An elderly couple were on an ocean cruise when a storm arose. They were standing near the back of the ship when a giant wave washed up and over the boat, sweeping the old man overboard. The crew searched for days but could not find him. The captain sent the old woman back to shore and promised that he would notify her as soon as something was found.
Three weeks passed when the old woman finally received a message from the captain. It read, “Ma’am, I am sorry to inform you, but we found your husband’s body at the bottom of the ocean. We hauled him up on deck, and an oyster was attached to his backside. Inside the oyster was a pearl worth $50,000.”
The old woman responded with the following message: “Captain, please send me the pearl, and re-bait the trap.”
It is easy to poke fun at the relationship between a husband and wife. It is the substance of many comedy routines and late-night talk shows. However, as funny as some of those jokes are, the institution of marriage is no laughing matter. In fact, with the constant attack that marriage receives from society, the media, and our courts of law, there is little wonder that the divorce rate is so high and that “marriage substitutes” (such as living together outside of the marriage relationship, same-sex marriages, etc.) are on the rise. The consequences of these types of thinking result in the breakdown of the home and the moral degradation of our nation.
Perhaps, we have allowed others to do our thinking for us for too long. Perhaps, we have allowed our culture to define for us the function of the man and the woman. Perhaps, we have forgotten God’s plan for the husband and his wife and the individual role each one is to play. Perhaps, we simply need to go back to the Bible to determine what marriage was designed to be by its original Designer.
Read the following instructions from the inspired apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus. Consider the distinctive roles God gave both the man and woman inside the bond of marriage. Examine the responsibilities of both husband and wife to love and respect each other, and realize no marriage can achieve greater success than the one functioning in the manner God intended for it to function.
Ephesians 5:22-33 teaches, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”
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