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 (Ephesians 5:26-27).
I gotta admit, I freaked out a little bit the first time I read this verse, so many moons ago. Because, well, I was reading a little too fast, and it sounded like I was personally responsible for the spiritual development of my as-yet-unmet future wife.
Then I read a little more carefully–always a good idea–and realized that Paul was expounding on what Christ has done for us, not what I was supposed to do for my bride. We are the church, and Jesus has cleansed us and made us holy and removed our sins–something I could never do for myself, let alone anyone else. This was a huge relief.
Then, my perspective changed again. It does that from time to time.
I mean, look, Paul put these words here for a reason–he wasn’t getting paid by the word.
Of course, I am not responsible for Cathy’s relationship with Christ.
But I am responsible before God for what I do to encourage her relationship with Christ.
Am I washing Cathy in the word of God? Am I bathing her in prayer, encouraging her in her walk, leading her in worship and acts of service? Am I pouring my energy into the life of my Beloved as Christ has done with me?
I’ll let those questions remain rhetorical. Probably better for everyone that way.
Happy Tuesday, Beloved