Alternative Daily Text for Sunday, March 23, 2014
“Husbands, continue loving your wives, just as the Christ also loved the congregation.” (Ephesians 5:25)
The apostle Peter instructed Christian men: “Husbands … live with your wives with understanding since they are weaker than you are. Honor your wives.” (1 Peter 3:7, GWT) “Indeed, God’s Word plainly says that wives should be assigned ‘honor.’” (Awake!, February 8, 1993, page 13) But how should that look like in practice? Should a husband open the door for his wife, adjust her chair, or in any other way behave like a “gentleman?” One might think so, but the famous judge Joseph F. Rutherford stated with regard to the men of his day: “The men have become effeminate, soft and easily influenced, and have lost their real manhood … For instance, when men are sitting at a table and a woman approaches,
all the men arise and pay her homage … The men remove their hats upon entering an elevator, if a woman is present; and these things are said to be acts of respect and to show that a man is a gentleman. But it is subtle, and the real meaning is much different from that. It is a scheme of Satan to turn men away from God and from his announced rule of the proper position of man and woman … The scheme or habit of paying homage to women is not of God, but from the great enemy of God. It is a veneer of being a proper thing, and therefore it is more subtle than otherwise.” – Vindication, volume I, page 156.
Thus the obeisance to women that is common in the world is not acceptable to God, but was introduced by Satan, the Devil. So, what kind of “honor” that husbands should show to their wives did the apostle Paul think of? In Ephesians 5:25 he instructed men to ‘love their wives just as the Christ loved the congregation.’ And “Jesus perfectly imitated his beloved heavenly Father.” (Come Be My Follower, page 144) How does Jehovah show his love for his worshippers? Again Paul provides the answer: “The Lord punishes everyone He loves. He whips every … [person] He receives.” (Proverbs 3:11-12, NLV) Since Jehovah wants all his male worshippers to “become imitators of God,” he has wisely made sure that “women are weaker than men.” – Ephesians 5:1; 1 Peter 3:7, NLV.
According to the Bible, every husband “must love his wife,” and consequently “from time to time he will beat his wife.” (Ephesians 5:33; Awake!, November 22, 1988, page 8) In this context, “remember the words … by one wife beater: ‘If we stop beating, we lose control. And that’s unthinkable.’” (Awake!, November 22, 1988, page 6) The same magazine also explained how to recognize a a good husband: “Does … [he] freely tell others – outside family members, friends, other Christians – that from time to time he will beat his wife, inflict bodily harm on her, because he loves her so much?” – page 8.