Second Choice No More

Romans 5:8
But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

When I read all of Romans 5, I am so thankful to the Lord for the sacrifice that He made for us. I try never to let a day go by without thanking the Lord for sending His precious Son, Jesus to die in my place. It is humbling to think that He lived the life that I was created to live and did not, then came and died the death that my sin had me condemned to die, and He did it in my place. Thank You, Jesus!

I am so thankful to Him because when I think of the whole of humanity and how unloving and ungrateful, unthankful and undeserving we are, not only of what Jesus has done for us, but we are unthankful for those He has placed around us for whatever purpose they are to have in our lives. I am so burdened by how badly husbands treat their wives in this day and time. I remember a time when marriage was the one thing that little girls hoped for and dreamed of, because they would have a knight in shining armor like their daddies, who would take care of them, and treat them with the same lovingkindness and gentleness that they have been so accustomed to all of their lives. Nowadays, it is more rare that you find a Godly husband who treats his wife with the love and affection that the Word of God instructs him to do. Ephesians 5:25-29 lays it out so clearly:

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it;
That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

I had a conversation with a man today who has done all but nourish and cherish his wife, and he thinks that it is okay to treat his wife like she is second class. Thank God that He sees all and knows all, and He is going to judge EVERY husband who has mistreated his wife. If He does not, then Malachi 2:13-15 must be a lie:

And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that He regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.
Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
And did not He make one? Yet had He the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That He might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

God’s Word is true. He is not going to hear the call and the cry of the one that He has witnessed dealing “treacherously” with his wife. I thought that word “treacherously” was very strong, so I looked it up in the dictionary. The definition read “deceptive, untrustworthy, or unreliable”….and I thought, wow. How appropriate a word for the man that I spoke with today. Treacherous.

1 Peter 3:7 is one of my favorite marriage verses: “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

If a husband dwells with his wife “according to knowledge”, then he has spent time learning her. He knows the things that make her happy, and the things that make her sad. He knows what she likes and dislikes, he knows how to get the best out of her, and he knows what brings out the worst. This is God’s command to husbands. Unfortunately, this is not being taught in the pulpits of today’s churches. I would venture to say that this is probably some of the most unpopular teaching in our culture.

The next phrase of that passage says that the husband is to give “honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel”…Wow. That is a loaded verse. Although I am sure this has been taken to mean that she is “second class”, that is not what the Lord is saying here. What He is saying is that there are physical differences between men and women. She is weaker physically than he is. There are some things that a woman should not be expected to do, physically speaking. Therefore, the husband should treat her as the “damsel in distress”. That does not mean that she is weak; it just means that she should not have to carry the same physical and mental load as the husband. That is why it goes on to say that they are “heirs together of the grace of life”, because she is just as important to God as he is…she is just as useful and precious and vital to the kingdom as her husband. The piece that strikes me about this passage is the part that says “that your prayers be not hindered”. Now, if I were a husband, and God said to me, hey buddy, you better treat your wife right or I will not hear your prayers, I would be as kind to my wife as possible because I do not need God to ignore my prayers!!! Nevertheless, we have the men of the church who are clueless when it comes to this concept.

God will have a word with all of you husbands who have crushed the spirits of your wives. Much of what a woman thinks of herself is wrapped up in her husband, and what he thinks of her. His perception of her is evident in how gently he speaks to her, how much he communicates with her, and how much love and affection he shows her on a regular basis. So, when she is starved of affection, communication and the feeling of self-worth, she turns into something that God did not create her to be in response to the coldness and cruelty of her husband. I know first hand of which I speak.

Praise The Lord, however, that I have gotten over feeling like second choice. Sometimes it hurts when I think about it, but for the most part, I remember what the psalmist said in Psalm 139:

“…I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well…”

I know that God loves me, and I know that I am an important part of the kingdom of God. I know He has me here “…for such a time as this…” (Esther 4:14). I know that He sees my distress, He knows full well my pain. He said so in Hebrews 4:15:

For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

He knows the betrayal, the disappointment, the accusations, the false witness, and everything that I have endured. But He loves me so much that He endured those things before me, and He has given me the assurance that I am second choice NO MORE.

To God be the glory…

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