Written by Jeremy and April Lane –
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.– Ephesians 5:22
Submission to my husband is not servitude, slavery, or bondage. It is not the degradation of my character, position, or authority as a daughter of God. Submission is never the proper response to the coercion or overbearing behavior of someone else. Instead, submission is voluntary. It is an intentional act to empower my husband; a decision made in power and out of a desire for God’s fullest abundance within my marriage.
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. – Ephesians 5:33
The act of submission is not a submission to man. It is a willingness to enter into the Father’s design for marriage, in which the husband takes on the roll of a servant leader to the family while the wife empowers him as the spiritual leader of the household.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13
Christ is our model for this type of flawless love. His love for us is pure and unflinching. No humiliation, no pain, and no burden could divert Christ from His love for us and his work on earth: the ultimate act of love and sacrifice.
Anyone who does not know love does not know God, because God is love. – 1 John 4:8
Christ’s love is constant and cannot change. He not only models the perfect love for us, He is the very definition of love. It does not exist outside of Him.
But God showed his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
Christ’s love for His people is present despite our many failures and shortcomings. He begged the Father to pardon those who drove the very nails through His hands and into the wood of the cross. This is agape love – a love unique in that it is completely focused on the character of the one giving the love, and never waivers based on the merit or behavior of the one receiving the love.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. – Psalm 139:1-2
Just as God knows my every weakness, my every flaw, and yet loves me unfailingly, let me also love my husband in this way. True love is not dependent on my husband’s performance or merit. God asks me to choose love, and so I do.
Ask God to reveal a time when you based your love or affection on your husband’s performance. Apologize to your husband for the situation and note his response.
Father, I ask that You continue to teach me how to choose love. Christ has modeled it for me, and I ask that You continue to work in me, keep shaping me to love more like Christ. Let my love for my husband be sincere, true, and unconditional. Make my love for him one that is pure and unbreakable. Strengthen me to be a wife who loves constantly, who never stops seeking You in my marriage.
Let me keep no record of wrongs, Lord, and instead shape my heart in a way that allows me to overlook any shortcomings. Raise me up to love my husband even more in his human weakness. And let his love for me increase the same, as I constantly fall short.
Teach me to love in the same way that You love us, Father. Amen.