So during the conversation I had the other night with my aunt she kept brining up a point that, to me, is one of the biggest and most misleading statements in the modern church. She kept telling me that husbands need to pursue their wives the same way Christ pursues His church with an unending and unconditional love. If husbands would just do this then they would find that wives are more willing to be respectful and obedient, instead of husbands trying to utilize their authority, which is offensive because women are adults and people with feelings and wants, etc., etc.
(As I think about it I cannot help but notice her constant pull towards statements like “women are adults, not children”, “women are people too”, “women have feelings and needs and pursuits”. This stems from her human sexuality and psychology training. Combined with growing up in a feminist society, it has made it very difficult for her to read the words of the bible and take them at face value.)
Over at BlendingAme poster Joel posts and excellent reply to her post Mystery in the Presence of God. I will post his preceding reply as well so as to give context:
I fully agree, the idea that God is completely beyond knowing is rubbish…if we couldn’t know him at all, why would he reveal himself through the Word, who is Jesus? It would be useless if that were the case.
He desires to be pursued! The mystery is part of the chase eg Is 45:15
The bible is full of examples where God calls for us to seek Him. What it does not have in it are instances of God pursuing us relentlessly. In fact, Romans 1:28 says:
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
This tells me that God, though He loves us, will at some point allow us to walk away from Him and suffer the consequences of our actions. He will not come running after us like some lovesick boyfriend, hoping that if He does enough nice things for us we will turn back to Him. He is complete on His own. We are complementary to Him, but He does not need us – He is His own package.
This concept ties directly into the husband/wife relationship, of which Christ’s relationship with the church is an example in the bible. Modern Christians are very determined to teach husbands that Christ will relentlessly pursue us, and therefore they should relentlessly pursue their wives, but this is wrong because their concept of Christ’s love is wrong! Unfortunately it puts husbands in the position of having to continually pursue or “prove their love” to their wives, while wives are taught that their husbands should be continually pursing them and “proving their love” by providing gifts, dates, compliments, etc.! In the end one of two things will happen, either the husband will get burned out from his constant efforts or the wife will become frustrated because she doesn’t feel her husband is meeting her expectations of being constantly wooed.
Personally I think wives should be content with how and when their husbands show affection and “pursue” them, though I am not against wives asking for a night out on the town or even bringing up a gentle reminder that it’s “been a while” since they last went out. I know that I, personally, get so wrapped up in work and everything that needs to be done around the house that sometimes I forget about going out, I suspect a lot of other men are much the same. It’s not that we don’t love or forget about our wives, it’s just that men can get focused on a task and block out everything else in order to concentrate on it. What I do not think is wise is for wives to cry and complain about how they don’t feel loved because their husband does not make her the center of his world 24/7. To me this is either a sign of immaturity (mentally or spiritually) or maybe the top layer of some much deeper problems that need to be hashed out.
At the same time I think it’s good for husbands to spend time with their wives, as it is beneficial for themselves, their wives and the relationship. This, however, does not mean I think it NEEDS to be done or that it is a SIN if you don’t. Up until maybe a couple hundred years ago men, in their pursuit to provide for their families, didn’t always have the luxury to work near their homes. Some of them travelled the sea (watch the movie, In the Heart of the Sea. The main character left his wife and unborn daughter on a two year whale hunting expedition. TWO. YEARS.), some of them may have had to deliver goods from one place to another. Something that seems simple in our modern age, as we can easily travel 60 miles in an hour, but not so easy back during the days of horse and carriage. The wives of these eras would sometimes not see their husbands for weeks, months or years. And with the only communication being written, well, there was always the possibility that watching them leave to go to work was the last time you would ever hear from them. Modern day romance is a modern day convenience that is taken for granted. Both men and women are almost assured that they will leave for work in the morning with a kiss on the cheek and be back before dinner that evening. It has gone from a luxury to an expectation and the modern church has helped to push that.
Christians would be wise to avoid the gospel of romance and trade it in for the true gospel. Have realistic expectations and don’t be deceived! God loves you, but He will not devote all of His time to chasing you, and women shouldn’t expect this from their husbands either. Husbands, take note that God “remembers” us and, when we are doing good and receiving His affections He gives us good things. “Remember” your wife sometimes because you love her and care for her. It will bring her joy and that joy will be reflected in your relationship wit her, but remember that her joy will need to be replenished from time to time.
In closing I will repeat this suggestion to wives, as I have done in past posts. If you want your husband to pay you more attention then Get Mandy-cized! Embed yourself into your husbands brain by delivering a constant stream of good, healthy sex! Dress in clothes he likes and will notice on you! Dye your hair his favorite color! Send him a naughty picture or flash him your boobs at the dinner table (if no one else is around, of course)! Have a “Mandy” attitude! Doing this will put him back into boyfriend mode and he will find himself thinking about you in all the wrong ways for all the right reasons at the most inopportune times of the day! And he will love it! Sure it may sound like a lot of work for you, and it probably will be at first, but eventually it will just become the thing you do. And don’t forget that this man has pledged to spend his time, effort and body providing for you, 8 to 12 hours a day. And in case you need something a little more blunt: