As I continue reading about relationships, God has led me to the story of Cain and Abel. So many times people focus on the fact that Cain killed Abel, but let’s look at the events leading up to that and God’s response. Genesis 4 explains the story of Cain and Abel. In verses 3-5, Cain brings God an offering from the fruit of the ground and Abel brings God an offering of the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock. God did not respect Cain’s offering but respected Abel’s. Why was that? Abel put first things first and gave God the first (the very best) of his flock (income). Abel did things God’s way, as God designed, by bringing Him the proper offering.
After Cain was upset that his offering was not respected, God responded by saying “You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master” (Genesis 4:7). This reveals that God must have previously instructed the people on the right way to bring Him an offering, the way to honor Him. As a result of his failure to do things God’s way to honor God with what He had already given, Cain murdered his brother. If he had given God his best there would have never been an issue. We cannot expect to do things our way or in a manner outside of the will of God and reap God’s Blessings. We must always honor God His way, the way He instructed.
As a husband, I am the spiritual and physical leader of my home. God has Blessed me with a gorgeous wife that loves me. If I put anything other than God before my wife, I have gotten out of order and I cannot expect God to respect my actions. The Holy Spirit gave me this powerful illustration: A gardener plants a rose, a beautiful, priceless rose (the wife), he chooses to neglect his rose, eventually the rose will begin to wither and decay. It withers because it is lacking the nourishment it truly needs from the gardener (the husband). One day the rose catches the eye of another (man) who sees potential or one that sees a way to get something from the rose that he wants, so he begins to water the rose, tell it (her) how beautiful she is and gives her the extra nourishment she has been lacking. The rose will begin to revive and grow under this new attention and allows herself to be planted in the garden of the new man where she will be taken care of and feel protected. God has shown me that if I don’t do things His way, this is what is crouching at the door. I trust my wife and thank God for showing me how to help her flourish and grow so that the temptation for her to grow under another’s care will not be an issue for her. If I don’t do what God designed me to do as a husband how can I expect to get the same blessings and results as those doing things God’s way.
Doing things God’s way involves me giving God the first (tithe, the best) of my income and time, but it must be done in proper fashion. I cannot put my tithe where I see fit such as in Nike for those new pair of shoes or to a homeless shelter. While doing the latter may seem honorable, it is not God’s design. The tithe is His and should be given to the church you attend (Malachi 3:10). After God, the next part must go to my wife, she needs my love and I need her respect. “So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). The greatest thing a wife needs, is to feel loved by her husband and a husband needs to feel respected by his wife. Neglect one and it will instantly show. I need to protect and love my wife as God designed, seeking His guidance in the tough times as well as the good.
Finally, I learned from this time with God that I must treat my wife the way God designed, I must be her gardener. I must be there to support and help her grow into the beautiful rose that she is. The true value of any gardener is the health of his garden. My wife reflects my care, attention, and love for her. It is my role to make sure she is nourished and taken care of the way God designed.
Proverbs 18:22 The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.
Prayer: Lord teach me how to do things your way in evry area of my life and how to love my wife as you designed.