Two subtitles of the book shed a little light on the title. One is, “The Love She Most Desires.” The other is, “The Respect He Desperately Needs.” The touchstone text for this book is found in Ephesians 5. There the Apostle Paul writes…
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:25-33)
Suzanne and I are still hammering out some of the details of how we’re going to teach this class. However, what we can say right now is that after the first session (where everyone will be together), we’re going to break the class into the two groups – husbands and wives. Knowing that not all couples will be able to attend this class together due to volunteer issues, work issues, etc., we wanted to make sure that those obstacles wouldn’t hinder a husband or wife from still attending on their own.
I feel compelled to add that nothing I do as a pastor makes me feel as hypocritical as leading a class on marriage. I’m working hard in this area, but I want everyone to know that this is very much a “do as I say, and not as I do” sort of thing. For this study I promise to do my best… to study hard, teach the book, lead the discussion, and try to add value in as many ways as possible. But in no way should I be looked at as an expert who has got it all figured out and who is executing the plan with perfect precision!!! Now, Suzanne on the other hand, is a well-oiled marriage-machine who is really going to bless the women.
So, as it stands right now, we’re going to start this study with an Introduction on Wednesday evening, January 9th, right after our fellowship dinner (which I hope you can also attend). We will meet that evening in the Family Life Center here at Southside.
Also, please let me know if you’re planning on being a part of this class so that we can prepare as well as possible.
Suzanne and I are very excited about leading this new study. Pray for us over the next few weeks as we prepare and iron out the remaining details. I think it’s going to be a great time of growing more and more as the husbands and wives that God has called us to be.