Loving like Christ

In Ephesians 5:25, Paul instructs husbands to “love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Christ was always honorable. He never did anything behind anyone’s back nor did He hide his emotions and feelings. So one way husbands can love like Christ is be honorable like Christ with their wife.

Paul wrote to the Hebrews asking them to pray for him so that he could have a clear conscious and conduct himself honorably in all things. As husband and wife, you should pray this same prayer for each other. Living honorable in all things will help protect your marriage and build the “oneness” that God intends for you to have in marriage.

Being honorable builds “oneness.”

So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. — Matthew 19:6

Part of being honorable is being open and honest. Honesty builds “oneness” in a marriage that creates deeper trust and intimacy. Likewise, dishonesty can destroy a marriage and rip your relationship apart. 2 Corinthians 8:21 says, “For we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man.” Whether we or honest or dishonest in our emotions, feelings, finances, or relationships with other people, will affect the unity of oneness that God intended for us to have in marriage. God knows when we are honest or dishonest, and often your wife knows when you are keeping things from her. Likewise, wives, your husband knows when you are keeping something from him. So aim for what is honorable both in God’s sight and in each others’.

Why men struggle with sharing emotions and feelings

Men in particular experience difficulty in sharing their deepest thoughts and emotions with their wife. They tend to want to protect them or not burden them with what’s going on in their lives. They also do not want their wife to see them as vulnerable, unsure, or struggling. Men want their wife to see them as their “hero,” protector, provider – the strong one for them to lean on. It’s built into your DNA as God designed you to be the leader of your home. But it can also bring division in your relationship of oneness when you don’t share your greatest dreams, longing, desires, passions, worries, and struggles with your wife. She doesn’t want to be an outsider in your life. She longs to be an insider.

Do you leave your spouse on the outside or invite her in?

When you don’t share these deepest emotions and struggles with your spouse, you keep them locked out of a part of your life. You rob them of the opportunity to pray for you, encourage you, and love you through whatever you are face. Husbands, you need to remember that God created your wife to be your help mate, but when you keep her locked out, she doesn’t get to be who God called her to be in your life. Wives, you need to remember that God created your husband to be your spiritual leader. His shoulders are wider and stronger than yours because God gave him the strength to be the person you lean on.

Sometimes we are guilty of sharing these deep emotions with a best friend or family member while leaving our spouse in the dark about what is going on inside of us. We need to remember that when we get married we are to leave and cleave. Leave our family and friends and cleave to our spouse. Your spouse should be the first person (after God) you go to with these deepest emotions. If your spouse is not who you share them with, why?

You don’t have to carry your burdens alone

Being open and honest with your spouse in every area will help forge bonds of oneness that leads to greater intimacy, trust, and friendship. Sharing with each other in this way has an added benefit in that you don’t have to carry your burdens and struggles alone. Yes, God has told us to cast all our cares on Him – and we should. But God also designed the marriage relationship to be one that helps and carries each other through all of life’s good and bad.

What are some things you can share with each other? Share with each other what God is teaching you, the struggles you face at work, your fears, your hopes and dreams, and the exciting things God does in your life. Tell each other about the disappointments you face. Lovingly share with each other when he or she does something that frustrates you.

Be a burden carrier

Make time on a regular basis to ask your spouse about what’s going on in his or her life. Ask them for something specific you can pray about for them. When you ask, be sure you are genuinely listening. What better way to show you spouse just how important he or she is to you than being genuinely interested in the things that matter most to them?

If you ask about your spouse’s deepest emotions from behind the newspaper or while cooking dinner, do you think they will feel like you really want to know? You’ll probably get the standard, “I’m fine” response. But if you stop the business of life, focus your attention on your spouse and take his or her hand, look them in the eye and ask, “How can I pray for you?” or “What is your greatest struggle right now in your life?” or “What is something God is showing you?” then you will open the doors for your spouse to share the deepest parts of who they are and you will be able to be a burden carrier.

Protecting their deepest emotions

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. — Ephesians 5:4

If you want to experience the kind of oneness that being honorable and honest in all things, then you have the responsibility of protecting the deepest things your spouse shares with you. You can’t expect them to share the deepest thoughts and emotions if they expect you to laugh or make fun of them. They won’t tell you their dreams if you just knock them down. They won’t tell you when they’ve messed up if they expect you to be angry and unforgiving. Your spouse won’t share with you anything if they think you’ll run out and tell your friends, family, church family, or neighbors. You cannot live honorably in all things if you do not protect the emotions of your spouse.

Honorable in all things

Pray for us; for we are convinced that we have a clear conscience, wanting to conduct ourselves honorably in everything. — Hebrews 13:18

Living in the “oneness” that God intended in marriage allows us to live together with a clear conscience because we choose to conduct ourselves honorably in everything. If you feel like your marriage does not live up to the “oneness” that God designed for marriage, then ask yourself about how honorable you are being with your spouse. Living honorably allows for a clear conscience. Living dishonorably brings division.

#marriage #oneness #honorable #honesty

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