"4 Secrets Before 'I Do' - Pt 2: Sanctifying Love" a guest post by Jeff Anderson

It is my honor to introduce you to Jeff Anderson, who is guest posting today. Jeff Anderson has a unique gift to change the way people see, and relate, to God.  He enjoys tackling touchy biblical subjects – like money… and yes, marriage.  He is the leader of www.AcceptableGift.org where he speaks and writes on the subject of biblical giving.  He is the author of Plastic Donuts, A Fresh Perspective on Gifts.  Jeff and his wife Stephanie have four children and live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kent, Awesome Marriages Singles Leader.

I’m sharing a five-part series about an awesome marriage.  Allow me to recap my qualifications: I love God; I love my wife; and I have been married longer than my single, never-been-married friends.  That’s about it. Fortunately for me, I have an awesome wife.  She makes up for her less-than-awesome-husband.  Most importantly, she’s not around while I’m sharing my thoughts and feeling giddy about my royal platform.  (Remember, I’m the one-eyed king - hyperlink) Now for truth #2. Sanctify – Men love their wives…like Christ loved the church.  (Eph 5:25) Sit down guys.  This one needs your full attention. Here’s some more text to chew on. …  just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (25-27) Men, somehow your love is to make your wife “without stain or wrinkle…holy and blameless.”  Sounds cool, huh?  Who wouldn’t want a wife like this? And what makes this happen? Uh… your love does. A husband is to be so grounded in God’s Word that the way they live out their witness and love their wives has a cleansing, sanctifying effect on them. Single guys, feeling unqualified all the sudden?  I sure do – and I’m married! This sanctifying love is no small calling for aspiring husbands.  When a man reads, meditates, studies and applies God’s Word in their lives, they’ll radiate Christ outwardly on their wives.  In return, wives will radiate Christ-likeness as well. When husbands meet with the Lord in the early morning, cover the home front with prayers of protection, purge out evil and filth from our homes caused by television, movies, etc., wives take notice…and submission will be easier for them. Single ladies, are you looking for the right things in a marriage prospect?  You want a man whose love for God can overflow love into your cup, too; one whose submission to Christ causes you to want to love God more; one whose life example challenges you spiritually. This “sanctifying love” is a high standard.  It will cause the groom and groomsmen to be weak in the knees, buckling over at the altar.  Yes, the bride coming down the aisle is gorgeous.  And those cheerleader bridesmaids are cute too.  But it’s those letter cards that have them wobbly.  S-U-B-M-I-T comes with a high price. Flip those cards ladies.  Guys, what do you see now?  Those cards spell S-A-N-C-T-I-F-Y.  That’s hard to stand up to. (Shhhhh.  Quiet  please.  I think my queen’s walking in the room.  I’ve got a few more king thoughts to share about marriage but will need to wait till she leaves.  Besides, my knees are feeling a bit weak at the moment.  I need to sit down myself.)

Jeff Anderson