There are some things in life we never forget. Some are silly and some are serious.
I remember when the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl.
I remember I cried during E.T. – Not once, but thirteen times.
I remember the smell of my Dad’s suits, the size of his hands, and the call from my sister when he passed away.
I remember Garbage Pail Kids, Cabbage Patch Dolls, and G.I. Joes.
I remember the morning my mom looked at us for the last time, and looked at her Home for the first time.
And I remember my wedding day – the joy, the fear, the family and friends, the uncomfortable shoes and bow tie – all of it.
It’s funny what we remember, some silly and a lot serious. But we can be a forgetful people too can’t we? With all of our modern day abilities to capture moments, cementing digital memories, and sharing them with the world, we can still wander into forgetfulness.
Forgetfulness happens in life, but it also happens in love.
We forget the sacredness of marriage. We forget to keep on winning over the heart of our lover. We forget to treasure, to dream, to dance, to let our glances linger. Sometimes we forget to fight for what is most important. We lose sight of our intimate and everlasting covenant.
In marriage, we can forget not only what we have, but also who we have.
If we’re not careful, a marriage can drift apart not because of unfaithfulness, but because of forgetfulness.
I suppose it is not surprising then that the Apostle Peter has to tell husbands to honor their wives. As a man, I can say, we are especially forgetful! So Peter writes to remind husbands by saying,
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” -1 Peter 3:7
One way to read this verse is to read it as a command, which it certainly is. But another way is to read it as a reminder, which it is as well. It is a jolt, a revisiting, or maybe even a reawakening of what they already knew, but were prone to forget. Husbands, “respect” your wives. To respect or honor your wife is to treat her in a way that is consistent with who she is. It’s as if he is telling them, “Don’t you remember what you have? Don’t forget who has been entrusted to you. Don’t forget she is yours, but she is also God’s.” Why? Because, in our sinfulness and selfishness, we are prone to forget.
I remember my wedding day.
I remember the sweaty palms, the turbulent hormones, and the fear of the unknown.
I remember the chicken dinner at our reception.
And I remember my father-in-law, walking his daughter, down the aisle – the day he entrusted Ruth to me. While she was becoming my wife, she would never cease to be his daughter. I was to love, serve, understand, and care for her as such. She was becoming mine, but in a very real sense, never ceasing to be his. To treat her as anything less than, would be to dishonor her.
I can’t help but make the connection of what is true, when in love, God gives away one of His daughters, to a man.
She is your wife, but she is so much more than that.
When we dishonor our wives, we not only insult them, but we also insult God, in whose image they are made. They are His before they are ours. Your wife is a daughter of Your Father, His treasured possession. In Christ, she is covered in His grace, created for His glory, clothed with eternal worth. To treat her less than, is to de-glory, de-grade, dis-respect, or dis-honor the very gift God has given you.
Husbands, in Christ, we have a Perfect Spouse, who laid down His life for us. Through the cross, Jesus has pursued us, washed us clean, pledged His un-ending love, and exalted us to a place of new honor with Him. In Jesus, we have all the resources we need, to more faithfully and fully, treasure our wives in a way that is consistent with whom they really are. Your wife is yours, but she never ceases to be God’s – remember to honor her as such. That is what she needs.