In our current era of social media one is basically obliged to make a lovey dovey post about their spouse on social media for Valentine’s Day. As I scrolled through the many such posts on my Facebook feed I was awestruck. Three different people I know made the requisite post about their loved one, but that person was NOT the person I knew them to be married to. Instead, their post alerted me to the fact that they were now separated/or divorced from their spouse. In fact, over the past couple of years I’ve been shocked by the number of marriages I’ve seen fall apart via my Facebook feed. It’s heartbreaking to see so many marriages and families torn apart. While we bemoan the steady rise in divorce rates many of us excuse it away as a problem for others. We blame it on Hollywood, the failure of secular society, poor choices of individuals, drugs and alcohol, etc. We see it as a problem that happens because of all these factors to other people, but could certainly never happen to us.
Yet, here is something I can tell you from scanning my social media feeds. I’ve seen marriages of all lengths fall apart, I’ve seen it happen to some of the most devoted Christian families, and I’ve certainly seen it in people I would never expect. Instead of thinking that marriage weakens and fails only in the lives of others, we all need to be actively taking responsibility for the health and strengthening of our marriages. We can’t just wait until things are spiraling out of control, but rather need to be working on our marriages (and indeed, all of our relationships), on a DAILY basis.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so 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. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church. Ephesians 5:25-29
I could unpack that all and give you a really nice looking bullet-point list, but I don’t need to. Paul is really straight forward here guys. Love your wife sacrificially as Christ loves you, and do so everyday. Put her first, striving to make her better in all ways. If all men took this passage seriously we would see divorce rates tumble, and the lives of families greatly enhanced. Look, the world is a tough place, and marriage is far from easy. But, God has lovingly given us guys a straight forward game-plan for how to be a husband who grows and nurtures his marriage. Let’s take that seriously, and see how God blesses and strengthens it.