“submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
Tomorrow (5/29) is the 32nd anniversary of the second greatest day of my life! The greatest day is when I got saved as an 8 year old boy at the Potecasi Baptist Church. The SECOND greatest day is when I married Edna Galloway at the Creeksville Baptist Church. Search this site for the post entitled “A Perfect Match” to read more about our relationship. My love for Edna grows deeper and greater every day and everything I wrote 2 years ago about her is even more true today. Now, we are just weeks away from Danielle’s wedding and I am reminded of the wonderful example Edna is not only to Danielle, but to all young women who desire to be a Godly woman and wife.
Something tragic is happening to marriage and family life in America today. Millions of marriages end in divorce. In my humble, but accurate opinion, this is a tragedy of indescribable proportions for everyone involved.
Who is responsible for this? I don’t believe we can hold the government or the school system responsible for the breakup of marriages and families. I think the blame for this rests at the door of the church and home. The church has neglected to teach the truths of God concerning this most important of human relationships. Parents have been neglectful in teaching our sons and daughters what is expected by God of a husband and wife. The husband and wife have a definite responsibility for the welfare of home life.
Ephesians 5 gives us some of the responsibilities of husbands and wife, but I deliberately chose verse 21 as the text for this post. It reminds me that BOTH the husband and wife are to be subject to the Lordship of Christ in order for them to fulfill their duties as a married couple. What follows in Ephesians 5 is impossible unless we are FIRST subjected to God individually.
Over the last 32 years, I have learned from Edna and with Edna that we are first responsible to God for the way we relate to each other and our children. The home is of divine origin. Genesis 1:27-28 reminds us that marriage is a provision of God for the well-being of the human race. Marriage is God’s remedy for human loneliness and incompleteness. God made us “male and female.” He made us for each other.
Ephesians 5 contains guidelines that point toward wholesome and creative family relationships. Edna and I have sought to follow these guidelines and we have tried to teach Dustin and Danielle the importance of these guidelines as well.
Let me share just a few principles Edna and I have used to build our marriage of 32 years.
1. We recognize that we live under the grace, guidance and judgment of our Lord. It is the divine plan of God for us that we adjust ourselves to each other as husband and wife. We understand that you cannot mistreat your spouse without having to deal with a just and righteous God. God, in all His grace has assisted us now 32 years as we seek to work together in love and faith and helpfulness.
2. For Edna, there are two specific guidelines in Ephesians 5. Taken out of context, you might think they are discriminatory against women. That is NOT God’s intention. In Christianity, we ALL stand as equals before God (Galatians 3:28). In Ephesians 5:22 and 5:33, the Bible says, “Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body” (v. 22) — “the wife is to respect her husband” (v. 33).
If we don’t understand our roles within the context of our family, we create either a headless monster or a two-headed freak. Either one leads to confusion and disappointment. The Bible teaches that the subordination of the wife to the husband is to be voluntary and the reverence she gives to her husband is to be deserved by him. We are equal before God — we just have different roles within the relationship.
Here’s how I have viewed it — Edna is the best and most qualified person to be the wife and mother in our relationship. I am completely incapable of doing either of those two things — it’s impossible. And our family would be incomplete without Edna serving in these two roles.
3. For me (Keith), there are two guidelines as well. And guys, when you do this, I can absolutely guarantee you that your wife will gladly respect you! In verse 25, Paul says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her…” The word translated “love” does NOT refer to sexual love. This word instead refers to the sacrificial, self-giving love illustrated by Jesus Christ when he died on the cross for the church. Sacrificial love that gives of itself WITHOUT RESERVATION is absolutely essential for a successful marriage.
The second guideline for husbands is found in verses 28-30. Men, we are to love our wives as we love our own bodies. From the viewpoint of Scripture, marriage is a “one-flesh” relationship. Both the husband and wife are to be as concerned about the well-being of their spouse as they are their own “flesh and blood.”
I have jokingly told Edna that if she ever leaves me, her new husband had better like me a lot — cause I’m going with her! She is my number 1 priority after my relationship with God. Danielle and Dustin know that I love them with all my heart — and I am able to do that only because I love their mother even more.
The Biblical guidelines for marriage are ridiculed by the world today and many people think they know better than God. But God created marriage and He created it to be a picture of His relationship to the church.
I am thankful for the last 32 years with Edna. I couldn’t have made it without her. When God created my “helper,” He gave me exactly what I needed to be the person He wanted me to be. I pray I have also been that for Edna as well.
Here’s to 32 more years Edna. I fell in love with you the moment our eyes met and that love has only grown deeper every day. I love you today and always.
Have a great day.