Ephesians 5:33 (ESV) However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
As Pastoral care workers for our mission agency, my husband and I do an online virtual group centering on Ephesians 5:22-33.
A delightful group of couples that span, three continents and four countries meet together on one screen. Each couple faces different stages in the world of family and missionary life. We speak into each other’s walks with a common understanding of ministry overseas.
We grow and stretch for a clearer understanding of what Ephesians means with commands like submit and giving up self. We challenge one another with greater intent to love and respect within our marriages. We laugh and cry, acknowledge failures, and pledge to do better.
The principles we discuss from the Bible are presented in a book, Love and Respect written by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. It encourages us to understand the role of husband and wife through the perspective of how things look from the pink lenses of a woman and how they sound through blue hearing aids of a man.
I am never more amazed at how much I have to learn as when I attempt to lead others. It’s as if a big spotlight shines on my shortcomings. The sessions together always make me aware of my need to embrace Jesus’ instruction to the Pharisees in Matthew 19:4 (ESV).
“He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female…,”
“Not wrong.” Eggerichs reminds us from the flickering screen. “Just different.”
I tried to put my blue goggles on when I gave my husband my grocery list.
He thinks in bullet points and numbers. His brain has cogs and boxes. It is both technological and industrial.
I wanted to make it logical, easy to read. I numbered it.
He is also literal.
I got one head of lettuce. Two tomatoes. Three cloves of garlic. Four avocados. Five Zucchini.
Not wrong. Just different.
It’s a good thing Phil thinks the way he does. God formed him to think about details that protect our family and home, that provide and shepherd.
A lie of culture and society confuses roles, inferring that my husband’s brain ought to think like mine and his emotions should feel like mine.
I think more in terms of spaghetti squash.
We are ordained to be, think and act differently.
It was very good at creation, and it still is.
In fact, our dissimilarities remind me of another contrast.
Isaiah 55:8-9(ESV) “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”
God’s ways are far higher than mine. I will never fully understand Him. When I judge His actions through my human vision or when I expect him to think like me, I demonstrate shortsighted faith and doubts. When I make Him into my image, I cheat His holiness.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
I must let God be God. The greater I trust His thoughts and ways, the deeper I glean of His complementary design for husband and wife.
“…he who created them from the beginning made them male and female…,”
As I search the fridge, I’m thinking I need to practice gratefulness for our differences.
After all, there’s plenty of zucchini left.