The Setting

Several months ago I was doing a visualization exercise with one of my groups when I had a vivid picture pop into my mind. It looked like this:

Along with the picture came a profound (to me) take on Ephesians 5:25-27 (MSG):
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. 

I’ve always thought of this passage to represent dying. We husbands are to die for our wives since that is what Christ did for the church. But this new take showed me something additional. Jesus loved the church to death, yes, but his sacrificial posture and profound surrender made it possible for us to be holy, dazzling and radiant in God’s sight. His end goal wasn’t selfish in so much as he wanted to glorify himself; he wanted to glorify the Father. And one way he glorified the Father was to bring out the best in us. Just to be sure I’ve got this straight: Jesus willingly humbled himself, enduring pain he could’ve opted out of, giving to us instead of getting from us, so that we could benefit.

Jesus was the setting, the placeholder, the foundation, the mainstay for us, God’s people to be lifted up and presented dazzling. The placeholder plus the beauty it presented ultimately pointed to the majesty of the Father.

So it is for us, as husbands. We are the placeholder; the setting for the gem. We are to be a foundation to safely, securely, and sincerely present the jewel that is our wife to the world. As her dazzling brilliance glitters and gleams, each facet of the stone reflecting her radiance, melds with the luster of the setting, the two cannot help but give honor to the Master Craftsman. 

Husbands:  what kind of setting are you? Lustrous, shining, sturdy, secure? Are you giving the jewel in your life the type of presentation you are called to?

2 thoughts on “The Setting

  1. Your post reminded me of something I wrote a long time ago. Apologies for the length. Thank you for EMB! It has been a major factor in changing my life:
    God has never had a direct conversation with me, but I know that He has spoken. Most of the time, I hear God’s conversation through small things, like a friend that I was thinking about who calls out of the blue, something heard in a sermon that is related to my thoughts, or something I read that’s pertinent to a problem I am having.

    But it was this time time that God had conversed with me that had a major effect on my life. . It took a long time to admit that this was even a conversation from God, but as I surrendered to Him, I had to acknowledge His presence that day.

    I was at a diner with my youngest son. I was playing around with my wedding ring, and left it on the table. After breakfast, I paid for our meals, and left. It was about 10 minutes later that I realized that I had left the ring on the table. I returned to the diner, only to find out that the waitress hadn’t seen it, and more than likely, it had been thrown into the garbage.

    My son and I checked around the table and the floor, and I dumpster dove for a half-hour or so, until I realized that the effort was futile. My son was extremely angry with me that I gave up when I did. I returned home, and confessed the loss of my ring to my wife.

    About an hour later, my wife received a call. It was someone from the diner, asking for me. She called me on the road, and let me know that they called. I was in the area and returned to the diner. I was told that one of the owners of the diner used a powerful industrial magnet to search the dumpster, and was able to recover the ring.

    It shouldn’t have taken a year, but now I realize how prophetic this event at the diner was. Me playing with my ring symbolized me taking chances with my marriage. The ring being swept up in the trash of the restaurant was our marriage being lost in the sea of garbage that I was involved in, the porn and the prostitutes. The searching in the dumpster was my own futile attempt to save the marriage on my own. The anger of my son symbolized all that I had hurt with my infidelity. The magnet symbolized my Higher Power, and it finding the ring was symbolic of the fact that only my Higher Power could save my marriage.

    God does speak with us, we just need sometimes to figure out how to hear Him.

  2. Thank you, Jason, for sharing such great insight. I always love it when God shows me something new like this and the first thing I want to do is share it with others so that it may benefit them. I am thankful that you shared this because it challenged me and helped me to see how to truly love my wife.

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