This quote hit me square between the eyes:
It is possible (but not right) for baptized believers to act in their lives as though the gospel were not true. How many conservative husbands are outraged if some liberal preacher says that Jesus did not rise from the dead, when their daily treatment of their wives makes the same statement? At least the liberal only states his heresy occasionally. (Douglas Wilson, Reformed Is Not Enough, p. 168, as quoted in John Piper’s article “John’s Crazy Joy: More on Bridegrooms and Purification“).
What does the message of the gospel have to do with how I treat my wife? Only everything. The gospel is my blueprint as a husband for how I live with and relate to the woman with whom I share my life. The reason for this is found in the very nature of marriage, explained in Ephesians 5:
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, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish (vv. 25-27).
The gospel is the message that Christ came and gave himself for his church. He died so that the church might live. That’s the essence of the gospel, and that’s the very essence of my role as a husband. That’s how I am to love my wife. I am to give of myself for her. The cost? My life. The goal? Her good. If I don’t live this way, I deny the gospel I claim to believe in because it’s that very gospel I am called to live out in my marriage.
Help me, Father, to live this way. After nearly four years of marriage (how time flies!), it is easy to forget. I love you, my beautiful wife. I am thankful to God for your and for your grace towards me when I fail to love you like I should.