April 4, 2011

While there are many ways to answer this question, most of them come down to something I once heard Larry Crabb say in a conference. He noted that most people get married for the same reason a tick gets on a dog. That is, to have its own needs met.

A man may get married because a woman has physical beauty, (i.e. “I look good with a beautiful woman on my arm”). Or, a woman may get married because, “He makes me laugh and feel good”, or “He makes me feel secure.” Upon reflection our concerns in marriage usually revolve around the other person being willing and able to meet some real or felt needs in the our life. As Crabb also commented, the problem with that scenario is that in marriage you often have two ticks and no dog!

God, who invented marriage, presents a radically different model and dynamic for this primary relationship of life.

He places the greater responsibility upon man to love his wife “as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.” (Eph. 5:25 ) He is to be committed to faithfully pursue her best interests. This emphasis on the male leadership is consistent throughout the Bible and is consistent with the purposes and plans of God for our well being. The subsequent love that he enjoys from his wife is her natural and proper response to the love she is experiencing from him. Again, this imitates the dynamic which God employs with us. “We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)

Any man who dares to invest his time and effort in this is embarking on the most productive and beneficial endeavor of his life. The return on investment is exponential!

– Article contributed by Ken Sheppard, Men’s Discipleship for the Master’s Men ministry.