In the course of studying Scripture to prepare my Sunday School lesson over the weekend, I came across this neat confirmation of what the Bible says about love and respect. You may remember that author Gary Thomas joined us to remind that God’s purpose for marriage was not to merely make us HAPPY, but to make us HOLY! Well, how does that relate to love and respect?
Let’s revisit Ephesians 5—verse 33: However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Emerson Eggerichs has made a career out of exploring that single verse, and its implications. But does the Bible, in its amazing internal consistency, support this notion elsewhere? Back up to verses 25 to 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.So God wants to use the husband in marriage to make his wife HOLY. Is there any benefit men might enjoy from loving their wives, and helping her become holy? Jump to Proverbs 31…that’s right ladies, that Proverbs 31 woman! Verse 23 is nestled right in there among all the attributes of that virtuous woman: Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. Why is THAT, do you think? How does he gain such RESPECT? Jump down to verses 28 through 30: Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her, saying "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
OK, so a husband loves and praises his wife, whom he has washed in God’s Word, helping her to be holy. And what does that husband receive? Respect at the City Gate! There's love and respect, OT-style! I'm just sayin'...the more you study God’s Word...the more it proves itself to be the absolute Truth!