I have been thinking about my father lately, and being Father’s Day this past Sunday, I would like to share the greatest gift my earthy father gave me. You might think it was a strong manly presence in the home, not that, though he did have that, my dad was a big strong man and I always felt safe with him. You might think it was his work ethic, he was a hard-working man with callused hands, yup he taught me a few lessons on hard work that I’ll never forget, but no, not that either.
The greatest gift he gave me was that he loved his wife, my mom, more than he loved me. That showed throughout my time living at home and beyond. He loved his wife more than he loved his kids. Don’t get me wrong, he loved us very much, but not like he loved his wife and it showed. My dad was not a perfect husband or for that matter a perfect father, but who reading this can say that their dad was perfect?
My older sister Joanne recently reminded me if you were upset with mom and told dad, it would go on deaf ears. Dad would often tell us boys to pick a woman like mom and he would tell the girls to aspire to be like her. I always felt that love that he had for my mom. When I would get into trouble or talk back to my mom or disrespect her in any way, he didn’t say “Don’t talk to your mom like that” No, he said “Don’t talk to my wife like that, she’s my wife!” as he firmly stated to me. You might be thinking to yourself, really! But you know what, he’d be right!
My dad didn’t marry any of his kids, my dad didn’t say “I DO” to any of his kids and by the way there were 7 of us! He didn’t say until death do us apart to any of us, but he did say all of that to his wife and my mom.
“Next to your God and Savior Jesus Christ,
your wife should be the centerpiece of your life”.
I hear this all the time “My kids are my life”. No, your wife (spouse) should be the love of your life, and the love that flows from that, you pour onto your children.
My dad probably didn’t have Ephesians 5 in mind but Paul sure says a lot.
Paul said in Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, and Paul goes onto say in Ephesians 5:28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; Paul tells the husband, his responsibility is to love his wife self-sacrificing, because it’s compared to Christ self-sacrificing love for the church, as He gave Himself up for the Church. This isn’t by oppression, but by love and the wife will follow the husbands lead willfully with submission because she sees Christ like love.
Paul says “He who loves his own wife loves himself;
Because they’re ONE!
Ephesians 5:31 says. FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. Genesis 2:24.
What this is saying is the relationship between the husband and wife is an intimate relationship, it’s stronger than any other relationship, stronger than parent and children and my dad knew that some how. When we all left the house, it was just my dad and mom, just like God intended it to be, one flesh until death indeed did set them apart.
My dad died of cancer on March 29, 1994 at the age of 55. Before he died, God called him and saved him. My mom wrote this poem for her husband.
The greatest gift my dad gave me was showing me how to love my wife and make her my centerpiece and for that I’m eternally grateful.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church!
and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria