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It is a tragedy what is happening in our day. Homes are being destroyed. The Bible says, "Wives be subject to your own husbands." Some homes are destroyed because a husband or a wife has adapted themselves to somebody else's wife or husband. We need to pray for one another!

We need to adhere to the Word of God in these matters. Ephesians 5:33 is a key scripture for wives. It will help any woman make a man what he should be in God. It is the greatest weapon available to women today.

From The Amplified Bible: "Let each man of you (without exception) love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self, and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband - that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly."

Men are just little boys in big bodies. They appreciate being noticed! This says that a wife is to regard and respect her husband. There is nothing more disdainful than a woman embarrassing a man in public. She is to reverence him as God's representative in the home. She is to show respect!

Don't talk about your husband's negative traits. If you do, he will become what you say he is! Esteem him, defer to him, regard, honor, prefer and venerate him. Praise him, love and admire him exceedingly!

God knows man and woman best because He made them! If you do just the opposite of what the Word of God tells you to do, you will destroy a man's self-respect. You can take the lowest man, the ugliest man, and the most unworthy man and as you obey the Word of God and say what God says about him, he will stand as a prince before God as someone who will do something for the kingdom of God. If you truly love your husband, these things are not hard to do.

As you obey the Bible, he, in turn, will do anything in the world for you! That is the way the marriage relationship works. It is a give-and-take relationship. Give-and-take, give-and-take, give-and-take.

Peter wrote this about marriage relationships:

You married women, be submissive to your own husbands - subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them. So that even if any do not obey the Word [of God] they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives.

When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband. That is, you are to feel for him all that reverence includes] - to respect, defer to, revere him; [revere means] to honor, esteem (appreciate, prize) and [in the human sense] adore him; [and adore means] to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love and enjoy [your husband]
(1 Peter 3:1-2 AMP).

If you will treat your husband according to this scripture, it will truly touch his heart.

A real Christian attitude in a wife, especially toward an unsaved husband, will make him want Jesus Christ. Again, Peter continues in 1 Peter 3:3-4:

"Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] inter-weaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which (is not anxious or wrought up but) is very precious in the sight of God" (AMP).

There is nothing more repulsive than a beautifully adorned woman, meticulously dressed, immaculately groomed, elegant in outward appearance, who is ugly and nasty and mean in what she does and says! The Bible says, "As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion!" (Prov. 11:22).

It is good to be adorned beautifully, but adorn yourself also "with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which is not anxious or wrought up, but is very precious in the sight of God."

A charming, gentle, peaceful spirit is beautiful to God. A harsh, pushy spirit does not fit a woman. Be what God intended you to be!

Now let us consider some scriptures that relate to the husband: Ephesians 5:23 says in The Amplified Bible, "The husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the Church, Himself the Savior of [His] body."

This scripture does not say the husband is to be the boss or the dictator. He is the head - the guiding factor - in the family. Somebody had to lead and God said it is to be the husband. My wife has a great and might influence on me. We discuss things. When you love somebody, you listen to them.

The husband, as the head of the family, has a responsibility to God for his wife. He is to guard, guide and protect her.

Some men see their wives veer off into areas that are scripturally or morally wrong and they never say a word! They are accountable to God! The husband is the head - the protector - "As Christ is the head of the Church Himself, the Savior of the body." Ephesians 5:24 (AMP) says, "As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands."

Men, certainly if you are not willing to submit yourself to Christ, then you should not expect to exercise any authority in the home. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it" (Eph. 5:25, AMP).

That is how much you should love your wife - as much as Christ loved the church! A wife will not have any trouble in submitting to a husband who loves her as much as Christ loves the church. Christ was to present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things, that she might be holy and faultless.

It is a husband's responsibility to see that his wife is filled with splendor and glory and is faultless!

Let us continue with our text from The Amplified Bible in Ephesians 5:28-29:

"Husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church."

You see, men do these things for themselves and they ought to do them also for their wives. That is, nourish her, carefully protect her and cherish her "as Christ does the church."

Don't kick your wife around like an old rag, talk ugly, use bad language, mistreat her and be stingy with her and the children. Some wives have a lot to put up with! Ephesians 6:4 talks about the role of the father in the home:

"Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger - do not exasperate them to resentment - but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord" (AMP).

Colossians 3:18-21 in The Amplified Bible says, "Wives, be subject to your husbands - subordinate and adapt yourselves to them - as is right and fitting and your proper duty in the Lord.

"Husbands, love your wives - be affectionate and sympathetic with them - and do not be harsh or bitter or resentful toward them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children - do not be hard on them or harass them; lest they become discouraged and sullen and morose and feel inferior and frustrated; do not break their spirit."

Show your affection. Show your love. Some people live like a cold potato! Take time to say, "I love you." Voice your affection.

The husband must take his place as the head, or guide, of his home first. Then the woman will submit and subordinate herself to that one who will take care of her. 1 Peter 3:7 says:

"You married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God's unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off" (AMP).

Be intelligent, be knowledgeable about how God says you should live in your marriage relationship. Honor your wife, show your affection, let love cement your marriage in God.

Some people cannot express their affections because they are holding grudges. They have held resentment in their hearts for many years. The Bible says that you are to forgive each other. Ephesians 4:32 tells us, "Be ye kind to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Do not be harsh or bitter!

Forgive. Have a little spat once in a while. Tell each other what you think. Do not sulk and hold anger in your heart. Nobody can live together very long without a few arguments. Just vocalize your problems. Discuss them openly. Then realize that you love each other. Let love reign in your marriage. Do what God tells you to do in His Word. He knows what works. He made you!

One time, I was really having a hard time with hurt feelings toward a person. My wife helped me in this situation. She exhorted me to act in love. (See 1 John 4:20.) She helped me to see that I needed to love that person. When I did it, I was obeying the Word of God. It helped me.

One can chase a thousand, but two can put ten thousand to flight! (See Deut. 32:30). There is no two better than a husband and a wife. Thank Jesus for your mate! We have the Holy Ghost to bring a demonstration that Satan is a defeated foe.

Listen! While you are demonstrating Satan's defeat and helping others, do not let the devil slip in on you. Like a snake, he will try to wreck and ruin everything you hold dear. When you get out doing the work of God and God is blessing you and you are being used of God, the devil is mad. He is going to do everything he can to stop you. He will stop you any way he can.

Hear this prophetic Word of the Lord: Mend your fences. Mend your fences. Beware. Be sober. Be vigilant. The enemy looks well at your household. He studies it and by his strategies, he plans his battle. He is keenly concerned over what you are doing for the kingdom of God. So beware. Beware. Be sober. Be vigilant. Mend your fences.

Protect what God has given you. Demonstrate your authority over the enemy in your own home. Show love. Then you will be able to do a far greater work for God. If you do not guard your home, then while you are out doing God's work, the enemy will cut your supply line and bring you tumbling down. Protect your home!

We show love in our home. We love our children so much. We have a family full of love. Sometimes while Dodie is cooking in the kitchen, I will be kissing her on the cheek! We only fuss from the neck up, be we always make up. It never gets into our heart. Never let a root of bitterness get on the inside of you (Eph. 4:31). Do not let it get in your spirit. Do not let the sun go down upon your wrath (Eph. 4:26).

Source: Love and Marriage by John Osteen
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

John Osteen
Web site: Lakewood Church
The late John Osteen served the Lord Jesus Christ as pastor, evangelist, author, and teacher for sixty years. Ordained as a Southern Baptist, he received the baptism in the Holy Ghost in 1958, an experience which revolutionized his ministry into a worldwide outreach for Jesus Christ.

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