Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Subject: Verbs for a Happy Marriage

Good Morning to our Two “E’s”:

I thought I would share some wisdom this morning from my readings about what makes for a happy and successful marriage.  The “verbs that make a difference” operate the same in marriage as they do in the relationship the church has to Christ, our Savior:

To begin with, God looks to the man in marriage to be responsible for the home in the same way Christ took responsibility for the church:

“For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of His body, the church; He gave His life to be her Savior.” (23)  “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”  This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way  Christ and the church are one.” (v31)

In this relationship, several verbs tell the whole story and make the relationship “work”:

“Wives…SUBMIT to your husbands as you do to the Lord….As the church SUBMITS to Christ so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything.”  Ephesians 5:22-24.  Along with SUBMITTING, this same passage also commands wives to RESPECT their husbands:  “…the wife must RESPECT her husband.” (v33)

“Husbands…LOVE your wives with the same love Christ showed the church.  He gave up His life for her to make her holy and clean….In the same way, husbands ought to LOVE their wives as they LOVE their own bodies.  For a man is actually loving himself when he LOVES his wife.  No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, must as Christ cares for His body, which is the church.”  Ephesians 5:25-30

Now…if a man really LOVES his wife, he will not be domineering but loving in every way…doing everything for her welfare.  In return, the wife as the recipient of such love willingly SUBMITS and RESPECTS her husband.  The bonus is that in so doing, she may just also find herself loving him.   But the only mention of “loving” is to the man and it is emphasized(commanded) and repeated:  “So again I say, each man MUST LOVE his wife as he loves himself….” (v33)

The great thing about this type of relationship is that it is mutually self supporting and enhancing:  as the man demonstrates his genuine love, his wife finds it easier to submit and respect him…and as she submits, he responds with greater demonstrations of love on her behalf.  So, even a great marriage can get better…the potential is endless…which parallels the deepening relationship and blessing that we experience as we grow in our relationship with Christ our Lord.

Your mother and I are not perfect but I believe our marriage has been so wonderful because we have just this type of relationship.  As the husband I am the one commanded to love (and to demonstrate it) but I am so very blessed because your mother not only submits and respects me but also loves me as well.

So…Ethan, find a woman you can LOVE. 

And, Emily, find a loving guy to whom you can SUBMIT and RESPECT.  (I think “respecting” is the key, for if you “respect” someone you will find it not difficult at all to “submit” especially if you are the recipient of Christ-like love.)

Have a great day, kids.  I’m off to work…

From Your Dad and lover of your Honey Bunny Mom