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“What Love Looks Like”

(Parts 1 & 2)

East Cost Biblical Families Retreat
February 16, 2020
Carlisle, PA


The Son of His Love

(Part 1) 27:00 Watch Now

The Character of Divine Love

(Part 2) 26:23 Watch Now

Patriarch’s Journal Issue #21

Patriarch’s Journal Issue #20

Patriarch’s Journal Issue #19

Patriarch’s Journal Issue #18

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Love never fails! (I Corinthians 13:8).

There are no perfect husbands. Although those of us who have wives may desire to be the best husbands that we can possibly be, the fact that there are no perfect husbands should bring us great comfort. We are not perfect in our role; we will make many mistakes. Though we will falter and fail on many fronts with our wives, there is one simple ingredient in being a husband that will make it all work.

Love covers all mistakes (Proverbs 10:12).

Genuine love for our wives, lavished on them, will cover all of our mistakes. More than anything else our wives just need to be loved; they need to know that we love them. We’re not talking here about some mere sentiment, but a sincere, active love. After all, love is “the greatest” (I Corinthians 13:13), “a more excellent way” (I Corinthians 12:31).

Though we’ll will never be “perfect” husbands – without any mistakes – love will bring us up to a divine “perfection” that is unmatched, for love is “the bond of perfection” (Colossians 3:14).

If we want to be “perfect” husbands – let’s love our wives.

Husbands, love your wives (Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 3:19).

Clyde L.Pilkington, Jr.
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Many men define manhood in terms of their relationship with other men. They have fallen into the humanistic trap of “measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves” (II Corinthians 10:12). One expression of this is the “macho” image of physical and emotional prowess. You are a man if you can shoot, throw or chew better than the next man. You are a man if you do not fear or have tender feelings. Aggression, rather than dominion, is the fruit of this definition. But this aggression need not be physical. It can be intellectual. Some men assert their manhood by their shrewdness in business, in politics, or in their respective profession. The effect is the same, however. Such men become predators, and the society dominated by them will become power-worshipers.

Nevertheless, this is not the most common definition of manhood. For the average man, the man of simple ambitions, masculinity is defined in contrast to the woman. Too many Christian men also fall into this trap of using the woman as the yardstick: man is what the woman is not; man does what the woman cannot, or should not, or will not. The result is a matriarchal society, which is a curse from God (Isaiah 3:12). For most women can do what most men can do, and in our day, do it better. If a man, whether consciously or unconsciously, defines himself in terms of his relationship to the woman, he will become effeminate. He may be mistaken for a Christian gentleman, but he is really a eunuch.

True manhood is defined by God. A man is a man only if he is subordinate to God. This fact is brought out rather graphically in the very Hebrew words used in the Bible for male and female. The physical parallels we normally expect are absent.

The word for male is zakar, which means “to mark.” It is the root which is translated in our English Bible as “remember.” This produces some interesting applications.

For instance, in Genesis 8:1 it says, “And God remembered [maled] Noah.” In Exodus 2:24, it says, “God remembered [maled] His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” There are scores of examples, which space does not allow here, but the conclusion is clear: the “male” is not defined in terms of physical distinctions, but in terms of a relationship with God.

In stark contrast is the Hebrew word for female, which is neqebah and comes from the root naqab, meaning “to puncture,” a strongly sexual term (the Greek word for female is parallel and means “nipple”). Thus the passage in Genesis 1:27 which reads, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them” would literally read, “… the marked one (By whom? God!) and the punctured one (By whom? Man!) created He them.”

Putting it another way, masculinity is having a personal, headship relationship with your Creator. This is maleness.

James Wesley Stivers
Restoring the Foundations: Essays in Relational Theology
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Not to overstate it, women are complicated beings. This is why Peter requires husbands to treat their wives “according to knowledge” (I Peter 3:7) … Men must study their wives, and they must do so according to what God has revealed in His Word.

Douglas Wilson
Federal Husband (1999), page 33
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The word husband is an old English compound word: house-band.

Richard Chenevix Trench (1807-1886), in his 1859 work On the Study of Words, provided for us the etymological roots of “husband”:

“Husband” is properly “house-band,” the band and bond of the house, who shall bind and hold it together (page 54).

What an impressive word, laden with such powerfully scriptural implications. As men, we dare not look to social, cultural or contemporary models as our guide for holding our homes together. None of these will suffice. We must devote ourselves to God and His Word for our guidance, for He is the author of our duty.

Being a husband can, at times, seem overwhelming, but as we look to God’s empowering grace we can have the strength to embrace the full implications of such a divine responsibility.

May God ever use this simple common word husband – spoken daily – increasingly to remind us husbands of our imperative role as house-band.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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As God hath knit the bones and sinews together for the strengthening of our bodies, so He has ordained the joining of man and woman together in wedlock for the strengthening of their lives, for two are better than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9). Therefore, when God made the woman for the man, He said, I will make him a help meet for him (Genesis 2:18). Marriage is the most momentous of all earthly events in the life of a man or woman.

Arthur W PinkArthur W. Pink (1886-1952)
The Excellence of Marriage
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