SANCTIFYING AND CLEANSING HER
It’s sombering to note that God expects a man to be a teaching priest to his wife.
To see to it that she’s sanctified, cleansed- all the dirt in her life and character; washed! Until she’s presentable spotless, without wrinkle or any blemish.
Interestingly, the instrument for this washing is the Word of God. Ephesians 5:26 referred to this as the washing of water BY THE WORD!
This is one of the important ways by which Jesus is loving the Church and thus one of the ways a man ought to love his wife LIKEWISE.
But the real issue is this: how can a man whose life and character are full of spots and wrinkles work on someone else to become without spot or wrinkle? How can an unsanctified life make another life sanctified? No wonder, most husbands have found it most difficult to carry out this ministry towards their wives.
How do you even get your wife to submit to you teaching her how to behave like Jesus? Her question will be, “Mr. Preacher, how Christ-like are you yourself? How can you a master of malice, anger, hurtful words, sinful habits, pride and haughtiness suddenly arrogate to yourself a priestly garment? Doctor, heal yourself first.”
While it may be possible to bring biblical instructions to outsiders without necessarily having a life that supports the message, it is most difficult to achieve this with your wife because she knows all the secrets of your life.
And is it not true that a preacher must be above the message he’s preaching? He who must sanctify another must himself have been sanctified.
This is the reason my co-men – if I may speak to you without mincing words- even if our wives are lethargic about conforming to the image of Christ; even if they are not so serious about keeping their Likewise, we cannot afford it if we’ll not fail in this important ministry of being an agent of sanctification and redemption towards them.
In other words, your need as a man to conform to the image of Jesus is more urgent than your wife’s. Even if she chooses to continue to misbehave; sad as that will be; as long as your own Christ-like standing is intact, you will have the moral ground to bring correction to her, to preach the word to her and thus be able to salvage her soul and the sanity of the marriage in the process.
But if the body is rotten and the head is rotten at the same time, the hope of salvation is totally lost. What a tragic situation that will be. And the shame really is on you as a man – for being such a failed Priest over your home.
In 1 Cor. 11:7-8 the bible argued that the reason why a man ought not to cover his head during church service is that he is the image and the glory of God while the woman is the image and glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
Can you see that the two of you are not on the same level when it comes to the expectation to reflect the image of Christ (God)? The expectation on your own life is higher because you’re directly meant to be an express image of Jesus’ life and glory.
In a sense, she’s not the direct image of God, but that of the man. It is the image you reflect that she’s expected to reflect. If my wife is therefore reflecting worldliness, it’s my fault. I’m the one God will hold responsible.
It is on this basis that it is utterly shameful for you as a man to be dragging christlessness with your wife? For you to be saying, “ehn….ehn, I didn’t keep my likewise because she didn’t keep hers of course.” Kai, you’ve totally lost your sense. You’ve totally lost the value of your Priesthood. God exalted you so high, but you’ve brought yourself so low.
It is for her sake that I sanctify myself. Same thing Jesus did towards the Church. To be able to qualify as our Sanctifier, he had to first sanctify Himself so that we also may be sanctified by the truth. John 17:19.
Likewise my brother, for your wife’s sake, you need to sanctify yourself; you need to come out of all those sinful habits; you need to become to her as from now, a model of righteousness and true holiness.
If she keeps malice, you must insist never to; if she hurls graceless words, your own tongue must always be sanctified – every single issue regarding the Likewise obligation that we’ve raised, you must keep them with spartan discipline far ahead of her. It is then that this ministry of sanctifying and cleansing her will be easy for you to achieve.
If you then succeed in progressively sanctifying her and cleansing her unto the very image of Christ, you would have earned a pass mark in loving her correctly – just as Christ loved the Church.
What a task! Daunting, seemingly herculean; but doable.
Being a man therefore is beyond having balls dangling in-between the thighs, it is a high calling to painstakingly and sacrificially reflect the image and glory of Jesus in the midst of the most difficult contradictions.
Oh, I remember, I already have it. It has been impressively at work for the past one year. And I’m persuaded I will progress even in this grace – the fullness of grace (Jesus) who lives in me!
He’s in you too!
To be continued on Thursday at 5pm.
Peniela E. Akintujoye.
©️Peniela Eniayo, Akintujoye| firstname.lastname@example.org