Recently, I woke up. The cloud of busyness that I had been encapsulated in finally dissipated, and I was left to realize that my wife really needed me, but I had been too distracted. I wept and repented when I realized that my oblivion had left her vulnerable and wide open. I’m her covering. This is what I signed up for: to love, honor, and cherish Sarah.
I am going to love and cover my wife, the way Jesus loves and covers His Church. (Ephesians 5:25)
In the instance of seeing my role as my wife’s servant leader and protector, I realized that a husband loving his wife as Jesus loves His Church is her greatest champion. Her mighty man. I love turning the tables of modern manhood and seeing my wife, not I, as the one who should be displayed. Peter tells us that wives are the “weaker vessel.”
Not weak, though, in the sense of being defenseless and unstable. A better translation would be delicate. This phrase in Greek literally means fine china. (1 Peter 3:7)
In this moment of drawing a line—no, a trench—in the sand: vowing to protect and lead my wife with love, respect, attention, and to love her with abandon, I came to realize three truths about when my wife is hurting.
1. WHAT HURTS HER, HURTS ME.
When a husband sheds his passivity like a worn, overused garment, it is refreshing. I tore off that indifference with a vengeance when I saw that I had turned a blind eye to my wife’s pain—and it seared like an iron when I learned this. To love your wife as Christ loves His Church is to feel such empathy for her pain that you clench your fists until your knuckles whiten , and you shout through clenched teeth, “Give it to me, Lord, if it will take it off of her!”
2. THE ENEMY OF HER SOUL BETTER WATCH HIS BACK.
The next swelling emotion that I experienced after feeling her pain was anger and fury towards the enemy of her soul, who tries to rob her peace and stifle her joy. Your wife was not created to be a victim. She was created to represent the beauty, grace, and strength of God to the world. When the enemy tries to choke out that vibrant life that God fused into her soul, you—like me—will roar. And roar you must. The battered woman image is a façade that undermines the dignity and value that God bestowed upon women. Rebuke the enemy and glorify the name of Jesus in her midst! When your wife is too weary to cry out her battle cry, then cry it out for her.
3. WHOEVER BLESSES HER, BLESSES ME.
Finally the storm subsided. Friends and mentors gather around her and “tag you out” to rest so others could surround her. This happened to me. A spiritual mother and sisters in her life came to her side and spoke truth over my wife’s heart. My joy returned because her joy returned. God knows this sentiment. Genesis 12:3 tells of God’s burning heart for Israel, how those who bless Israel will be blessed by God. Why? Because He is so invested in His people that when others pour into Israel, He cannot help but pour out His love in return. The Lord is the ultimate example of a husband: He is the Champion of His Bride, and what blesses her, blesses Him—causing Him in return to bless.
Husbands, let’s champion our wives’ position in the Kingdom and defend her against the lies and libels that the enemy tries to place upon her!
This article originally appeared on Marriedandyoung.com