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Good wife, Good husband

March 2, 2014

In Ephesians 5, Paul writes about God’s plan for husbands and wives when it comes to their roles in marriage. To wives, Paul writes, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord” (Eph. 5:22). To husbands, Paul writes, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25).

God has designed the perfect marriage to include a sacrificial husband and a submissive wife. Sometimes we joke about these things, but this really is God’s plan for marriage. And I want you to know it’s a perfect plan.

Why? One reason is because conforming to these roles helps release the potential in our spouse. Neither person is taken advantage of, and both sides win. God has designed marriage to be the perfect win-win situation.

When you do marriage God’s way, everyone reaches his or her own potential. The Bible says in Ephesians 5:29 that men are to nourish and cherish our wives as we would our own bodies. Men know how to take care of ourselves. What if a husband began meeting his wife’s needs with the same attention and care he gives to meeting his own needs? This is what would happen: she would flourish.

A good husband is like a greenhouse. He creates an environment for his wife to be fed and protected, so regardless of what is happening in the outside world, she is secure at home. She is praised and encouraged there. She is loved. Her needs are being met there. She blooms.

A good wife is like her husband’s cheerleader. In submitting to him, she provides him the honor and respect that he needs. Our culture views a submissive woman as having turned into a doormat—someone who gets stepped on. But I think of it more along the lines of honor. A submissive wife honors her husband through praise.

Psalm 100:4 says we enter God’s gates with thanksgiving and praise. God doesn’t let negative people into his presence. God is attracted to praise, and that’s something a wife can provide her husband.

Is it blind praise, though? Not necessarily. Cheerleaders know how to convict failing athletes in a positive way. How many times, when a football team is getting clobbered, do you hear the cheerleaders yelling, perkily, about defense? DEFENSE! DEFENSE! HOLD THAT LINE!

They are saying something negative—you’d better shape up, guys —but in a positive way. And the guys will do anything for them. They love the attention, even if it’s telling them to improve something. The praise of a woman puts oxygen in the room for men.

Women, when your husband does things you don’t like, find a way to let him know…but in a positive way. Be his cheerleader.

Men, be her greenhouse. Protect her and nourish her. When husbands and wives learn to enact these roles, the result is a godly marriage. Both become what God wants them to be, and no one is the victim.

Blessings, Jimmy Evans

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