Sacrificial liiving: as Christ loved the Church

Every day as we progress through life, we recognize this profound yet simple truth: “It’s all about relationships.”

God floods the eyes of our hearts with light that we might know,
As we discover new depths of our relationships
While we mature, applying the Word that we might grow.
We recognize that “It’s all about relationships.”
Whether with God, family, friends, co-workers, husband or wife,
“It’s all about relationships,” the foundation of life.

The underlying principle for building and maintaining successful relationships is love. Love is where it begins, and love is where it ends, as we learn to love God and to love one another. We must also remember that the last shall be first, and the first shall be last. Yes, the love of God is the foundation stone of any relationship. The Verse of the Day for June 19, 2018 specifically addresses the role of husbands in the marriage relationship:

Ephesians 5:25-26 (NKJV):

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

In marriage, we find the ultimate expression of God’s love, unconditional love, love beyond degree. Jesus Christ bears the standard, setting the example, par excellence, showing the depth of love a man should have for his wife. Jesus Christ models an undying commitment to the Church, demonstrating the depth of sacrificial living that men should have for their wives:

A couple of years ago, in a blog post devoted to this passage, I commented on a men’s Bible study I had attended with one of my sons-in-law, focusing on “The Journey to Authentic Manhood,” as modeled by Jesus Christ in his 33 years on earth. The session was one of a series of discussions related to some of the challenges that confront men in the quest for “authentic manhood” in our relationships as husbands, fathers, co-workers, and other areas of responsibilities.

In thinking about Ephesians 5:25-26, I also recall this poem that captures the essence of one of the principal attributes of authentic manhood:

Sacrificial Living: Assignment of Manhood

Forgetting things left behind, we press toward the mark.
The passion that now enflames our lives was once a spark.
This all-consuming fire, great light dispels the dark,
As we abide in God’s presence in a place beyond the Ark.

We continue to strive ever toward the highest good
With sacrificial living: assignment of manhood.

Like Christ, we endure the cross while despising the shame
And accept this high calling and embrace our new name.
By grace to stand in His presence without any blame,
We continue to strive ever toward the highest good.

Always remaining aware that God is in control,
We are still running to serve the Lord: life’s highest goal.
This zeal for God and His Word burns deep within our soul,
With sacrificial living: assignment of manhood.

Being fully persuaded, we now know that we know
That God will fulfill His will and declare, “It is so!”
We set aside pride; where He leads us we will follow:
We continue to strive ever toward the highest good.

Looking to the future, we walk by faith, not by sight.
To do all the will of God still remains our delight
To follow Christ’s command that we should be salt and light
With sacrificial Living: assignment of manhood.

To speak the Word of life in all that we do and say,
To follow in the steps of Christ all along the way.
Until the final victory, we must watch, fight and pray.
We continue to strive ever toward the highest good.

Triumphant from faith to faith and glory to glory,
We still seek God’s face in the place of our destiny,
And we seek to become all God has called us to be
With sacrificial living: assignment of manhood.

With a love so strong, yet ever so tender,
Nothing can dissuade us, nor can anything hinder.
We will hold fast to the faith and never surrender.
God’s Word hidden in our heart, we always remember:

We continue to strive ever toward the highest good
With sacrificial living: assignment of manhood.

We close with “How to Love Your Wife?”—a music video based on Ephesians 5:25 and other verses

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