By Matthew Fretwell
Love. Now here is a word that is more abused than probably any other English word. Unlike the Greek that has several different words to express what type or kind of love—English does not, and so, we admit that we love houses, cars, food, pets, and our wives—all within the same sentence and usage of the word. With that said, let’s clarify the meaning of love. The Scriptures inform us that a person can only know love, if they know Christ (1 Jn 4:19); all else is an emotion, a feeling, or an action—not from the soul. Why? because the unregenerate heart has no awakened soul and lives in spiritual blindness. Here we see the first principle for being a godly and loving husband, Christ is Lord.
Second, we view that Paul’s command is for “Husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph 5:25). This doesn’t necessarily mean that the husband should jump on a grenade to save his wife—of course he would. How did Christ love the church? Christ was ridiculed and beaten for her. Christ endured temptation for her. Christ was misunderstood. Christ continued to encourage, pray, and be the example.
Thirdly, let’s talk unity. Do you ever ridicule your wife? Being unified means that when you ridicule your wife, you are putting yourself down. If you cut down your wife, there is some insecurity in you, or pride, and you need to repent and draw nearer to Christ. As husbands, we cannot think that God will hear our prayers when we’re not lovingly united to our wives. As the Apostle Peter states, “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).
Years later, feeling compassion to help men struggling with addictions, discipleship, and life issues, Matt founded a non-profit ministry, Job 31 Ministries, directing the Leadership Coaching Network (LCN) side of Job 31.
Matt is an advocate board member of Living Bread Ministries (LBM), a global comprehensive Church Planting organization that helps the poorest of the poor. LBM reaches the slums of the world and helps people break the chains of poverty.
He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Great Commission Leadership at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Advice: Don’t ever be afraid to try new things! Innovation and Creativity are attributes of man, not fears to be overcome.