifice your life for her. This can be put into practice on a daily basis. There are many times when I come home from work hungry and would love to start eating right away. Now I take a moment to see if my wife may need a break from watching the kids. Another way is that, suppose you worked out a budget so that you have a certain amount of spending money and instead of spending it all on yourself, you spend some or all of it on your spouse.
You may say to yourself, well if I keep giving up my wants for my wife's wants, when will I get to look out for me? You can decide to change your mind and instead of looking at it as a burden or sacrifice, find joy in it. Make the decision to enjoy it so much that the pleasurer you get from caring for your wife is the same as gratifying your own wants and desire.. The enjoyment in the work you do is a gift from God, so ask him for it and he will give it to you. Also, don't worry, when you give to your wife that way, God will take care of your interests. Make sure that when you do give to your wife that you put on the right mindset and give to her cheerfully and not begrudgingly or under compulsion. Give and it will be given to you. God will give to you abundantly everything you desire and with enough left over to give even more to your wife.
The church sinned against Jesus, but he cleansed her by the washing of water with the word. So if your spouse offends you, cleanse her from the offense, by washing her with your words. Tell yourself good things about her. Picture her in your mind as spotless and without a wrinkle, or a single blemish. In other words, see her as never having done you any wrong. See her as perfection. This is how you clear her record against you and how you forgive her. This scripture actually tells us how Christ forgave us. We should do the same.
Christ nourishes and cherishes the church. What does it mean to nourish the church? He gives the church the food it needs to live and thrive. So we must make it our business to find out what our wives need. Does she need reassurance, approval, gifts, etc. Bless her with these things. You would want someone to do bless you in the way you want to be loved, right?
Cherish her- When you cherish something, you don't want to see it wither or tarnished. You constantly look after it, and make sure that it is well cared for. So, we also must look after our wives in the same way. Look out for anything that may endanger are hurt her.
Make a conscious effort to employ this scripture each day. Set a reminder on your phone to practice it each day. Watch it transform your marriage.