From Craig Swanson…part 2 (read part 1 here)
Being the man God intended us to be means reflecting His image – following His design. Sin in the world and in our nature has marred the original design, so we need to compare our lives and character with God’s blueprint. Have you ever had to fix someone else’s building mistakes? It gets messy. Well, as we begin to look at what we’ve built into our lives compared to God’s blueprints, be prepared for some messy rehab.
“For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is head of the church…” (Eph. 5:23) The Lord has given us the role of headship. Now if your first reaction is the feeling of power and superiority, know that this comes from your sinful nature. Jesus submitted His will to the Father, yet they are both God – One being in three persons who by design have differing roles. Your wife is on equal terms with you but you are given the responsibility of leadership.
What does this leadership look like? “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25). We are to be a leader who is a lover. This requires a mindset that our culture and sinful nature do not have – that women are God’s incredible gift to us. In this world’s rush to make women “equal” to men there is the push to make women more like men and men more like women. Thus we are losing the honor, beauty and dignity of women. Women are a treasure in this world. A life with just men would be a life that lacked beauty, grace and tenderness. Women are a priceless treasure, something to be regarded as most precious to us. Think of chivalry before it went out of vogue. Women go first, we open the door for them – men used to stand when a woman entered the room to show honor to them. All this was to reflect that a woman was worthy of reverence and honor.
Look at how Christ regards the church – it is His greatest treasure, His constant concern, it is what He was willing to die for. His obsession is for our highest good. His goal for us is that we have no spot or wrinkle – that we should be holy and blameless. There is our job description as head, men – that our wives highest good is our obsession – spiritually, emotionally, and physically. For this we will stand before the Lord and give an account someday.
To be this loving leader will require from us a change in the way we view women, diligence and perseverance. It will require leading even when she doesn’t want to follow. If we are honest with ourselves we tend to treat our wives in response to her actions and reactions. And since she has a sinful nature like us, she is going to frustrate us. But look at how much pain and frustration we cause Christ as His church. His response to us is forgiveness and grace and loving direction towards who we will ultimately be. He knows who we are deep inside and understands the incredible worth that He created us with. Even when we sin against Him and hurt Him deeply, as a perfect loving leader, He absorbs the pain and responds in grace and love, because our highest good is His ultimate purpose for us.
Real men are leaders – loving, servant leaders. As men we will always be falling short of Christ’s example, but that should be the high standard that we are striving toward. Men, let’s be pouring courage into each other as we fight the strong current of our culture. Let’s restore the incredible worth of a woman.