Sunday, October 4, 2020 -
This evening in our nightly Bible study someone read Ephesians 5:25-33, which begins, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word.”
“What exactly is this saying, as to how we should love our wives?” he asked. The first verse here is obvious, as Christ gave His life for us, and so a man must be willing to give His life for his wife. One of only two of the other men in the room who was married indicated that the words “that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word” signifies the importance of our words with our wives, as women are far more sensitive to our words than men, and a harsh word can cut and wound our wives tremendously.
“This is a true fact,” I said, “but it may be referring to the spiritual covering we are to be over our wives and our families, that we are to take the spiritual leadership in our families.” And so I was asked to provide an example of what that looks like since I’ve been married nearly 40 years. I told them that for starters, we spend between one to one and a half hours each morning reading the Scriptures together and prayer before I go to work. And then, I told them, Kathie’s always fussing for having to cut it short. I was then asked how we would both stay interested and awake, and I told them that we would each read five verses, and switch back and forth. They wanted to know still more, what we read or study, how we determined that etc. I told them we do the exact same thing I do here in prison, merely read straight through the Bible, and then start over again. If we had a question or checked references, we may digress. But on Saturdays at times we’d take sometimes half the day in deeper study, checking cross-references, external resources, and the original language text and its meaning.
This time I spent with my wife in the morning was the most valuable part of the day for both of us, and I would not trade it for anything.
One of the men said they had tried doing that before bed, but it just didn’t work, because they were just so tired and whoever wasn’t reading was falling asleep. The other married man and I also stressed how important it was to marry a like-minded woman. I gave an example of my son-in-law and daughter, who began even before they were married, praying together and reading the Word. I was grateful to be able to speak into the lives of all these men, most of whom were nearly half my age and either divorced or never been married, and I praise the Lord for this opportunity.