Today we’re celebrating Dad’s Day. I’m thankful that our nation annually recognizes mothers and fathers. That’s a good thing. This time, I’d like to widen our scope to consider all husbands. To get us started, let’s review a familiar passage of Scripture
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,Ephesians 5:25-26
Husbands and wives
In the apostle Paul’s discourse on wives and husbands, he tells wives to “respect” (Ephesians 5:33) their husbands, and he tells husbands to “love” their wives. Of course, husbands and wives both need love and respect, but more than “plumbing” separates men from women.
As husbands, we have a fundamental need to be respected. Respect is different from being honored or appreciated. Respect says to a husband that he carries his burden well. Jesus promises us a “light burden” (Matthew 11:30) not the absence of a burden.
To carry our burden well, we can be like Israel’s “iron dome” and shield satan’s “fiery darts” (Ephesians 6:16) from reaching our wives and kids. For dads, carrying our burden well means that we know our kids as well as their moms know them. And carrying our burden well means that we are self-aware husbands; we adapt our lives to meet our family’s spiritual, emotional, and financial needs. For our wives, we carry our burden well when we are like fertile soil, providing them with an environment where they can grow and flourish.
Say “I love you”
Until recently, I never fully appreciated how important it is for a woman to be told that she is loved. But then, my wife and I talked with a woman who said her father never told her that he loved her until she was fifty-seven years old. She remembers when she first heard these words from her dad.
Today’s Scripture tells husbands to love your wives. But, of course, saying “I love you” rapidly loses its value if our actions don’t demonstrate love. Jealousy, anger, and selfishness are not acts of love. To love our wives “As Christ loved the church,” we must demonstrate sacrificial love, ministering to them from our time, treasures, and talents, in the same way as Jesus does for His Church. If we do this, then we will earn the respect we crave.
So, happy Dad’s Day to all the fathers reading this, and happy husband’s day, too. I pray:
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.Romans 15:5-6
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