With a friend I’ve been reading through R. Kent Hughes’ book Disciplines of a Godly Man. This week we read the section titled “Relationships.” This section is comprised of 4 chapters and offered all kinds of good food for thought. I wanted to point out just one brief excerpt that kicked me in the gut. It comes in a section discussing “The Discipline of Marriage.” Here is what he says:
Men, we are called to a divinely appointed self-love: to love our wives as our own bodies, to care for them as Christ does the Church. Loving our wives’ bodies as our own demands a triple incarnation: physical, emotional, and social. We are to devote the same energy, time, and creativity to our wives as to ourselves. We are to cherish our constant souls. Envy the woman who is loved like this. Even more, envy the man who loves like this–for he is like Christ.
Men, what a challenge Ephesians 5 presents us–sacrificial love (love is like death!), sanctifying love (love that elevates), and self-love (loving your wife as much as you love your own body). If this calls for anything, it calls for some holy sweat. As Walter Trobisch said, “Marriage is not an achievement which is finished. It is a dynamic process between two people, a relation which is constantly being changed, which grows or dies.”
We are to devote the same energy, time, and creativity to our wives as to ourselves. That one line convinced and convicted. And that was just one line in a long book.