“Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor—since they're already "one" in marriage” (Ephesians 5:25-28 MSG).
Every week, he has his used, green, 1992 BMW cleaned inside and out. The way the sun sparkles off the finish is like the beam of his smile when he is noticed cruising around town. Although the interior is falling apart, there is a hole on the front passenger side floor, and the ball bearings make the passenger seats lean awkwardly, no one is allowed to eat inside or touch the paint job. He loves that car. He thinks it makes him “look rich”, more attractive to the ladies, and important enough to talk corporate with the men. That car is his identity. He protects it with his life. He used his entire $500 savings to buy it and will not let it go (no matter how much repair it needs).
However, his wife he beats. Because, the house is never clean enough, the kids are never quiet enough, the food is never seasoned enough, she is never supportive enough of his dreams, and she is never attractive enough to keep him faithful. According to him, she will not submit, obey, or satisfy him when he needs to be satisfied. Quite simply, she is nothing but a “garbage wife,” a woman who deserves to be put out with the trash because she is trash. Under the guise of pity and mistreatment, he tells everyone about her “character”, neglect of him and the children, and how he wishes God would send him a wife that loves him. And, on Sunday morning, he is very convincing, prayerful, and supportive of his family as he “tolerates” such a horrible wife.
People are unaware of just how much he hates himself. How insecure, helpless, and unrepentant he is. He is always a victim “abused” by four different wives and a struggling “single” dad always searching for the “bigger better deal.” People do not know how he would rather spend his money on his beat up BMW instead of buying food for his family. Instead of kissing his wife’s neck, he strangles it because she asks for a separation. Without her, he has no one to blame for his failures, lack of wealth, or to “work his salvation out” on. He despises everything about himself, so he beats her.
“No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That's how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become "one flesh." This is a huge mystery, and I don't pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband” (Ephesians 5:28-33 MSG).
His car, a cold inanimate object, he loves. His wife, “bone of his bones, flesh of his flesh” (Genesis 2:23), he beats.
NOTE: If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233).