Heroes and Treasures
It’s taken for granted, at least according to the common line of humor, that married couples are bored with each other. And some even go so far as to suggest that it is natural for them to be at odds with one another. It’s supposed to be funny that husbands and wives don’t hold hands anymore or have eye contact during dinner together or appear interested in each other when in public. And I guess there is nothing wrong with a little good-natured humor. Life does have a way of showing the other side of the silver lining, so to speak.
It is true that as marriage brings financial challenges and early mornings and babies and broken appliances the rosy-colored glasses come off. And more than romance is needed to navigate life’s difficulties. To put it as one kitchen magnet proclaims, “Kissin’ don’t last; cooking do!”
But, on the other hand, the commitment to love and to cherish should be an attitude that rises above the petty trials of everyday home life. Oh, some of them are not so petty, I understand, but even in those, especially in those, that bedrock of abiding love and respect makes all the difference.
Have you noticed the pride with which young people introduce a boyfriend or girlfriend? They are eager to mark their claim and anxious for all to know that this person is one to whom they have special rights. But somehow it seems so much more romantic to say “This is my girlfriend or my fiancée” than to say “This is my husband or this is my wife.” Right?
We’ve picked up a mistaken way of thinking about the terms husband and wife. To many this is like saying “Here is my ball and chain!” or “This is the old lady” or “Here is the man I’m stuck with.” If any of those sentiments are true, there are some deep issues in the relationship. But, sometimes we’re just guilty of ignorance about the original meaning of the words husband and wife. And that is to our detriment.
A Husband – a Hero
Inherent in the meaning of the original word translated today as” husband” is the idea of caring for, protecting. The Old English term husbandman referred to a nurturer, a caretaker; it was used many times in connection with gardening. It is the responsibility of the one who husbands to see that what is in his care is protected and provided for and brought to a state of beauty. So, when a woman refers to a man as her husband, she is declaring that he is the one who lovingly cares for her. He is her champion and guard as well as her lover. She is saying “This is my hero.”
Isaiah 54:5 shows the wonder of the word husband. God, speaking to the nation of Israel, calls Himself a husband. “For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name.” (NKJV)
He was the One who always had her back, the one she could depend on. And God desires that earthly men mirror His love in the way they husband their wives.
A Wife – a Treasure
In the New Testament analogy of marriage representing Christ and the Church, the woman is seen as the object of great devotion. Christ died for His Church; a husband is to show his wife that kind of sacrificial love. He is to cherish her, just as Christ nourishes and cherishes the church. (Ephesians 5:29)
According to Proverbs 18: 22 “He who finds a wife finds a good thing [“treasure”- NLT], and obtains favor from the LORD.” (NKJV)
In the beginning, the Creator said it wasn’t good for the man to be alone; He gave Adam a wonderful gift – a wife. When a man presents a woman to others as his wife, he is saying “This is my treasure; she is very special.” She is what he values most under God; she is his delight.
The Pattern is Beautiful
The pattern God has laid out in His Word shows that He is thrilled with the idea of husbands as heroes and wives as treasures. It doesn’t really matter what coworkers say or what the television programs show when it comes to married couples and their attitudes toward one another. The Bible’s idea of love and commitment and serving each other has been proven in multitudes of marriages through the generations.
What a difference it would make in our 21st century culture and in our homes if Christian couples everywhere adopted this attitude! And you can begin the next time you introduce your spouse. Remember what you’re really saying. “Here is my hero!” “This is my treasure!” It could be life-changing!