“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her…”
Ephesians 5:25 NASB
“I wouldn’t miss your funeral for the world.” My father chuckled while he spoke those words about my wedding day. Though he was just joking around (I think), I must admit it got under my skin a little bit. How could he view something so beautiful through such a dark lens? I realize now that he was partially right. He was right in what he said, but wrong in what he meant.
The wedding, and every day of a husband’s life, IS a funeral. In fact, I would argue that unless a husband views it that way he will never be what God intends and he will find himself frustrated in his marriage. The husband’s call is to daily die to himself. I am confident in that, not only because of the plain testimony of Scripture, but also because I am a husband who has had days of self-sacrifice and days of self-service. I can say from my own experience that the days of self-service also ended up being days of discontentment. I never ended up gaining what I wanted as a result of selfishness. I only gained more frustration as my ever-growing list of needs was left unmet. The reason my contentment was so elusive on those self-centered days is quite simple. I was not living within God’s framework.
Husbands, here is God’s direction to us. We need to die. We need to die to ourselves, to our own selfish desires, to our pride, and even to our own life. This is the great and heavy purpose God gives to us, that we would be to our wives and to the watching world a representation (however imperfect) of the sacrificial love Christ has for His church. Let that notion sink in for a second. Jesus went to the cross for His bride, the Church, even as He was being rejected by her. Many husbands couldn’t be bothered to do the simplest of tasks for their wives. Consider this question. Does your wife know more of Christ’s love because of the way you love her?
By the grace of God, we can do better. And only when we operate in the sacrificial way we were intended to will we be able to have contentment and peace in our marriages. So maybe instead of saying, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” we should be saying, “I want to spend the rest of my life dying for you.” And maybe more marriages would endure if we did view the wedding, in this one way, as a funeral.