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Whoever finds a wife finds good, and obtains favor of the Lord (Proverbs 18:22).

Without any qualification, a wife is declared to be a “good” find, and is a direct result of Divine favor. Wisdom acknowledges this great truth.

God often has chosen to give some of His greatest servants the most challenging of wives (such as Jobs’ wife); still they are among the “all” that God is working for “good.” A man at odds with His Creator may become accusatory toward his wife and her role in his life, thus ultimately blaming even the nature of his circumstance on God Himself, “The woman whom You gave me …” (Genesis 3:12).

We are all broken; we’re all groaning and subjected to vanity – all of us: men and women, husbands and wives alike. This is the nature of the beginning of God’s work that will end in glory for all of His creatures. For some husbands it will take the realization of faith to perceive and appreciate their wives genuinely as a favor from God.

Wives need to be reminded and encouraged of their divine placement as “good.” Husbands must foster in their wives an understanding and acceptance of her ordained “goodness.” Just like the husband, she’s God’s grand and valuable work. She doesn’t need to struggle to be who God has already made her. It is God who has made her “good.” She only needs to be – be who she already is. This is her divine calling and placement. As husbands we are trustees and guardians of this “good.” Remind them of it often. Demonstrate it to them daily.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
(Excerpted from his upcoming book, Wife Loving)

As we have seen, it is the husband’s responsibility to love his wife. The Greek word here for love is ἀγαπάω (agapaō), which is the base of the word ἀγάπη (agapē). The Concordant Greek-English Keyword Concordance defines ἀγάπη as:

A complex emotion arousing appreciation or delight in and desire for the pleasure of its object, as well as to please and promote its welfare; to be distinguished from affection, fondness, which is aroused by the qualities of its object, while love may go out to the utterly unworthy, and also from passion [eros] (not found in the Scriptures) between the sexes.

There is nothing wrong with a husband having affection, fondness and even passion (eros) toward his wife. These are not bad or sinful; but the love to which the husband has been called is divine and is not that which “is aroused by the qualities of its object,” but is that which – like Christ has for us – “may go out to the utterly unworthy.”

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
(Excerpted from his upcoming book, Wife Loving.)

Husbands, be loving your wives according as Christ also loves the ecclesia, and gives Himself up for its sake (Ephesians 5:25).

As we have already learned, the Greek word used for “gives” in the phrase “gives Himself up” is παραδίδωμι (paradidōmi). Here are its definitions:

  • To surrender, that is, yield up (James Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, G3860).
  • To give or hand over to another (E.W. Bullinger, A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament).
  • To give over to (Robert Young, Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible).
  • To give into the hands (of another); to give over into (one’s) power or use (Joseph Thayer, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament).
  • To give or hand over (W.E. Vine, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words).
  • To deliver over or up to the power of someone (Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary).
  • BESIDE-GIVE – give up, give over, give way (A.E. Knoch, Greek-English Keyword Concordance).

To help us appropriately apply the Greek word παραδίδωμι (paradidōmi), here are four other examples of the way the word “give” (as in Ephesians 5:2, 25) is translated in the King James Version, with the Concordant Literal Version translation in parenthesis:

Matthew 4:12 – “cast into prison” (“given up”)

Matthew 5:25 – “deliver to the judge” (“giving you up”)

Matthew 10:4 – “betrayed him” (“gives Him up”)

Acts 15:26 – “hazarded their lives” (“give up their souls”)

These words speak of sacrifice and loss of liberty. Husbands are no longer their own; like Christ, by choice, they have sacrificially “given themselves up” as an approach present to their wives. For husbands, Christ, Who forwent his “rights” in Gethsemane and proceeded to Calvary as a sacrifice and an approach present for us, is our preeminent example as to how we are to love our wives.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
(Excerpted from his upcoming book, Wife Loving)

… gave Himself … (Ephesians 5:25; KJV).

… gives Himself up … (CV).

Women in our society understandably reject headship and patriarchy, because they undoubtedly have never seen the Pauline model in action. Shamefully, what they have seen is an abundant example of self-absorbed, self-centered, self-serving men deceitfully professing these ideals and roles.

Paul instructs the husband to model Christ Who “gave Himself up.” Exactly what did that phrase mean to Paul? The context of this “giving up” goes back to :2 where he defines it for us:

Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God …

The Greek word translated “gave” from :25 is παραδίδωμι (paradidōmi), the same word translated “given” in :2. Paul tells us directly in :2 what that “giving” of Christ’s love for us was: (1) an offering, and (2) a sacrifice. The Concordant Literal Version translates “offering” as “approach present.” An approach present was a gift offered to win another’s favor. It was a humble, sacrificial act to enable the giver to draw near to the recipient. An approach present was not chocolates and flowers. It represented a most significant sacrifice on the part of the giver. (A detailed study of the approach present can be seen in Bible Student’s Notebook #436.)

According to Paul’s own context, the husband’s love is to be an “approach present” and “offering” up of himself to his wife.

We’ll look more at this Greek word παραδίδωμι (paradidōmi) in tomorrow’s Daily Email Goodie.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
(Excerpted from his upcoming book, Wife Loving)

Husbands, love your wives (Ephesians 5:25).

After the example of Christ, the husband is to be the lover. He is the divinely appointed initiator and sustainer of marital love. Going beyond the Law, the Pauline mandate is, “Husbands, love your wives.” Love is uniquely the role of the husband. We’ll seek in vain to find such a command for wives. There is never a directive that says, “Wives, love your husbands.”

According to Paul, exactly what is the standard of husbands’ love of their wives? “Even as Christ loved the Ecclesia” (:25). Christ’s love suggests three basic characteristics:

Realistic Love. His love knew that we were: sinful (mistake ridden), unlovable and unreasonable. “… While we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)

Sacrificial Love. His love was extremely costly. His love “gave” (:25), spending for the benefit of the object of His love.

Unreserved Love. His love for us was without limit, without condition, and without reservation. He not merely “gave,” He “gave Himself” (:25).

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
(Excerpted from his upcoming book, Wife Loving)

Paul reveals a new pattern for marriage: Christ and the Ecclesia. This new revelation greatly increases the responsibility of husbands. As believing wives are already members of the Body of Christ, their role in marriage is unchanged from their “natural” role. However, the husband has been instilled with that which can be only divinely accomplished.

Christ is the Savior, the Ecclesia the sinner. Christ is the Giver, the Ecclesia the receiver. Christ is the Sacrificer, the Ecclesia the beneficiary. Christ is the Lover, the Ecclesia the loved. Christ is the Embracer, the Ecclesia the resistant. Christ is the Steadfast, the Ecclesia the inconsistent.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
(Excerpted from his upcoming book, Wife Loving)

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it (Ephesians 5:25).

Under the Mosaic Law the husband was not to abuse or neglect his wife, and was to assure that her physical needs (food, clothing and sex: Exodus 21:10) were adequately provided.

Under the Pauline revelation, love is added as the husband’s preeminent responsibility – not just any love; the new standard is the love of Christ. Beyond that, it is Christ’s love for the Ecclesia that is the model: sacrificial love.

This new Christ-like standard goes far beyond anything that the law ever could have imagined. Fitting for those destined for the celestials, the husband/wife relationship has been elevated to a new divine dynamic never before revealed.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
(Excerpted from his upcoming book, Wife Loving)

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January 2015
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