My wife’s father, my father by marriage, has served in law enforcement four decades. Having served as an FBI-trained sheriff’s detective in south Florida for many years, he came to be known as “smiling Jack” on account of the fact that he smiled every time he made an arrest of a suspected criminal. As a life-long police officer who enjoys arresting criminals, a father of seven (two sons and five daughters), and one who has been known to clean his pistol when potential male suitors come to the house, he is not the kind of fellow that one trifles with. So, nearly ten years ago when I asked for his oldest daughter’s hand in marriage, needless to say, I was nervous. When I popped the question to him, he was gracious but direct when he asked me if am willing to die for her. I quickly responded, “Yes, sir.” Six months later he placed his oldest daughter’s hand in mine.
I soon discovered that saying I would die for my wife is one thing, whereas actually living for her each and every day is a far greater responsibility. As her husband, I have made a covenant with her, before the face of God and in the presence of witnesses, that I would live for her every day till death us do part. Of course, that is precisely what the Lord commands when He admonishes husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (Eph. 5:25). In His incarnation, the Son of God took on flesh and lived among us and for us each and every day, not to be served but to serve and to die for us (Mark 10:45). Having fulfilled the Trinitarian resolution of the covenant of redemption, our Lord endured the cross, despising its shame, so that we might have life abundant, pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14), resolved to love the Lord with our whole being, living sacrificially for Him and dying to self before His face and for His glory.
Dr. Burk Parsons is editor of Tabletalk magazine and serves as senior pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Fla. He is editor of Assured by God: Living in the Fullness of God’s Grace. He is on Twitter at @BurkParsons.