When I made the vows and promises to “love and cherish” my beautiful and adorable wife Lucy on 26 August 2000, admittedly I was not cognisant of the act as a covenant. The vows taken on that memorable day on hindsight were a mere formality if not a ritual and for a man so deeply in “love” I couldn’t care less. I recall then, I was not a devout Christian and had only been “born again” in order to get formalities out of the way and could not wait for the rituals and formalities to be over. In my view then and honestly the entire wedding was meant to please and pacify my wife to be so I thought. Little did it dawn on me at the time that I had work ahead of me to “love” my wife.
The revelation and turning point in my marriage was the Majoring in Men course (series by Dr Edwin Louis Cole). The course completely transformed me and my perspective and my view on marriage and loving my wife was completely changed.
Much as I had heard and read Ephesians 5:2 and all other relevant scriptures, it never dawned on me that love is indeed the priority for husbands and not the authority that I so yearned for as per our traditional and cultural upbringing and norms. It struck me during first series of lessons / scriptures in the “Maximised Manhood” Book and according to Edwin Louis Cole love is defined as follows:
“Love desires to benefit others at the expense of self, because love desires to give. Lust desires to benefit self at the expense of others, because lust desires to get.”
The realisation that Christ like love should characterize each husband’s relationship with his wife was a turning point and I began to take a self-introspection and realised that I am responsible for setting an ambience of love in the home and had not done so in my marriage. I am not purporting that I have reached there yet but I realised then that it is indeed a journey and I needed to work on myself. Much of my time then was predominantly spent on work and chasing opportunities but I recall being challenged by fellow Majoring in Men team members. Their point was that material provisions and seeking to provide a comfortable lifestyle for my wife and daughter was not and ought not to be a priority.
The love of Christ is redemptive, picking us up from the miry clay, cleansing us up and then presenting us to Himself as perfect brides in accordance with 1 Peter 3 verse 7 ”In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered”.
As I searched through the scriptures I realised that my role as the husband was therefore to love my wife in a redemptive manner. Her faults should motivate me to clean her, wash her and present her to myself and I purposefully strived and am still striving to elevate my wife. Much easier said than done one might hasten to say and it remains my daily prayer that may The Holy Spirit who is the umpire of peace in my covenant with my wife assist me as I strive to love my wife in a Christ-like manner each and every day.