Let us look together at Paul's words to the church at Ephesus.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,
because we are members of His body.
FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.
When I read the words of verse 26 "by the washing of water with the word". I imagine preparing my wife for her wedding day. As part of the bride of Christ she is in preperation for that great wedding ceremony when Christ returns to receive the Bride that has been given to Him from His Father. How much emphasis is placed on preparing a bride for her groom on their wedding day? How much more emphasis should be placed on preparing our wives for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb??
To what level and with what urgency should we, as men, take our responsibility to prepare our wives to meet Christ? We are to wash them in the Word of God. What an honor it is for us to prepare, develop, and lead our wives in our homes!
Men, we are called in 2 Cor. 13:5 to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. As men of God, we need to lift up the standard of righteousness in our home. Sitting on the couch in front of countless hours of television and video games is not what we have been called to. If you must have those things, at least examine the balance of couch time with the time spent prepping our wives to meet their Lord. What are we willing to sacrifice to play hours of football on our X-box? What are we modeling for our children to follow? What altar are we willing to sacrifice our families on? And, how can we expect our sons to respect their mothers when we treat her like she's second-class?
Our day is not done when we get home from work. We are called by our Lord to deny ourselves, to take up our crosses daily and to follow Christ. If you are tired when you get home, it doesn't mean you drop your cross at the feet of your wife and command her to carry it for you while you lounge.
Perhaps we need to once again heed the words of the Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth.
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
1 Cor. 13:11
Are we spending our time filling our families with God's precious Word or are we trying to keep them occupied while we satisfy our flesh on stimulants?
And if the words of the Apostle Paul aren't enough for us men, perhaps the words of our Lord spoken from a whirlwind to Job will be the kick from behind we need.
"Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!