"Knowing Jesus loves me as His Father loved Him has transformed my life. Having my eyes opened to the New Commandment has changed the way I look at loving my wife and children."

A New Look at the Marriage Relationship

A New Look at the Marriage Relationship
In John 15:9, Jesus says to His disciples, “AS the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” In John 13:34 and again in John 15:12, Jesus goes on to say we are to love one another AS we have been loved by Him and calls this command the New Commandment. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34)
Knowing Jesus loves me as His Father loved Him has transformed my life. Having my eyes opened to the New Commandment has changed the way I look at loving my wife and children. I would like to give you a specific example of how this concept of loving others as I have been loved, has changed my thinking and hopefully my behavior.
I know there is a movement in some circles to resist the inroads of feminism in the church by emphasizing masculine men. Verses like Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” are frequently quoted. I used to think it was my responsibility as a husband, to play a role in seeing my wife was submissive. I don’t any longer because of the new commandment. Before you stop reading, please give me a chance to explain.
“Husbands, love your wives, AS Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” is the primary passage most men will quote when they are asked to choose one scripture which articulates their responsibility in marriage. In reading these inspired words in Ephesians 5:25, I see the new commandment principle which Jesus commanded, “Love one another, AS I have loved you.” rephrased by Paul, “love your wives, AS Christ loved the church.” The language is remarkably similar. I am to love my wife, AS Jesus has loved me.
With this fresh insight into the new commandment, I rethought this verse on submission and asked myself, “How did Jesus love me? How did I arrive at the place where I wanted Jesus to be my Lord? What compelled me to want to serve Him? Did He make me submit?”
He could have, for He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But He didn’t. Instead of forcing me to yield, Jesus chose to humble Himself, take the form of a servant, wash my feet, die for me, pray for me, and serve me. He didn’t forcibly impose His will or use His authority to rule over me, rather He used His power and position to serve me and build me up. In this way He won my heart and I chose to submit to Him.
If I am to love my wife AS Jesus loved me, how am I to emulate the same strategy of Christ towards Sandi? I am to humble myself, wash her feet, lay my life down for her, pray for her, and serve her. Regardless of how she responds, I am to continue to love her for Jesus steadfastly and faithfully loves me.
I am now convinced it is not my responsibility to play any role in whether or not my wife submits wife submits, this verse is directed to her, “Wives, ….” If she chooses to submit, fine, if not, this is her department. My calling is to humbly, faithfully, and steadfastly love her, AS Christ humbly, faithfully, and steadfastly loved me. My posture is to be as one who serves, and not as one who Lords it over another.
Thank you for reading this email through to the end. These thoughts are taken from the book Transformed in Love which examines the new commandment and how to apply this principle in our homes.
May God help us each to comprehend how Jesus has loved us, then love each other as we have been loved.