Thursday, May 11, 2017
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. Ephesians 5:25-26(NLT)
I am not exactly a jewelry kind of guy. I have never bought a piece of the stuff for myself. But I have had some given to me. My wife gave me a ring when we were 19 and standing before Reverend Bardsley. I thanked her by saying: I do! She gave me another ring this year to celebrate our 50th anniversary. The first ring is a wedding band, symbolic of our commitment to each other; the second ring has a cross, symbol of my faith and pastoral calling. So my jewelry is significant as a husband and a Christian pastor. I take both callings very seriously.
I don’t take the rings off my fingers much, only to clean them, or to dry them when I’ve washed my hands. When I do take them off I lay them in exactly the same way as the picture on this devotion; the anniversary cross ring is on the bottom, and the wedding ring is resting on top of it. Is it Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or is there another reason?
Well yes, there is a reason I do it that way; to be more accurate, there are two reasons. Reason #1. The cross is the basis for the Christian faith, and is therefore foundational to who I am as a follower of Jesus Christ, the priority above all else.
Reason #2. My wedding ring represents my marriage and commitment to Elizabeth to the exclusion of all others, and it rests upon the cross ring as a symbol that my marriage is built on, and dependent upon my faithfulness to God.
Paul’s specific advice to husbands was to love their wives in the same manner that Jesus loves the church, to give up whatever is necessary to lift up the one God gave to him.
That’s a lot different than some of the selfishness we see as examples these days.
Married or single, every Christian must hear the call of Christ to affirm the sanctity of marriage, to support (and sometimes that also means hold accountable) those who marry, and those who are preparing for marriage.
Considering the loose and almost cavalier attitude with which the bonds of marriage are held today, we must do a better job of teaching Biblical marriage and creating expectation and accountability that believers (particularly) will lead the way with strong marriages.