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I MUST LOVE MY WIFE                            By  Phil Guerena Sr.

I must love my wife is a great undertaking if a successful marriage is desired.  Proverbs 18:22 states: “He who finds a wife finds what is a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.”  (ESV)  It is God’s intention that man be blessed with a wife.  Jesus taught His disciples that in the beginning God created one woman for one man, therefore the disciples of Jesus are commanded to have only one wife.   With that said, however, human emotions can often make marriage into something God never intended. 

In any marriage, the struggle to be us and no longer me is a battle against pride and arrogance.  Self-respect is a necessary ingredient to succeed in many endeavors of life, but in the context of marriage it could be very destructive.  That is why for a marriage to be successful it must be built on selfless love.  Love demands discipline and sacrifice toward anyone to whom it is directed.  Many times in a healthy marriage, if not always, self must be put aside while seeking the best for others, especially a wife and children.  A husband cannot put his own selfish needs ahead of his wife and children just as a mother can never put her own selfish needs ahead of her husband and kids.  A strong family unit is one that is built on sacrifice and commitment, not self-centeredness and conceit.

Looking at some of the Biblical guides for life and marriage can really help.   “Honor your father and mother.” “You shall not murder.” “You not commit adultery.”   “You shall not steal.”  You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”  “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.”   “Husbands love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.”  (Colossians 3:19)  Yet    Jesus gives a command that seems to be contrary to all of these in Luke 14:26.  “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.”   However, in Ephesians 5:25, husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. This seems to be a teaching that God must be first always; then we must obey Him and love our wives and even our family and self just as much as we love God.  If God is first in our lives so is our wife and others.  

She has to be upheld, forgiven, encouraged, served, and treated kindly and with much respect for her and her gifts.  The wife becomes a treasure given to man by God Himself.  Proverbs 19:14 says: “Houses and riches are an inheritance from the fathers, But a prudent wife is from the LORD.”   Furthermore, the Bible states that we must live with our wives with understanding, and honor our wife as a weaker vessel or else our prayers are hindered for disobeying God, I Peter 3:7.   Wives are endowed with special insight.  It would be wise to listen to them and take their advice, most of the time.   Also many of us husbands in the marriage ceremony promised to love our dear sweethearts by being faithful and providing our own lives and goods for her sake.  She likewise said the same in her promises to us.   How sad it is when couples take these words as only a formality and not life binding.  Therefore, if we want happy marriages, we must love our wives because God commanded us to do so in order to live happily united with her for all of our lives.   
     

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