Surely, if God wrote a card this weekend, it would say:
“BE MY VALENTINE”
Listen to some of God’s love letters to us…….
“For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.” Isaiah 54:5
“As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:5
But where did the tradition of Valentine’s Day actually come from?
Surprisingly, according to many sources, Valentine has ties to our early Christian history. It seems Valentine was a Roman Priest who lived during the reign of Emperor Claudius II (during 3 C BC). The same Claudius, many believe, that is mentioned in Acts 18:2:
“And he (Paul) found a certain Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently arrived from Italy with Priscilla his wife, on account of Claudius commanding all the Jews to leave Rome.”
Claudius not only instigated the Exodus of the Jews living in Rome, but he had an edict that prohibited the marriage of young people. This was based on the idea that unmarried soldiers were more courageous, because married men would tend to avoid death in fear of what might happen to their wives and children.
This law posed serious problems for Christian’s obviously, so legend has it that he secretly married them. Sadly he was eventually arrested, and in the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to beheading all because of his stand for Christian marriage.
Valentine’s story reminds me of Christ’s example of laying your life down for what you believe. Valentine stood for the protection of a Godly Christian marriage, which is something I am going to speak about tonight. The best way a Godly wife can protect her marriage is by LOVING her husband.
If you are single, don’t be discouraged because the principles of being a great wife can absolutely be transferred over to being a great wife to Jesus! For a single sister, this couldn’t be more true…
“Dance with God, He’ll let the right person cut in.”
1. The Ancient Art of Loving our Husbands!
When I think of how to be a great wife, Titus 2:2-5, comes to mind.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
What was the first lesson Paul asks to be taught to the younger women?
Look back at Titus 2:4 “they …urge the younger women to love their husbands…”
The word LOVE in verse 4 in Greek is: philandrois. Which means to be a woman totally devoted to one’s husband.
In God’s list of your priorities husbands are first, children are second.
As a mum with two young children, and working part-time in the ministry, having my own bible talk, working on my masters degree, mentoring women in London, Paris and Stockholm, it’s very easy for me to put my husband’s needs LAST. Michael is a very capable man, and I can often feel that it’s OK to give him the leftovers. Sometimes, I am so exhausted I don’t have anything left at all to give.
But God’s word speaks very clearly. Husband’s need to be our highest priority requiring our total devotion.
Have your children, your relatives, or friends become more important to you than your first and highest earthly priority given by God: YOUR husband?
After almost 13 years as a wife, it’s easy for me to LOVE in a sacrificial and dutiful way. I clean the house, do my husband’s laundry, pay the bills, shop and cook, take care of the children and fulfil the responsibilities he delegates to me in the church, but philandrois LOVE is loving our husbands enthusiastically!
I need to learn to CULTIVATE a close-knit, friendship with my husband.
Many people wrongly believe that after the wedding no more effort is required…..BUT A successful marriage requires just as much attention, kindness, effort and thoughtfulness from each spouse as it did during the dating process.
Almost all romance flows from closeness. Often our husband’s are lonely! Believe it or not: Men want and deeply need to have the emotional friendship of a caring, accepting, loving, admiring, and pursuing woman in their life.
Remember sisters Genesis 2:18 says that “it was not good for man to be alone (!)”
Eight Simple Ways to Love Your Husband (found off the internet)
- Pray for your husband daily.
- Plan for him daily things like: special acts of kindness; special dinners; special times alone; special meals alone; early bedtimes for the children; going to bed at the same times (intimacy and dates)
- Prepare for him daily: prepare your heart with being clothed with God’s love; prepare the house; prepare your appearance; prepare your greeting; set the table; clear out all visitors; stay off the phone; pray for his arrival.
- Please him in some small way daily.
- Protect your time with him as an offering to the Lord of obedience to His Word.
- Physically love him, let him know that you are available at any time that would please him. God commands us in Proverbs to be intoxicated by the love of our partner (Proverbs 5:18-19). If you are married and not intoxicated by the love of your partner–you are missing the best marriage possible.
- Positively respond to him with respect and admiration for whatever you can notice that he does for you and your family.
- Praise him about his accomplishments.
2. Saved By Submission
“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord….Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22,24
“Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” Colossians 3:1
“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives..” 1 Peter 3:1
“and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2:5
In modern day society, the S word (submission) is ridiculed to be archaic and old fashioned at best, and abusive at worst. Yet to truly embrace this voluntary act of humility is what living by faith, in full trust in God our Father, is all about.
The Greek word for “subject” in Titus 2:5, is the same word for submit, which is hupotasso, that means “to line up under.” It has the idea of placing oneself in a rank lower than someone else. This is the very idea of humility, meekness, and lowliness of mind called for in Philippians 2:3
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
In no way does it imply inferiority—it speaks of a functional and practical ranking, not something that makes the person unequal in essence. At work we would never take it personally that there’s a manager or CEO, right? So why do we struggle in the family unit?
For wives there is nothing more incredible to a man, than the gift of submission.
Remember submission is beautifully illustrated by Jesus to God…Philippians 2:8 says that Jesus SUBMITTED himself to the will of God by becoming obedient to death! We are saved through the incredible submission of Jesus, who are we to NOT follow in his foot-steps?
I believe marriage is the Gethsemane for many wives….It is certainly the battleground of “the wills” in my life. It is the garden of learning NOT my will, but God’s will be done, by SUBMITTING (in everything) to my husband. Like Jesus, sometimes we have to go back, on our KNEES begging God in prayer over and over, to help us fully submit and surrender to the plan He has for Godly wives.
Many times, I have felt the yoke of submission to be unfair. I can feel like a slave with no rights. Well God’s word gives me hope!
Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
1 Peter 2:18-23
God speaks to slaves, which of course I’m not (even though my feelings speak otherwise), but the key to submission is found here!
The key my dear friends, is to NOT retaliate, often by rebellion, manipulation and control, but instead ENTRUST ourselves to HIM WHO JUDGES JUSTLY!!! Yes indeed, submission is easier when we put our trust back on God, who will protect us as we stay righteous! The minute we take control, we are in disobedience to the Word of God and out of the perfect will of God. That should scare us more than submitting to our husbands who married us and made a commitment to get us to heaven!
Many wives are maligning the word of GOD, because we are not obeying scripture to submit to our husbands. Remember, to malign, means to slander and speak evil of. When we disobey this is what we are doing to God.
Wives let us fear God, and be encouraged by the git of submission that Christ gave us! His example should spur our hearts on, to fully entrust ourselves to God, knowing it is Him who will deliver us from all evil. This life is not a game, marriage is no joke. God is real and there will be consequences to our sin.
“However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:
You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.
Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.
The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.”
Do something special today for your husband. Recommit to making him your number one priority and to make every effort to please God, who wants you to please your husband.