Love your wife

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The Apostle Paul beautifully describes a mother's calling: "Women shall be saved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint" (1 Tim. 2:15).

Giving birth to a child does not merit eternal salvation. It is a mother's role in life, like a path she has to walk through. A Christian mother accepts it as her calling from God. She joins the Psalmist in saying: "Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward" (Ps. 127:3). Despite a mother's joy, her calling is not an easy one. She must give up her own comfort, freedom, and sometimes even her health. Many a mother has given her life in bringing a new life into the world.

In fulfilling her life's calling a mother can talk to God and say: "You have given me this role in life. Thus, I have a good conscience serving as a wife and mother. Grant me strength to remain patient also in difficult times."

Many of us have had a Christian mother or grandmother. We remember how conscientiously and diligently they took care of their earthly responsibilities, without forgetting the spiritual. Present day mothers may also trust in God's grace. The Apostle Paul refers to this when he says that a believing wife will be saved. This life lasts only a short while; so too its tribulation. On the Last Day Christ will save His own from wrath and grant them eternal joy. Mothers will also be saved because of Christ. Salvation is by grace, not by works. It cannot be earned by works, but it can be lost by works of unbelief and impenitence. For this reason the Apostle says: She "shall be saved... if she continues in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint".

A mother's faith and the fruits of this faith - love and a chaste way of life - win the respect of her husband and the love of her children. These virtues have been instrumental in leading many husbands to repentance and faith. Mothers have been excellent instructors of future, teachers, theologians, professors, missionaries and pastors.

If a woman desires to accomplish great things in the Kingdom of God by His power and wisdom, let her pray: "Lord, make me a good wife and loving mother entrusted with the knowledge of Christ, with your wisdom, grace and love."

A mother gives much to the home. On Mother's Day it would be well also to remind us husbands of our responsibilities. The Bible says: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her" (Eph. 5:25). Genuine love is willing to make sacrifices; it is not selfish.

Being the head of the family does not mean reigning as a tyrant. The Bible gives this advice to married couples: "You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow-heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered" (1 Pet. 3:7).

An understanding husband takes into account the fact that a wife is called upon to bear the results of wedded life in an altogether different way than the husband. The home is meant to be an oasis in the midst of life's desert. It cannot be such an oasis through the efforts of the wife alone. The husband must be aware of his responsibility. He must understand that husband and wife are not alike, but different. This understanding results in an attitude of gentleness and respect for his spouse. This is easier when husband and wife have a common faith. Having such a common faith, they can strengthen one another as co-heirs of eternal life.