“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” –Ephesians 5:25
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.” –John 12:27
Okay, suicide is probably not the right characterization of what I am about to say, but I think it paints the radical picture needed to convey the point (plus, it got your attention). I am well aware of my duty to protect those around me as a man raised with Southern values and Christian morals. There is an almost instinctual response in the face of danger to interpose my own life for one weaker than myself, particularly my wife and children. We can see this common grace at work even in many who would not do so in obedience to the Scripture above. And while Christ’s call to me as a man of God to lay down my life for my wife is certainly not less than that, it is so much more than the heroism of movie plots and daydreams.
Would I die in order to save my wife and children? You bet I would! I would step in front of a bullet without hesitation. But would I lay down my life for her by giving up a few minutes of my own time to empty the dishwasher or take the kids for the afternoon? Um…well…maybe. To be like Christ to my wife, I should not only to be willing to die for her in the moment of danger, but to constantly look for ways to lay down my life for her good. Am I waiting for opportunities to play the hero or am I looking for ways to kill myself for her sake? It is not as glorious; it may not get the same recognition; but it is the path of intentional death walked by our Savior. Don’t say, “If the time comes, I will be ready to die.” Why not do it right now? If you’re not sure how, ask your wife. I am quite sure she’ll have some ideas.