“Husbands, love your wives,
as Christ loved the Church” Ephesians 5:25
The ring I’m wearing on my finger is a sign of the covenant; the marriage covenant that my beautiful wife and I entered into. Where do we get this idea of marriage and covenant? Well, from God.
In the Old Testament God entered into covenant with Israel through covenant mediators like Noah, Abraham, Moses and David. Was the covenant based on righteousness or grace? Well, Noah was a drunk, Abraham was a coward who lied about his wife being his sister to save his own skin, Moses had the temper of King Kong and beat someone to death and David had the love life of Bill Clinton. Grace!
In the New Testament God entered into covenant with the Church through Jesus. God initiates the covenant and establishes it on the basis of his righteousness. Not ours. We are therefore accepted not because we are good, or better than anyone else, but by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:10).
We are called to love our wives in the same way that Jesus loves his church. With unconditional grace!
But what is grace? I do something bad and I get something good in return.
Grace trumps kindness. Kindness is when you do something nice to someone, help an old lady cross a street, buy a beggar a meal, that kind of thing.
Grace trumps mercy. Mercy is when someone does something to harm you and you withhold justice. Someone steals from you and you let it go, someone kills a loved one and you don’t lay a charge.
Grace is giving something good to the murderer.
It’s not karma: What you give you get. Grace is “you sin, reject God, are deserving of death and hell, and Jesus dies in your place for your sin so that you can have God and all his goodness”. Jesus loves you like that. With grace!
Husbands and boyfriends and young men should heed the expectation placed on them by Scripture.
‘But she’s doing this’ You may feel.
‘You don’t know what it’s like to live with her’
‘If she would only change, things would be better’
‘But you don’t know how hard it is… it’s like… it’s like excruciating’.
Exactly! That’s what grace is. I pay the bill, pick up the cross, daily, to redeem her. Real men develop this heart of grace.