“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for her… So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” Ephesians 5:22,25, 28,29 New King James Version
I enjoy music very much, you might even say I enjoy music enormously! In my younger days I would purchase an album (yes, vinyl) which was the only music medium available to us at that time. I’d rush home to put it on the record player that had just one speaker and read the lyrics as the music played. Yes, I read the lyrics; I am definitely a word man when it comes to music. I could recite nearly every lyric to the songs that meant the most me, and most of the lyrics to the popular songs of the time.
Interestingly enough, until I met Joni I mostly listened to country, some soft pop, and a very little rock. Country music was not the same as what is considered country today. The country music I grew up listening to consisted mostly of ballads. They were songs that told stories about life, love, relationships, and broken hearts. After I began dating Joni, my musical taste became quite eclectic, more rock and less country, with the result that our two daughters have no use for country music in any form. Definitely my bad!
One of the soft pop groups I enjoyed was The Lettermen. They had several songs I liked, but especially the one titled Cherish. I wouldn’t call myself a romantic; however, music has the ability to move me and my emotions. Fortunately or unfortunately, most often the movement takes me into downward spirals, especially those songs talking about love lost or unfulfilled. Cherish was one of those songs. It still has the ability to move me even now, all these years after my childish fantasies of love lost have taken on a large dose of reality. I discovered one reason music plays such a role in my emotional state; it’s one of my multi-intelligences.
Lately I have discovered some interesting insights into who I am and what makes me tick. It has come about by way of trying to find out who we are. The “we” consists of my two younger sisters, a niece, and me. My dad was adopted and had told us his adoption records were destroyed. We didn’t know any different until my niece decided to find out for herself. Much to our astonishment, the records were still very much intact!
Since then, our investigations have only deepened the mystery, because some of what we learned in the paperwork was quite different from the oral history given by my grandfather. We decided to have our DNA checked, the results of which have added to the mystery even more. But I’ll have to save that for a later date as it is an ongoing adventure! One of the perks from the company doing the testing was a personality test. This was quite informative in itself as it revealed my personality traits (which I have checked with two other testing sites). The tests show that 7% of the population, and only 6% of men, find themselves sharing these particular personality traits. It has helped me gain an understanding of who I am, because I process information through my emotions. It is not generally accepted as a very manly way to handle life and it’s stressors, at least not the way I was brought up to understand what it meant to be a man!
Who I was taught a man should be and what I was able to be as a man were often in conflict, something I am able to understand a little better now. The results have offered me some new insights into the why’s, how’s, maybes, even the what for’s of my life, including how I viewed marriage, commitment, and the need to cherish the one God had gifted especially for me!
If you are married there is a need to cherish your spouse. In fact the greatest gift any set of parents can give their children is to cherish each other. Because second to God, your spouse is your most centered, focused relationship! In giving Eve and Adam to each other God intended them to bond together. And as long as the rebellion remained away from planet Earth, there was nothing to hinder the relationship God intended for humanity to experience. In the world God created for us, the relationships He designed met every need.
The entrance of the rebellion into God’s perfect creation slammed the husband and wife relationship nearly into oblivion. In effect it created what has become the most popular of games ever played consistently over the millennia, the infamous blame game. Who’s to blame? Somebody is to blame, and it isn’t me! The game has been constantly played and perfected since that fateful moment when the parents of humanity turned their backs on their Father. It effectively destroyed any chance for mankind to know what the love of a husband and wife could be and become. Since then it has been a battle of the sexes with no one winning except the enemy!
Enter God and His plan to redeem all that has been stolen from His creation, especially humanity! He provides a way of escape from those things which destroy our closest relationships. There are no closer relationships than those of husband and wife, none! Not your children, not your parents or other family members, not your friends. The only relationship which transcends the husband and wife relationship is the relationship between God and you! Absolutely no other relationship can be allowed to interfere with the sacred relationship of husband and wife!
There is no room for not understanding how important this is to the vitality of the family and the vitality of the church, because this impacts the very witness of the body of Christ! There has been nothing more destructive to the witness of the church than the failure of Christians to seek God’s Grace to heal their marriages. It is an indictment when the divorce rate in the Christian community is as high or higher than it is outside the Christian community! Thinking this doesn’t impact the witness of those who claim the very name of Christ is naive and detrimental in giving a positive witness to who Jesus is, was, and continues to be!
There is a reason God uses the bride and bridegroom as a metaphor for the relationship between Himself and His church. As it was originally intended, Adam and Eve as husband and wife were to become one. Being one is still the goal, even though we know it’s not possible this side of eternity. Jesus sees His body, His church as becoming one with Him, and as it is with anything involving God and His creation, God will make it happen if we will allow Him access! He does not expect us to do what only He is able to accomplish. Soon, the Bridegroom will return for His bride, He will know her because she is His. He has left her with no doubt as to what His intentions are no matter how far she has strayed. He remains committed to bringing her home as His cherished and radiant Bride!
Just as in all things God ordained, He makes sure it comes to pass no matter the circumstances. God has taken it on Himself to bring His church through. For a long time ago He made a promise to restore that which had been destroyed, to return this world of ours to its original purpose and order. Each day we get closer no matter when it happens, each day His return for us is one day nearer!
“For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 6:31-33 New Living Translation