Today's Reading: Table of Duties: Husbands, Colossians 3:19
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them (The Table of Duties, Husbands: Colossians 3:19)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. We've received what Christ has achieved on the cross: Forgiveness and new life have been purchased. There is nothing left to accomplish, so now what?
First, we're set free from the burden of worrying about whom we “ought” to be, to freely serve our neighbor as one whom God loves and whose sins He died for, just as He died for mine. For Christian men and women this means appreciating that God's creation is good, including marriage. Marriage is a gift from God through which God creates and sustains human life.
God has established marriage before all other earthly institutions so that a man and woman may be faithful and loving to each other, give birth to children, and bring them up to thank, praise, serve and obey God. However, though marriage is a worldly institution, it has God's Word and promise on its side and isn't a human invention. For this reason marriage is also where cross-bearing happens. The apostle Paul writes, "For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.” That is, just as Christ Jesus offered up His life on Calvary and through His resurrection became the head of the Church, so, too, God calls each husband to offer up his life by bearing his wife's cross of suffering and affliction all the way to the grave. This is why during the exchange of wedding vows the groom promises his bride he will “nourish and cherish her as Christ loved His body, the Church, giving Himself up for her,” and to “love, honor, and keep her in sickness and health and, forsaking all others, remain united to her alone, so long as they shall live...”
God actually inscribes His Word on husband and wife so that when a Christian husband looks at his wife he not only sees a woman, but the only woman on earth—a precious gift given to him by God the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit.
In this union I have joined you Husband and wife, Now, My children, live together As heirs of life; Each the other's gladness sharing, Each the other's burdens bearing, Now, My children, live together As heirs of life (LSB 922)
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