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“Let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”  Ephesians 5:33

God made Adam first and put him in the Garden with a job to do, a mission to fulfill.  In the heart of every fallen man is the self-doubt that wonders, “Am I man enough to climb this mountain God has called me to?  Can I fulfill my destiny?”  A wise wife will understand that question at the center of her husband’s heart.  And she will spend her life answering it, communicating to him in various ways, “Honey, I believe in your call.  I know you can do this, by God’s power.  Go for it.”  In this way, she will breathe life into her man.

God made Eve from Adam, for Adam, to help him follow the call.  In the heart of every fallen woman is the self-doubt that wonders, “Do I please you?  Am I what you wanted?”  A wise husband will understand that question at the center of his wife’s heart.  And he will spend his life answering it, communicating to her in various ways, “Darling, you are the one I need.  I cherish you.  Let me hold you close.”  In this way, he will breathe life into his wife.

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26 thoughts on “Husband and wife”

  1. Greg says:

    Well said, Ray. This is the platform I use in understanding myself in marriage and the same exhortation I give couples considering marriage. You have wonderfully stated the kernel of it all.

  2. katelyn says:

    Thank you, I cherish truth about marriages and Christ-centered love :)

  3. Wonderfully put! And you and Jani are a good example of this. Thansk for this.

  4. Gaye Clark says:

    Ah, at last, what being a “life-giver” looks like.
    Thanks so much for condescending to those of us insisting on he concrete.
    marvelously helpful

  5. David says:

    this is so true. But its a shame when the entire world tells a woman the opposite! “You are not to be cherished because that is a sign of weakness.” May we understand our nature and relish who we are !

    “Salt and Light”

  6. Julie says:

    I could barely read this aloud to my husband this morning without crying. Not just crying, but sobbing. Christ has redeemed a wreck of a woman, a hellion of a husband, a mess of a marriage..but it wasn’t until one of us realized what true love REALLY looks like, and started REALLY walking in it. Thank you, Pastor, for reminding us both again and focusing us on how to really love each other for His glory.

  7. Linda Wilson says:

    Thank you Ray for these encouraging words that reinforce the Biblical worldview of a marriage relationship!! Sure do miss Jani and you!!

  8. Angela says:

    Very true. I’m sure the Church could be seen as a hindrance to Christ’s ministry many times, but that doesn’t stop his love and care. The book of Hosea is only one such example.

    1. meripng says:

      Well said both of you… after all the greatest thing is love.. what greater ministry is there than that? If I have (a great ministry… or whatever), but have not love I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol

  9. Steve Edwards says:

    Well said! The secular world so ignorantly confuses the ROLES of men and women with their STATUS. People who are sealed by the Holy Spirit at the moment of their Salvation are equal in their STATUS in the eyes of God. The ROLE God has given to Brothers in Christ and the ROLE God has given to Sisters in Christ have NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with their STANDING before the Lord.

  10. Eusebio says:

    Wow! Great thoughts! I’ll be applying this in my own marriage. Thanks!

  11. Anu says:

    Beautiful post..When two people enter into marriage, both are cast into a new role different from any role they have ever been in before and their respective roles are clearly defined and outlined in the Scriptures. Up to this time they have been just a man and woman like all other men and women. But now that man is no longer just a man but he is a husband with certain fixed and clearly defined duties and responsibilities toward that certain woman he has taken to be his wife. That women is no longer just a woman but she is now a wife with clearly defined duties and responsibilities toward the man she has chosen to be her husband.


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Ray Ortlund

Ray Ortlund is senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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