One of the things that I will always remember about my seminary experience was the introduction that one fellow classmate gave. Like all introduction processes we would give our name, background and family info. And we had to do this for every class and seminar that we took. Part of the family info that this particular student, let’s call him Johnny Kalven*, gave was that he had a “smokin’ hot wife.” He made sure to share this vital piece of information every chance he had. Unfortunately he transferred to a different seminary that first year so I don’t know if his introduction would have stayed the same. I do have my suspicions though.
On the other hand we have Abraham planning this introduction of his wife Sarai in Genesis 12:11-13:
I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.Apparently Sarai was a “smokin’ hot wife” because all of the Egyptians started bragging to Pharaoh how beautiful she was. So Pharaoh took Sarai into his house. Things didn’t go well for Pharaoh and he found out that she was actually Abraham’s wife. Pharaoh was a bit upset.
But it doesn’t end there.
Abraham passes Sarai off as his sister rather than his wife again in Genesis 20. This time it’s Abimelech the King of Gerar that takes Sarai (now called Sarah) into his house. Again things don’t go well and Abimelech finds out that Sarah is Abraham’s wife. Abimelech was a bit upset.
I don’t know about any of the other husbands out there, but if I ever denied that my wife and I were married...let’s just say that it wouldn’t go well for me.
Abraham’s actions, while not complete lies because they were half brother and sister, are also a direct violation of the bond that is supposed to exist between a husband and a wife. God designed it that way from the beginning: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
Paul spelled out what is implicit in God's design in his command to husbands found in Ephesians 5:25-33:
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
It is quite obvious that we as husbands shouldn’t go passing our wives off as our sisters merely to save ourselves. But the question that we need to continually ask ourselves is whether or not we are loving our wives in the same way that we love ourselves? I am sure that all of us husbands could come up with examples of where we fall short. It may be how we are short or rude when talk to our wives. Or it could be an unfair expectation that we place on her that we would never place on ourselves. It could even be doing something selfish like taking the bigger piece of apple pie. I know I could come up with a list and that list needs to become my relationship “To Do” list.
It might be a difficult task but today seems like a good day, with the help of my wife, to start a new “Honey Do” list.
*Name has been changed to protect the easily embarrassed.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.