Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Just read The Song. Yes, open the book of Song of Solomon and marvel at how Solomon verbally affirmed his bride. And let this serve as a Spirit-inspired, divinely given model for godly men to speak affectionately, honestly, and encouragingly to their own wives. It may accurately be said that there is no example anywhere in all of Scripture of a husband and wife so passionately, tenderly, and edifyingly affirming one another to the glory of God!

All things must be done for the upbuilding of God’s people. The Apostle Paul states this truth throughout 1 Corinthians 14. If this applies to the Christian church at large, how much more does this apply to Christian couples at home! Let all things be done for the edification of the saints. So, then, dear husbands, affirm your wives for their edification, for their strengthening, for their encouragement, for their upbuilding. It should be said at this point that the husband has the duty of edifying his wife simply because he is to lead her and love her selflessly and proactively. He must not affirm her or verbally adore her for the purpose of getting something (sex, submission, etc.). The husband must affirm his wife regardless of how she responds.  

With this said, what are some practical tips on how to do this?

Affirm your wife specifically. Solomon models throughout the Song of Songs a husband who specifically affirms and admires his wife. Just read chapter seven, for instance. He goes from the bottom of his wife to the top of his wife. He speaks specifically of her feet, the curves of her hips, her naval, her belly, her breasts, her neck, her nose, her head, and her hair. It’s specific. It’s passionate. It’s thoughtful. It’s absolutely appropriate! This is far from the tendency of men to simply say nothing to the wife or simply provide some generic: you’re beautiful! The more specific you can be, the better. It shows thought. It shows care. It shows intentionality. And it shows creativity. Specifically make it your ambition to notice features, body parts, attitudes, patterns of growth, and aspirations for holiness and affirm her with intentionality and joy.

Affirm your wife proactively. At the outset of the Song of Solomon, he speaks tenderly and verbally to his dearest lover even when she battles fear and worry. He initiates and proactively verbalizes his love and care for her. He tells her that she is the most beautiful among women. He showers her with overwhelming affirmations of love that she is beautiful, his darling, his lover, his dove. She has captivated him. And he does not wait for something to get right for him to then bless her verbally. Rather, he initiates, he proactively pursues and deliberately creates ways of affirming her, her body, her heart, and her character. Let all husbands learn from this. He proactive in leading your wife in verbal admirations. Don’t wait for her to do something before you then respond with loving words. You initiate it! Proactively affirm your precious bride.

Affirm your wife lovingly. Love, by definition biblically, means to give of oneself sacrificially to another for their benefit regardless of how they respond. It is always self-giving and others-benefitting. It is always self-sacrificing and lavishly-abounding. Love is not selfish. It is not merely taking or receiving, but giving! This means that husbands can verbally affirm their wives selflessly and sacrificially. A husband may quip: ‘but what if she doesn’t respond and encourage me back?’ Then, keep lavishly showering her with tender love! Or, ‘but what if she doesn’t respond with giving me sex?’ Love her expecting nothing in return. Love her deliberately and intentionally and happily -- just as Christ has loved you! Or, ‘but what if I can’t find anything to affirm her for or speak well of?’ Then, remember the gospel and how there was nothing for which Christ could have spoken well of you and yet notice how he initiated such overwhelming love in the gospel by showering you with grace, with love, with tenderness, with affirmations and promises! Go and do likewise!

Affirm your wife tenderly. Be tender, O husbands! Speak to her in winsome and warm ways that she will appreciate. This means you need to know your wife. Learn her. Study her. Know her heart and her longings. Know what she loves and appreciates. Then speak tenderly and admirably to her and praise her with husbandlike tenderness and Christlike warmth.

Affirm your wife continuously. A husband may be of the mindset that he told his wife he loved her on the wedding day and that’s sufficient throughout the marriage. Wrong! Lavishly affirm her. Constantly admire her. Repeatedly embrace her. All through the Song of Solomon there are occasions of verbal admiration and acclamation of beauty, of longings, of attractiveness, of exclusivity, of togetherness. Husband, seek to continuously lavish your God-given bride with warm and wooing words of tender affection and love. You can’t praise and admire her enough!

Indeed, O husbands, consider how Christ our ultimate Bridegroom speaks to and affirms His blood-bought bride! Consider how ultimate His promises are! Consider how tender His words are! Consider how thoughtful His affirmations are. He finds His bride supremely beautiful as she is robed in His glorious righteousness and washed in His blood. And O how He has spoken clearly, warmly, tenderly, and lavishly throughout the pages of Scripture! Do likewise, dear husband with the wife that He has mercifully given to you!

More articles available at Pastor Geoff's articles web-page.


Christopher said...

Thank you so much for this series on husbands and what they can do for their wives. I've only been married almost two years, but the series is a great reminder of the things I constantly should be aware of so that I may love my wife more.

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