I received an email from a Legacy Dad reader who gave me permission to share his testimony with all our readers. Thanks for the insight and wisdom Tim. - Lance
I can't begin to tell you what God has done in Kathy and my marriage.More than one time we were ready to end it. Particularly sometime last year, I was at a crossroad with a choice to be "free" or to save my marriage. It was my decision to make because Kathy had given me the ultimatum to choose between the two. She went away for the weekend with a girlfriend to give us both time to think.
I knew the choice of freedom was really a lie because real freedom only comes from being in the center of God's will. And I knew God's plan would never be to "separate what He has joined together". (Matthew 19:6)
As we worked at restoring our relationship God reminded me of Ephesians 5:25 which says; "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her". I had always been familiar with the first part of this verse but it was the last part that caught my attention, "and gave himself up for her".
I had to ask, "What does it mean to give myself up for my wife"?
As I pondered this question I had to first see how Christ gave himself up for his bride, the church. The obvious was that he died for her (the church) and provided an escape from eternity in Hell. How did this relate to a husbands love for his wife?
I think we take it for granted Jesus' decision to be the Savior. Remember his prayer to his Father the night before his crucifixion?
In Matthew 26:39 it says; "Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
Three verses later he repeats the same prayer. Why? Because it would be an easy task?
Obviously not. He was agonizing over the decision to suffer for his bride. Not because he didn't love her but because it was going to be the hardest thing he would ever have to endure as a man.
Not only did he follow through with this ultimate expression of sacrificial love for everyone but he also showed husbands how to overcome the one thing he knew would be the cancer in all relationships, selfishness.
It would be an honorable expression of our love if we physically died for our wives. But would we not be fulfilling God's role for us as husbands by living for her also?
Listen to what Paul says in Galatians 5:24
"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires."
In other words Christ gives us an escape from selfishness.
Read how the Message bible interprets it;
"Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good - crucified."
As I have learned these lessons for myself and have applied them to my marriage it is nothing short of a miracle what has transformed within my marriage.
Just like the laws of nature we live in, God has set in place laws to live by within our relationships. Whether it be relationships between wives and husbands, parents and children, family members, friends, church family, coworkers, strangers, or even with God himself, there is a plan God has put in place so we can live life to it's fullest and to be at peace within each of our relationships.
It's all about relationships. Life is found in these relationships, especially a relationship with Christ himself. The last part of Hebrews 11:6 says; "He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him,"
Depression, loneliness and despair are a result of isolation and self-seeking.
God wants the best for us. That's why he sent his best, his only son.
I couldn't agree with Tim more, thanks for sharing.