'How the Cross Shapes a Husband'

Over on the Gospel Coalition site, there's a powerful and insightful post up about husbands and their calling in the Lord. If you're a husband or would like to know how to encourage one, please read this when you have time!

'How the Cross Shapes a Husband' by Tim Savage

Here's a snippet:

1. Love looks deeply.

First, the love of Christ looks deeply. He examines us with X-ray vision, peering past our outward veneers and into our hearts. There he identifies our greatest problem: in sinful neglect of God, we are separated from our Maker.

In a similar way, a husband indwelled by Christ can “go to school” regarding his wife, prayerfully asking the Lord to reveal what makes her tick at the profoundest level, what explains her dispositions, what brings her joy, what provokes her sorrow and, above all, what constitutes her deepest need. This is the love of Christ in a husband: it is a love that looks deeply.

2. Love acts quickly.

Second, the love of Christ acts quickly. He not only examines our hearts and identifies our needs; he moves promptly to address them. Not regarding equality with God something to grasp for himself, Jesus does just the opposite: he gives himself. In self-emptying love, he serves us at our point of deepest need (Phil. 2:6–7).

Similarly, a husband in whom Christ dwells regards his wife’s needs as more urgent than his own. “I’m going to take care of her concerns before I deal with my own.” “I’m going to put my interests on hold while I attend to hers.” This is the love of Christ in a husband: it is a love that acts quickly.

3. Love empties fully.

Third, the love of Christ empties fully. He identifies and addresses our greatest need. But he doesn’t stop there: “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). To resolve our greatest need, to redeem us from our sins, the royal King of heaven submits his limbs and heart to be split open on the beams of a despicable cross. He empties himself fully.

For a husband, it’s one thing to see what a wife needs; it’s another thing to do something about it. And it’s quite another to do whatever it takes to resolve her needs, even to the point of laying down his life. This is the love of Christ in a husband: it is a love that empties fully.

To put it succinctly, a Christian husband lays aside his own life in order to pick up his wife’s. He treats hers as though it were his. He makes her life—her needs, her interests, her griefs, her joys—his primary concern.