By Dr. Jay Zinn
In our last issue we addressed the controversial subject of women in ministry. So why is KRC addressing husbands, and in a Christmas issue? Is this a magazine about women only? Of course not. But this is a magazine about liberating all who are oppressed by the fall of man and its consequences. Our magazine attempts to present God’s kingdom values and the principles found in the cross. The cross liberates and sets the captives free and this is why Jesus came, born in a manger.
Oppression comes in a variety of ways—through drugs, sex trafficking, child and slave labor to name a few. These are obvious sins of oppression keeping women out of ministry and kingdom businesses. In this issue, we’d like to add another—husbands oppressing their spouses. Numbering in the millions are women being kept from their God-given potential by their husbands. The reasons for this can range from cultural standards or biases, to wives disenfranchised by their husbands for whatever reason they chose. Who will address this white elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about? We’d like to try, or at least provoke a conversation. Aren’t you glad that Joseph was a godly man and heard God’s voice about Mary’s pregnancy rather than have her stoned? He was a man who respected his wife and helped her fulfill her God-given role to carry the Savior of the world. Husbands can learn much from Joseph today.
As a man who has been married for 37 years, I’ve learned a few things along the way. Things I wish I knew when I started out as a husband. I am by no means the perfect spouse, but between the Lord and my wife, I continue to grow. As a pastor, I’ve witnessed horrendous things that husbands have done to their wives, but I’ve also seen what happens when wives are championed by their husbands who liberate them to become all that Christ can be in and through them.
I appeal to you, brothers and husbands in Christ, don’t make your wife beg you to read this issue. If they do, then chances are you fit the profile and need to pay attention. There isn’t a man who doesn’t need to pay attention to how “mama” is doing. We have a saying around my house: “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
Recently, I received a message from a man who was a member in the first church I pastored. I performed the wedding ceremony for him and his wife. I had no idea how his marriage turned out until he said this in his email: “I just found out that my wife had an extramarital affair a year ago. [I] could use someone to talk to.” I wasn’t available at the time to call him, but not long after that I received an email he sent out en masse about how to destroy your marriage or how to keep it. Looks like he had a wake-up call, but sadly he could have avoided the heartbreak had he lived out the suggestions he sent the rest of us. You will see those two lists in this issue.
Though there are exceptions to the rule, I believe the ultimate responsibility for a happy marriage rests on the shoulders of the husband. Wives have their part, too, but we’re focusing on husbands. Did Joseph care about his beloved Mary? Yes! Does Christ care about His bride? Absolutely! Jesus is the prime example of how men should treat and cherish the wife God has given us. As it is written in Ephesians 5:25 (NIV): Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. And again in Proverbs 18:22 (NTL): The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.