Some years ago, an elderly brother in Christ said to me that I should not allow any man to pick a fight with my wife. He said I should step in and defend her if she is threatened verbally or in any other way. Being a younger man then, I felt a sense of pride well up in my heart when pondering the privilege that the lord has bestowed on me to be my spouse’s protector.
What I came to realise later on was that I differed substantially from my wife in how she processes things, and this is a direct result of who God has made me to be. An example of this would be in how we differ with regards to practicality versus beauty. I would not so care for presentation as I would care for practicality. For example, the positioning of a certain furniture item – in my mind the bowl should rather be placed in a safe spot where it cannot be bumped off the display cabinet, even if it means that it does not get displayed at all! In my mind it could come crashing off the display cupboard, break into pieces and then my wife and children could accidentally cut their feet. This illustrates how my wiring as a man is more about the safety and protection of my wife and family.
I believe God has intentionally wired us to be like this because we have a different role to fulfil as husbands in marriage. I must admit that I love it when my wife transforms a simple and silly looking room into something beautiful and homely. Even though I would not agree practically with the positioning of every item!
I believe God has equipped every husband with the fortitude and insight to see the danger from far off and warn his spouse to caution. As we represent Christ in marriage and our wives represent the Church, our protection of our wives should encompass much more than just physical protection. We know this because Christ’s protection encompasses more than the physical well-being of his bride, the Church. (Ephesians 5:22-33)
Often our wives might grapple with emotional pain because somebody said or did something hurtful to them. Or it may be that you as a husband neglected to do something which was expected of you. You may have said or done something that you should not have said. In these circumstances God wants to equip us by the help of the Holy Spirit to separate our emotions from the facts. Even where we might be the culprits he wants to lead us to apologise and point out how if this argument and pain is not lovingly dealt with in prayer and surrender to the Holy Spirit, it will lead to serious injury in the form of bitterness, resentment and harmful anger. This would be detrimental to both your and her walk of sanctification with Christ.
In the above scenario we should not only protect ourselves from slipping into unnecessary, prolonged, emotional pain but we need to lead our wives and ourselves out of our tendency to slip into brooding over issues that should rather just be surrendered to Christ in faith and trust.
We need to lead in actively fighting for a “sound mind” which means that we do not entertain fear but rather we surrender to the realisation of God’s unfailing love for us and His power available to us. In 2 Timothy 1:7 where sound mind, fear, timidity, love and power are mentioned, it states that these attributes are available to a believer when proclaiming the Gospel,
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” (2 Timothy 1:7, Amplified)
Are we not to proclaim and live the Gospel to our spouses first and foremost, to honour Christ our saviour as His delegated leaders and protectors of our wives and families?
It would seem as if God not only expects of us as husbands to physically protect our wives but to nurture and protect their whole beings – body, soul and spirit. He makes his Holy Spirit available to us for all the strength and wisdom that we lack when attempting to protect our wives in these areas of their lives. All it takes from us to receive the needed wisdom and understanding from God is to make time for God and pursue intimacy with Him.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mac and Naudine were missionaries for 8 years, prior to becoming pastors. During their pastoring services they became involved with various family ministries. They love to serve the people of God, especially with regards to restoring wholeness.
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