Wednesday, November 20, 2002
It's one of life's great "mixed emotions" moments for most fathers - when it's your daughter's wedding day and you give away your precious little girl to the man she's marrying. The usual Daddy sentiment is, "Nobody's good enough for my little girl - but here she is." I have a friend who expressed many a father's wedding day feelings in an especially graphic way. He loved the man that his daughter was marrying. He was very happy to receive him as a son. But still, he said, "When I placed my daughter's hand in his hand, there was this feeling I couldn't get over - that I was taking this rare Stradivarius violin and placing it in the hands of a gorilla!"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How You Treat a Treasure."
There's another handoff taking place at a wedding besides a Dad giving his daughter to her new husband. You can't see it, but God is entrusting this woman He made into that man's hands, as well. In fact, the Bible says that "the Lord is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth" - and it goes on to make clear that He cares very much about how you treat the treasure He's given you. He doesn't want the "Stradivarius" He created to end up in the hands of a gorilla!
So He's pretty explicit about how He's expecting a man to treat and care for the woman he married. Listen to our word for today from the Word of God in 1 Peter 3:7. "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers." Notice - God suggests that if you're not treating your wife as He expects you to treat her, your prayers may not get answered! God is serious about this!
And He calls us husbands to love our wife with two sensitivities. First, treat her like she's valuable - an equal with you before Jesus, sharing the same spiritual inheritance you do. Respect her for how much she means to Jesus, respect her for the unique creation He made her, respect her as someone He loves and respects very much.
Secondly, treat her like she's vulnerable - the "weaker partner," the Bible says. Now, that doesn't mean a woman isn't as smart as a man. Often, I have to tell you, they have wisdom far beyond ours. It doesn't mean she's helpless or incompetent - my wife doesn't come anywhere close to those adjectives. But it does mean that because of the great strength God gave women, this incredible sensitivity and intuitiveness, she can also be easily and deeply wounded. There are many men who would never hit the woman they love but who wound that woman repeatedly by their harshness, their sarcasm, their criticism or comparison. Or maybe just their neglect, their lack of praise, their lack of attention - or maybe just they're not listening.
When we wound the woman we love - either by what we do or what we don't do - her wounds are deeply felt and, because God made her to store memories, the wounds are often long-remembered. Which places a high and holy responsibility on any man who has pledged himself to love and cherish and protect a woman for the rest of his life. It's the responsibility to treat her as her Heavenly Father meant for her to be treated. Never forget how eternally valuable she is ... or how emotionally vulnerable she is.
God the Father is trusting you with one of His treasures. Don't hurt her.