Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
My days can get long. They start around 5:00 a.m. when I do my personal study and then communicate with overseas missionaries. I remember one particular day when I had to meet some men at the church at 6 a.m. to drive three-and-a-half hours for the memorial service for a wonderful servant of Jesus whom God had called to her eternal reward. She and her husband had been faithful servants in our church before moving away. Words cannot adequately express the influence this woman’s life had on others. Since she was a teenager, she had gone through numerous, and I mean numerous, health issues. By the age of 50 she had experienced well over 100 surgeries. Yet this woman of faith never complained. In fact, if ever anyone needed to be uplifted or hear an encouraging word, they would call her. She modeled for all of us the proper way to live under adversity.
By the time we arrived back in Eau Claire it was 5:00 p.m., and in 30 minutes I would be attending an elder board meeting. On the way home, my wife had called and asked if I would have time to meet her for supper. I was so blessed to feel that she had missed me that much and wanted to spend that time with me. I told her to be at the restaurant by 5 and order my food so I could sit for 20 minutes with her and eat before the meeting. She agreed. I was pumped for those few moments of time with the love of my life.
When I arrived at the restaurant and headed straight for the restroom, I noticed her in the corner booth with my son and his family. I wondered why they were there. When I came out and started for the booth, I heard a voice shout out, “Hi Grandpa!.“ I knew it wasn’t the voice of my son’s son. Then, in an instant, there was a small boy jumping into my arms. He had run across the restaurant to surprise me, and he certainly did. It was my two grandchildren from Sun Prairie and their mother – my daughter. They had come up for a quick surprise visit.
I was so overwhelmed with joy that I didn’t even think about how my wife arranged to sacrifice her personal time with me to bring me such joy? Her thoughts were about blessing me. Her words of invitation to dinner together were words designed to produce great joy. That joy continued for the next two days, as I got to spend each morning with the kids before I go to my office appointments and each evening playing games and wrestling.
I learned something from her that day. She spoke words to me designed to encourage me and lift my spirits. Words are powerful. So men, let me ask you, does your love for your wife come through in your words? When Jesus Christ came to this earth to pay the price for our sin, He used His words to wash us and cleanse us. The faith we have placed in Him for our salvation is based upon the power of His words. The commitment we make to Him is motivated by the hope we find in His words. The choices we make to live holy and blameless lives are influenced by the love He spoke to us with His words. In the same way that Christ loved us and cleansed us from sin by His word so that we He could present us to himself in purity and love, we are to love our wives and use our words to bring them to a place of radiance.
Men, if your wife is not very radiant to you right now, it’s probably your fault. She will only reflect the beauty she sees in your eyes. She will only match the radiance she hears in your words. Your words have the power to tear her down or to build her up. Your words have the ability to discourage her or encourage her. Your words have the authority to wash away her fear, doubt, disappointment, and insecurity. Your words have the strength to enrich her. Your words can bring her joy. Your words can make wrinkles and blemishes unimportant and irrelevant. Your words can and will produce radiance.
Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church – with a passion to make her holy and blameless, which is expressed in our use of words designed to cleanse her and make her radiant. In doing so, you have given yourself the greatest gift you could receive.