One of my favorite Bible College professors, Dr. Don Pickerill, taught that marriage is the “spot remover” of the body of Christ. As I was not yet married, this puzzled me. However, later in life I began to understand how the spots, blemishes and wrinkles are removed-by the washing with water through the word. What makes this practically powerful is the word that Paul uses for “word”. He uses the Greek word, “rhema”.

Rhema differs from Logos in that it is spoken directly to an individual, rather than written. We derive our word, “rhetoric” from this Greek word. How do we husbands wash away the stains, blemishes and wrinkles from our wives? There are several ways. 

First and foremost, a good husband is a good listener. He must practice the art of patience and attentive listening to more than her words. A good husband will be aware of the non-verbal que, such as her facial expression, posture, voice, attitude, emotions and language. Many of us immediately want to rush in to “fix” the problem. We skip a few vital steps in doing that. Patient listening is one of them. If I as a husband am going to carefully and patiently “wash” the spots and blemishes from my wife I must first discern if I was the one who caused the blemish or wrinkle in the first place. Asking for and giving forgiveness is one of the vital characteristics that helps make a marriage strong and healthy. It is quite easy to forget this need, especially if we’ve been married a long time. We need to stay current with our spouse. Often the question, “How was your day, honey?” is a good starter. 

Besides attentive listening, kindness and encouragement are wonderful cleansers. How often do we take the opportunity to encourage or to thank our wives? Proverbs 25:11 teaches that “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” She may be waiting for a kind and encouraging word from you today. And we all need attitude adjustments from time to time. A timely challenge or correction may be encouraging when spoken in love. 

Chip Whitman
Pastor of Care & Counseling

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