I think we can see the heart of Jesus in HIS PRAYER to His Father found in the Gospel of John, Chapter 17. This shows us how Jesus loved His Father and the people in His care.. and from His example a husband can learn how he ought to love his wife.....
Here are some things a husband can learn about how to love his wife by the example Jesus heart for them spoken to His Heavenly Father......
- Verses 1-2: The purpose of Jesus life was to glorify God. His reason for everything He did had eternal and spiritual ramifications. Jesus lived an every day life with the people around Him, but always with one eye on heaven and eternal things. This is how a husband should love his wife.
- Also, Jesus acknowledges that the authority He has was GRANTED to Him by God. He didn't say, "Slaves... do what I say"... The implication here is of caring for something very valuable to the One who granted him authority over it. A husband has a wife and possibly a family because God has GIVEN them to him. Jesus acknowledged they were PRECIOUS to God. THIS is how a husband should love his wife.
- Verse 3- He said, "Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." Being certain that the ones God gave Him actually KNEW God... was Jesus example of what it means to LOVE. Jesus did more than drive his followers to synagogue every Sunday. He was a reflection of God to those around Him. ("If you've seen Me you've seen my Father.") Jesus had POWER and the people around Him knew it. He gave husbands an example that knowing God... and knowing that Jesus Christ is the ONE... the ONLY ONE sent by God was the main lesson His life was meant to teach. The true measure and success of a man's life on earth is measured by the accurate answer to this question about his family: "Do they know God? Do they acknowledge Jesus as Lord of their lives?" THIS is how a husband should love his wife.
- Verse 4- Jesus COMPLETED the work God had given Him until the VERY END. Although we can see through the Gospels that at times the disciples were frustrating in their unbelief and lack of understanding, JESUS COMPLETED His task to the very end. He loved them TO THE END. He FINISHED HIS ASSIGNMENT before God. A husband who is loving like Jesus completes the task. He does what he HAS to do to see that his wife and family know God. He does what he HAS to do. He is a FINISHER of what he begins. THIS is how a husband should love his wife.
- Verse 5 - Jesus sought the presence of God. In order to a man to know God's will, a man must know God. You cannot know a God you never spend time with. A husband must desire God's presence. This is MORE THAN simply saying perfunctory "devotions" every now and then. Being in God's presence will give a man a different heart, spirit and attitude. Jesus was DEVOTED to prayer. A prayerless Jesus did not exist a prayerless husband should not either. Many marital problems would be solved - and many marriages SAVED - if husbands were devoted to prayer. Many wives would be devoted to prayer if their husbands were. THIS is how a husband should love his wife.
- Verse 6- Jesus revealed God to His followers. It goes without saying that you cannot reveal God to anyone if you yourself don't truly know Him. In addition, in this verse Jesus AGAIN acknowledges to God - "You gave them to me" Jesus thanked God for giving Him people to care for. He never complained about the responsibility. He LOVED them so much that they were a constant source of joy to Him... even though He knew He was laying down His very life for them. Jesus was FOCUSED on HIS FOLLOWERS. FOCUSED. THIS is how a husband should love his wife.
- Verse 7 - "Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you." How did they know? Jesus told them, that's how. He openly gave God credit for every single thing He had. A husband who OPENLY and WITH HIS MOUTH acknowledges before his wife and family that everything he provides for them is first provided to him by God's grace and mercy is giving his family great security. If a man teaches his family that GOD IS PROVIDING... the family knows that GOD is always there and always faithful. The kind of humility that doesn't take credit for God's blessings is how Jesus loved the church. THIS is how a husband should love his wife.
- Verse 8 - "I gave the the words YOU gave me"... There is an unseen message here: Jesus spoke what God told Him to speak. A husband who is loving his wife as Jesus loves the church speaks words FROM God to her. I cannot imagine Jesus belittling, abusing, criticizing, or complaining or getting cranky with His followers. And since only God knows what's in a person's heart.... only GOD can reveal the inner longings of a man's wife to the man. A husband who is seeking God... will KNOW his wife's heart because God's Spirit will reveal it to him. When a man says that he doesn't know.. or understand... or "get" his wife... he is revealing that he hasn't been asking God to reveal her heart to him. Jesus SPOKE THE WORD of GOD to HIS FOLLOWERS. THIS is how a husband should love his wife.
- Verse 9 - Jesus said to God, "I pray for them. I am NOT praying for the world but for those you have given me." This is a great example of spiritual PRIORITY. Jesus prayed FIRST for the ones God had given HIM. This is a also a great example for men in ministry... pastors... evangelists... musicians....... who sometimes are eager to save the world around them... while neglecting to pray FIRST for their own wife and children. Behind the scenes, they have children who are living lives that are dishonoring to God. It's true that you cannot MAKE your children choose God.... but... Jesus clearly established with those who heard Him that His first priority was that they love His Father. Do your kids get the same message? Does your family see you praying? Prayer was a PRIORITY in Jesus life. THIS is how a husband should love his wife.
TO BE CONTINUED............
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