Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband (Eph. 5:33).

The women the Bible presents as the most desirable are those respected by their husbands. And the wives the Bible presents as most faithful are those who respect their husbands. Still, our corrupted world can tempt each woman’s heart with a desire to control more than to respect her husband. That’s not new. 

When Adam and Eve sinned, God’s said from that point forward, women would long for authority over their husbands. That make sense, of course, because all of us naturally want to control our own destiny by doing what is best for us.  

But God’s redeeming influence changes our thoughts and priorities. The heart controlled by love for Christ beats to love as he loved, and to love those that he loves. To love as he loved is to give oneself in sacrifice for another; and the call to love those he loves cannot bypass those he places closest to us. 

Christ’s grace changes our priorities from doing what is best for us to giving what is best for another. Jesus redeems our hearts and restores appreciation for the family God designed to thrive by how a man loves a woman with Christ’s heart, and how a woman respects a man for Christ’s sake. 

Human joy and spiritual oneness in a marriage will not come by efforts of self-serving control, but by selfless efforts of Christlike support – which is what is best for all.

Prayer: Lord, may I never desire to dominate my spouse but rather to demonstrate sacrificial love and respect so that we would be knit together by living in harmony and humility with the grace we have received from Christ.