Loving Your Spouse in Deed & Truth

loveDid you know that in 1st John we see 46 different forms of the word love?  I have been teaching through this book to our ladies during our Monday night Bible study.  Love envelops the Epistles of John.  It not only adorns this book, but is a consistent theme throughout the entire Word of God.

 We have been learning that love is more than an emotion. While emotion is attached to love, it is in actuality an act of the will. We choose to love. And while a person wants to be told they are loved; they want to be shown even more. Therefore, true love is active, not passive.  We are told in 1 John 3:18, “Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” So let’s take a look at what loving our spouse in deed and truth looks like. (With special thanks to my husband who has written the part for men.)

 Wife

 My husband says that most men are fairly easy to please. They basically need three things – food, sex, and respect (and not necessarily in that order). While this may be true and is certainly a good starting point, there are many ways a wife can show love on a daily basis. The way you show your husband love will probably look different than the way I show my husband love. So do not use the below list as an excuse for falling into the trap of comparison. This is always detrimental to a marriage. Instead, use these suggestions as a means of sparking your creative imagination and love your husband in a way that makes him see the truth in Proverbs 18:22. “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.”

  • Create an atmosphere of peace in the home.

  • Pray for his life and success daily.

  • Help him maintain male friendships by allowing him time away with the boys.

  • When he has had a hard day, romance him in the evening.

  • Praise him in public.

  • Save money in a jar and buy him something he really wants.

  • Build him up in the eyes of your children. Make him their greatest hero.

  • When he asks you to do something, do it with pleasure.

  • Support his life ambitions in both word and deed.

  • Fix his favorite meal or dessert on occasion.

  • Don’t complain.

  • Be quick to say I’m sorry and even quicker to forgive.

  • Be a woman he can trust. Don’t share more than you should with others.

  • When he arrives home from work, allow him some quiet time before discussing the day.

  • Maintain your health and beauty.

  • Pray for his weaknesses, praise his strengths.

  • Put your husband before your children and make sure he knows that he will always hold that place.

  • Always express thankfulness for all he does for your family whether it is big or small.

  • The next time you are tempted to usurp his authority, don’t.

  • Surround yourself with friends who want to see your marriage last and listen to them.

  • Speak kindly and watch the tone of your voice. Avoid being loud or whiny.

  • Be there in his hour of need.

  • Be content with what you have, not always demanding more.

  • Be slow to speak and quick to listen.

  • Drop an encouraging note or scripture in his lunch or brief- case.

  • Send romantic texts (just make sure it goes to the right person).

  • Treat him with respect and teach the children to do the same.

  • Begin each day with a hug. End each night with a kiss.

  • Add to this list continually.

Husband

Husbands before you read the list below, prayerfully consider that your wife is a precious vessel in which to treasure and that this list is not a checklist to say, “Okay I have done my part”, but a guide to help reaffirm her as your “help meet.” She was created from the man, not from his head to rule over him, nor from his foot to be subjugated by him, but from his side to be his close ally and trusted confidant.  As her husband the Bible commands you to “wash her with the water of the word” this means to speak into her life and help her live through the scriptures you share with her day by day. The word husband is the word used to be a dresser of vines, one who cultivates and not that of dictator or tyrant. You are her spiritual head and it is your loving obligation to lead her into the truth of God’s Word together. Now consider some of the following to help strengthen her first, and your own position of authority second:

  •  After the kids are in bed, slow dance by candlelight or firelight.

  • Do something around the house that your wife usually does.

  • Take up a new hobby or interest together or share those you already have.

  • Praise your wife in front of the children.

  • Be trustworthy.

  • Pray with and for your wife.

  • Exercise together.

  • Be the Spiritual leader you are called to be by reading scripture together.

  • Let her talk.  Be slow to speak, quick to listen.

  • Keep pictures of your family in your wallet or around the office.

  • Be the sole provider for your family.

  • Schedule a monthly (or weekly, if possible) date with your wife.

  • Write her love letters.

  • Fill her car up with gas when it’s low.

  • Make your anniversary very special.

  • Send her flowers on your children’s birthdays.

  • Encourage her to spend time with godly women.

  • Always express thankfulness for all she does for the family whether it is big or small.

  • Use physical affection often -a hand on the shoulder, neck rub, stroke on the cheek, etc.

  • Watch the tone of your voice. Be kind, don’t yell.

  • Always forgive.

  • Be a good father to your children.

  • Let her sleep in occasionally and serve her favorite breakfast in bed.

  • Add to this list continually.

Note: Looking for a study on love from 1st John? Click here for a verse by verse study for women through the Epistles of John.

Happy are the Holy

I am sitting here this morning in sweet reflection.  The closing paragraph, last sentence, and final words to my 4th book were written last week.  It is off to the editor and in the hands of the man writing the forward.  The thought of it all brings great happiness.

The Epistles of John have been an incredible study for me personally.  The theme of the books is love.  It covers God’s love to us and our love to others.  But what I did not expect was the amount of love shown by the Apostle to his readers.  What makes his love so revealing is its under-girding of absolute truth.  John writes these letters so that believers might “know that they know” with confidence and assurance that they are in the faith.

Living Out the Word: Love has been perhaps the deepest and most heart revealing ladies Bible study that I have written.  John’s epistles gives a person a series of tests they can take to see if their faith is real.  Have you ever questioned your salvation?  Did you know that it is okay to do so?  In fact, we are commanded in Scripture to do just this.  “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves,” 2 Corinthians 13:5a.

One of the tests that Johns gives is purity.  I John 3:3 says, “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”  The “hope” this verse is referring to is the hope of Christ’s return (I John 3:2).  We often use “hope” as a synonymic word for “wish”. But do not mistake it here in this verse.  It does not mean wish, want, or desire.  The word conveys a stronger meaning.  The Greek word is elpis and it means having confidence in, earnest expectation, or anticipation.  Hope makes a difference in the life of those who believe.  The person who has the hope (confidence) of one day seeing Christ will purify himself.   Notice also that there are no exceptions to the principle here.   The verse says that every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself.”  A few weeks ago my husband started an expository study through 1st John.  Yesterday’s afternoon study was on this verse.

As it turned out, my husband is also preaching verse by verse through the book of Matthew during our morning worship service.  Yesterday’s sermon was on Matthew 5:8 taken from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.  “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”  To be blessed is to be happy.  To be pure in heart is to be holy.  I was amazed at how the two sermons tied so perfectly together.  Happy are those that are pure in heart (holy) and only those that have the confidence that Christ will return will purify themselves.   So, just what is purity?  My husband explained three types of purity for the believer.  There is positional purity, practical purity, and perfect purity.

Positional Purity is how the believer stands before God. “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God,” Colossians 3:3. When God looks at us He sees the precious blood of His Son.  “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin,” 1 John 1:7.  The believer is positionally pure.

Practical Purity is how we live out our faith.  “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself.” 

  •  “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God,” 2 Corinthians 7:1.
  •  “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy,” 1 Peter 1:14-16.
  •  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service,” Romans 12:1.

Perfect Purity is that day that all believers long for.  “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is,” 1 John 3:2.  It has not happened yet, but we know that one day we will be like Christ.   Spiritually we are pure but we still live in this sinful flesh.  However, our bodies will one day be glorified (Romans 8:30) and we will be perfectly pure.  What a day that will be!

It is the realization that we are positionally pure and the expectation of one day being perfectly pure that gives us the desire to live out our lives in practical purity.  “Blessed are the pure in heart.”   Happy are the holy, “for they shall see God.”