By Martin Cisneros
Husbands, nothing will suffice in the absence of time WITH your wives. Your text messages won't suffice, your books of poetry, or even your relational wholeness books won't suffice, if you've been graced to have written such. You are to figuratively incubate your wives, as Christ incubates the Church. You're to bring the Presence of the Father into their lives. You're not to stop at being a fatherly presence, but to actually bring the Presence of the Father into their lives, the way Christ brings the Presence of the Father into their lives & isn't just a fatherly presence in their lives.
For no one at any time hates his own flesh, but is nurturing and cherishing it, according as Christ also the ecclesia. Ephesians 5:29
“Nurture” is to feed in the Greek, but “cherish” is the forgotten ingredient to success. Feeding doesn't always mean a new dish. Feeding is just a consistent dish everyday, and it's not always teaching, just as it's not always a new teaching. Feeding is to be as much from your own soul as from the evangel.
“Cherishing” is the forgotten ingredient to success in marriages. It means to “incubate” in the Greek text of Ephesians 5, and you're not going to incubate anything by either being authoritative, nor by positionally being physically on top of them, but you're not going to “incubate” outside of your presence EITHER. Your words won't suffice. As the power of God does little in the Church without the Presence of God in our lives, the words of a husband are missing a certain grace (full impact) without his actual presence. The appearance of attentiveness from afar won't suffice, whether it's through attention to detail or by some other means that there's a self-deceptive appearance of attentiveness from afar. Still dealing with this matter of “nurture” and “cherishing” as Christ does the Church, let's look at 1Thessalonians 2:5-8:
For neither did we at any time become flattering in expression, according as you are aware; neither with a pretense for greed, God is witness; neither seeking glory from men, neither from you, nor from others, when we could be a burden as Christ's apostles. But we became gentle in your midst, as a nurse should be cherishing her own children. Thus being ardently attached to you, we are delighting to share with you not only the evangel of God, but our own souls also, because you came to be beloved by us.
“Cherishing” as Christ would cherish the Church, according to 1Thessalonians 2:5-8 would include, from unselfish motives, a sharing of your own life as much as of what you know; transparency of soul is as much a matter of “cherishing” as anything you'd share of the revelation of the Scriptures. Ardent attachment in this context is worked out face to face, rather than texting from the office, from behind the wheel of a car on the way to another meeting, or whatever. People may forget insights you share 'til His Spirit brings it to their remembrance when they're needing the particular insight for victory in their lives and/or to deal with some situation in His power, but when you “incubate” them in who you are, particularly the most in your presence that they can be with such incubation, then the better! Whether considering the incubation of the microscopic or of hens with eggs or husbands with wives, incubation is NEVER from afar. If anyone's texting from afar without the full weight of their presence would suffice as incubating a relationship [& a quality of life] for any season at all, then Jesus in His High Priestly ministry & the Holy Spirit wouldn't be soooooo active in each individual life within His Church.
I am the Shepherd ideal. The ideal shepherd is laying down his soul for the sake of the sheep. John 10:11
By this we know love, seeing that He, for our sakes, lays down His soul. We also ought to lay down our souls for the sake of the brethren. 1John 3:16
Laying down your own soul, [by sharing it,] is not only one of the forgotten secrets of effective ministry, but is an important part of being a husband, and you can't do that from a distance, while you're at work 100+ hrs a week, trying to get in some text messages, emails, or phone calls. They need your presence [filled with His Presence] to be incubated in their own souls, properly. Again, “cherishing” in Ephesians 5 of a husband towards his wife includes this idea of incubating, though you're not literally sitting on your wife like an hen on an egg. Nor does it mean to predominantly be pouncing with authoritarian government in Christ.
It means that the way the multitudes were healed with Christ in Luke 6:19, there are things that your wife is never going to get outside of your presence and there isn't going to be an adequate substitute for your presence actually being in her life. Your words without your presence won't even be an adequate second place or second best. Obviously, I'm presupposing your understanding of the need to keep your presence tanked up with His Presence and to be operating in faith proficiently enough to where the grace of God to be a husband is operating proficiently enough for her to be able to draw upon as she gives thanks in all things, together with you, to you and to Him for all things, as she walks in you the same way she's received you, according to Colossians 2:6-7, submitted to you as to Him, according to Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, & 1Peter 3, so that Satan doesn't tempt either of you for your lack of self control, according to 1Corinthians 7 & Genesis 3.
For no one at any time hates his own flesh, but is nurturing and cherishing it, according as Christ also the ecclesia. Ephesians 5:19
On this matter of “nurturing,” it says a few verses later what an example of “nurturing” is when it says “And fathers, do not be vexing your children, but be nurturing them in the discipline and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
This is an important lesson on our “nurturing and cherishing” our wives, as men. The word “admonition” in the Greek means “mind placing.” The Old Testament judgments, according to 1Corinthians 10, were written, according to St. Paul, as admonitions for that first century generation of Christianity that was to see the judgment and destruction of Jerusalem & Judaism. The book of Revelation plagues upon Jerusalem were upon the idols of Jerusalem, as the Exodus judgments were judgments against the false gods of Egypt. They had a wrong relationship to the material realm, cared more for the form & merchandising of godliness than the power thereof, etc.
Admonitions in the Greek mean to be renewing someone's mind to the Scriptures that we're walking out in our day for the purposes of Christ. “Discipline” in Ephesians 6:4 that's an important part of “nurturing” children and how a man would be “nurturing” his wife means in the Greek “hitting.” But this isn't saying in Ephesians 6:4 that one is to rely on hitting one's child, nor am I implying that we'd carry hitting over into our marriages. But the full weight of the admonition of the Lord and the hitting of the Lord is to be communicated both to our children and to our wives in “nurturing” them. We are to place the minds of our children & of our wives, as husbands, upon the right Scriptural course for our lives & emphasize the root of that in the finished work of Christ. As it's the admonition of the Lord that we're to emphasize, it's the hitting of the Lord that we're to emphasize. He took a spear in His side for our marriages; He was beaten with [& into] the ugliness of our sins so that we'd be made the righteousness of God in Him. The discipline of the Lord is the hitting that He received in our behalf, so that we being dead to sins might live for righteousness, according to Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, 1Peter 2:24, & Romans chapters 6 through 8.
Husbands, to be nurturing & cherishing our wives, we're to:
share our souls, according to 1Thessalonians 2:5-8;
set before our wives as much of the plan of God for our lives as we've received from Him, or the amount of it that we're currently able to articulate, we're to be both kind & stern imparters & impartations of His grace, as exemplified in His relationship to Israel in Romans chapters 9 through 11 to where it's 100% God's grace that our children & our wives are experiencing out of us, with their own actions only deciding whether they experience that grace as kindness or severity;
as mind-placers (i.e. admonishers) we're to make the race increasingly plain to them with the only limits in clarity, peace, & understanding that our children & our wives experience being the degree to which they're running with us our 1Corinthians 9 & Hebrews 12 race;
we're to hold before them the work of the Cross, the full weight of the hitting of the Lord that He endured to bring us to God, to clear our consciences, & to equip us for every good work;
we're to be the times of refreshing from the Presence of the Lord, incubating them for their next season with our presence & not with the absence of it. There can be absolutely no substitute for our presence in their lives, whether we're talking about our children or our wives, according to Ephesians chapters 5 & 6 on these matters.
Their experience of our souls cannot be overemphasized as of utmost importance so that the absorption of God's grace from our lives, as it shines in our lives, with every degree and dimension of the splendor of it's radiance becomes their experience as we comfort them with the same comfort from the Comforter that we ourselves have received, according to 2Corinthians 1.