Sunday, 21 May 2017
Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Colossians 3:19
After instructions to the wives, Paul next addresses the husbands. His words are carefully selected. First he says, “Husbands, love your wives.” The word is present imperative active. Thus, “You are to do this now and always, you are certainly to do it, and you are to actively do it… Love your wives!” A man and a woman are one when united in marriage. Because of this, they are to love one another just as they love themselves. Just because a wife is to submit to her husband, it does not give him the right to act in a non-loving way towards her. Rather, the exact opposite is true.
Paul then follows up with, “and do not be bitter toward them.” The verb now goes from the active to the passive. Thus it should read, “and do not be embittered toward them.” As the woman is the weaker vessel, the husband may get exasperated by her weakness. Or, there may be other ways in which a man gets frustrated with his wife (is it possible?), and so Paul admonishes the husband to not allow himself to become embittered towards her. Each is an individual, and each is designed by God to form a whole. Surely men cause women to get exasperated (surely!), and the same is true with women. The husband, being the head of the house is to not allow bitterness to grow because of this position.
Life application: When we consider the strengths of our spouses, then the failings will be less noticeable. It is so easy in life to focus on the negative, but let us not do so – especially in regards to our spouses. Instead, let us love, cherish, and honor one another. In so doing, the Lord will look with favor upon our marriages.
Heavenly Father, You are so very good to us in having designed men and women to form a whole when coming together in the bonds of marriage. There is no substitute to this marvelous union, and we only destroy what is right, moral, and holy when we deviate from the plan, ordained by You. May we hold our spouses in high regard, and never give in to acknowledging any marriage union as acceptable other than this type which was ordained by You. Amen.