Husbands are Called to Nourish

Posted: June 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

I recently read a very helpful article on what it means to nourish and cherish my wife and how the gospel motivates or drives this. At the very least, it involves dying to myself and seeking to serve my wife and love her sacrificially. As Paul says in Ephesians…

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.” – Ephesians 5:25-30 (ESV)

And so what exactly does this look like? Practically speaking, what is involved in nourishing and cherishing my wife? Rick Thomas explains…

The word nourish means to grow and the word cherish means to warm. Paul was teaching them that a God-centered, biblical husband is one who “nourishes (grows) and cherishes (warms)” his wife.

Through the activity of God’s work in your life, you are growing and changing. This is what God does for us because we are part of His body. He sees it as His job to mature His body.

In like manner your wife is part of who you are. You and your wife are one flesh. To dislike your flesh is insanity. It leads to suicide or, in this case, it leads to divorce–the aggravated amputation of the flesh from the body.

If you nourish and cherish your wife, then she will respond to your practical loving care, similarly to how the church responds to Christ. Your wife was wired to respond to Adam, not to be repulsed by him.

And through your careful nourishing and cherishing she will grow and mature. While it’s true she can mature in Christ in spite of you, that is not the way things ought to be. You are not called to hate your flesh, but to nourish and cherish it.

If your wife is nourished and cherished according to the list above (through gentleness, kindness, romance, affection, serving, talking, humility, forgiveness, etc.) her growth will be obvious. A wife is a reflection of her husband’s care. Though he can be impressive in his vocation and many accolades can come his way, the real test is the reflection his wife manifests.

“Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” – 1 Peter 3:7 (ESV)

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