Okay, maybe you don’t get a bouquet of roses every week. And maybe he doesn’t wine and dine you that often, or hold your hand on walks, or whisper sweet nothings in your ear. That’s the stuff of chick flicks, not biblical love and marriage.
Biblical marriage is a beautiful dynamic. Marriage God’s way will have wives feeling protected, provided for, safe and secure. Husbands would be thankful for their good gift from God (their wives). A husband who truly cherishes his wife (now that we know the true meaning) is described below. He is gentle, tender, sympathetic, and cares for her body and soul. Don’t forget God’s order of creation:
The husband is the head of the wife.
[I am ducking just in case a pie comes my way, but if you don’t like that statement, you’ll have to take it up with God because He said it, not me.]
Notes on Ephesians 5 from my 1895 Self Interpreting Bible explain:
v.22: Particularly do you believing wives pay all becoming reverence, honour, subjection, and obedience to your own husbands, who have, by the marriage-bond, devoted themselves to you, as your loving superiors; and always act herein as in the sight and presence of the Lord Christ, from love to his person, in obedience to his authority, and with an eye to his glory, and in the manner in which his people are subject to him. 23. For by the law of nature and marriage, the husband is constituted the head, guide, and guardian of the wife, in a manner somewhat similar to that in which Christ, as Mediator, is constituted the Head, Governor, and Protector of the church — in which relation he is their Saviour and Redeemer from everything sinful and wretched, and to everything truly honourable or happy. 24. As therefore the church is cheerfully and faithfully subject to the authority of Christ in all her spiritual concerns, so let wives, with meekness, willingness and fidelity, be subject to their husbands in all things lawful in the Lord. 25. On the other hand, to procure the kind submission of your wives, see that you husbands never tyrannize over them, or be passionate or bitter against them, but by all gentle carriage, due honour, tender sympathy, and every other form of kind behaviour towards their soul and body, manifest the most endearing and ardent affection, in imitation of Christ, who so loved the church that he freely gave up himself to the most debased service, suffering, and death in her room, and for her spiritual and eternal benefit; 26. that by His blood and Spirit through his Word, he might deliver all men from the guilt, power and pollution of sin, and justify, renew, sanctify, and consecrate them to the service of God.v.27 That having gradually sanctified and adorned them with His spirit and grace, he might in due time, place them in His immediate presence in heaven, entirely freed from every remainder of sin and trouble, holy and happy. Influenced by and in imitation of this peculiar, superlative and abiding love of Christ, husbands ought to love their wives sincerely, constantly, tenderly, and ardently as they do their own bodies…
I hate to stop it there. It’s such an excellent exposition of this portion of scripture. Husbands are guardians of our souls. Some women might have a problem with your loving superiors. Before your feathers get ruffled, this doesn’t mean inequality. It refers to loving leadership, not husbands/males as the superior sex. Men should also take note of the word loving before the word superior. Enough said.
Husbands on Loving Their Wives
It is amazing how much good literature suddenly fell into my lap after deciding to tackle the subject of cherishing! No coincidence, of course. From the Fall Issue of Free Grace Broadcaster, here is
Wisdom from godly men who cherished their wives:
A few favorite quotes (in red) and my two cents follows below each.
“No husband is entitled to say that he is the head of the wife unless he loves his wife. He is not carrying out the Scriptural injunction unless he does so….the reign of the husband is to be a reign and a rule of love; it is a leadership of love.” — David Martyn Lloyd-Jones in ‘A Christlike Love’
This is the superior part: ‘a leadership of love’.
“Have you discovered that your wife has some peculiar temperamental weakness? Have you discovered that she has certain special characteristics? Is she nervous and apprehensive, or is she too outspoken? It does not matter what it is in particular; she has certain characteristics that are, in a sense, weaknesses. What is your reaction to them? Are you irritated or annoyed? And do you tend to condemn them and to dismiss them? Act as you do with your body, says the apostle. Protect her against them, guard her against them. If your wife happens to have been born with that worrying temperament, well, save her from it, protect her. Do everything you can to safeguard her from the weaknesses and the infirmities and the frailties; as you do so for your body, do so for your wife…She is “the weaker vessel”…” — David Martyn Lloyd-Jones in Loving Your Wife As Yourself
I love that. So many husbands get annoyed at their wives shortcomings, fears and weaknesses. Instead, husbands need to help wives with those ‘special characteristics’.
“I ask you to notice what is not always the case with regard to the husband and the wife: the Lord Jesus loves His church unselfishly, that is to say, He never loved her for what she has, but what she is. Nay, I must go further than that and say that He loved her, not so much for what she is, but what He makes her as the object of His love. He loves her not for what comes to Him from her or with her, but for what He is able to bestow upon her. His is the strongest love that ever was, for He has loved uncomeliness until He has changed it into beauty.” — C.H. Spurgeon
I’m so glad Spurgeon makes this point. I hate when wives die and husbands only miss what used to be DONE FOR THEM. That’s not cherishing. That’s living without a MAID. Having your appetites fed on every level is all about YOU. While a wife serving her husband is what wives are supposed to do, she should be valued for much more than her Martha duties. You love having a full belly. But do you love your wife, really? Or do you love only yourself and your creature comforts?
“All things that concern thy wife should be done in love. Thy thoughts should be thoughts of love; thy looks should be looks of love; thy lips, like the honeycomb, should drop nothing but sweetness and love. Thy instructions should be edged with love; thy reprehensions should be sweetened with love; thy carriage and whole conversation towards her should be but the fruit and demonstration of thy love. Oh, how did Christ, Who is thy pattern, love His spouse! His birth, life, and death were but, as it were, a stage whereon the hottest love imaginable, from first to last, acted its part to the life.”– George Swinnock
Wait a minute, George Swinnock sounds like he’s watched some chick flicks! It looks like those gestures, words and demonstrative shows of affection (when genuine!) are the stuff of biblical marriage. George Swinnock cherished his wife. How do I know this? He prayed for her. He prayed for her from the depths of his soul as you can read in the last article of this issue entitled A Husband’s Prayer. This is just a little tidbit of this gem:
“Let her body never want food and raiment, nor her soul the gospel feast, or the robes of Thy Son’s righteousness. And when I die, whomsoever I neglect, if by Thy providence I am able, let me make for her a comfortable provision that when I am happy in heaven, my other half may not, through my unworthiness, be miserable on earth.” — George Swinnock in A Husband’s Prayer
“It is certain the love of a husband to his wife should be above his love to all his relations. Next to God and Christ and his own salvation, his wife calls for the hottest and strongest affection.” — George Swinnock
That George! He gets my vote for (human) Husband of the Ages! Wives, don’t fret. Sisters in Christ, if you don’t have a Swinnock, Spurgeon or Lloyd-Jones, remember we all have a Divine Husband in Jesus Christ.
Pray for your husband. Pray that he would grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord and in that process, he comes to cherish you ardently. In the meantime, you may want to order or download this issue of Free Grace Broadcaster called A Husband’s Love. A great gift for husbands! I wonder if the next issue will be Wives, Respect Your Husbands…
Wives, are you cherished? Yes, you are.
Cherish is the word…and I do…cherish you…
credits and other links for further study: