This beautiful spoken-word piece titled “A Crucifixion Type Love” was written and performed by Brent Rice and, although (disclaimer) we don’t know much about Mr. Rice and his personal religious beliefs, there is no doubt that his poetry is stunning, passionate, and a piece of art that all can benefit from listening to. In this piece, he shares about his desire to love his wife as Christ loves the Church, something every married man should be striving to do.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a glorious church, without stain or wrinkle or any such blemish, but holy and blameless.
In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Indeed, no one ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church. For we are members of His body.Ephesians 5: 21-30
A Crucifixion Type Of Love
“Love her like she was created to be loved.”
Each human person was made in the image and likeness of God and has dignity and inestimable worth. Men, we need to love our wives as they were created to be loved. We do not love conditionally. We have promised our whole selves to our wives, until death do us part.
“I want my side to be pierced every time we laugh together, so that I will always remember that she is my rib.”
This is a beautiful combination of the theology of the cross and creation. Eve was drawn out of the side of Adam in the beginning of Genesis. The man and woman are suitable partners for one another. The love that they were created to show one another is the love which God gives us. This love is perfectly shown on the Cross. I love how Brent Rice phrases this because it shows us the primacy of the cross and sacrificial love, even in the good times.
“Every time I sleep and dream of her, I want my back to be beaten with a cat-o-nine tails so that I’ll always carry her burdens for her.”
If I am not moved to love by the struggles of my wife, then I am not loving her with the love of Christ. The whips which our Lord bore before carrying the Cross are a visible reminder of His love for us. When we take on the whips of the struggles of our wives, we are hurt by what hurts her. We bear these burdens with her and, even, for her. This is a heart of compassion – to suffer with the one we love.
“I want those who have seen me to have seen her in me, even when we are apart.”
I love this one! My favorite married couples are a visible team. When I heard this line, one couple came to mind immediately. They both have their own temperaments, personality quirks, dreams, and sense of humor, but when they are apart, it is difficult to not subconsciously think about the other spouse. This line does not mean being inseparable, but it is a striking witness to the world of the one-flesh reality of sacramental marriage.
“Every time she falls, I want to take her in my arms like my cross and carry her up to Calvary… Every time I rise in the morning, I want it to be my cross raised uprightly to stand on the hill of my life and portray a beautiful sacrifice.”
There is no true love without sacrifice. A crucifixion type love demands that we love our wife as Christ loves the Church. Jesus Christ took up His Cross and continued to Calvary even though He was without sin. If we, who are sinners, are given an opportunity to pick up our Cross and walk… then we walk. If our wife needs our help, then we must not be reluctant. We must not seek to be seen doing the right thing. However, we need to go to great lengths to let our wives know that we support them completely.
“I want a love that bleeds purity.”
Our hearts need to be ordered to God completely and firstly. Flowing from this, our hearts must be purely and solely for our bride. Anything less than this is a betrayal of our wedding vows.
“So, with all of that said, Lord, please give me the strength to love her like You love me.”
Brent Rice then moves from voicing his hopes to actively praying. This should be our daily prayer: Lord, give me the strength to love with Your love. Let me be the man I vowed to be on my wedding day.
“Let me man-up and quit wasting time playing games and pursue her like You pursue Your Church because you have chosen me to be entrusted with her heart. So, let me cherish it like a jeweler cherishes a diamond.”
Lord, let me cherish my wife! In the good times and the bad times, may I do what is required of me as a man by the love of God. My wife’s heart has been entrusted to me by the Lord and by her. This is what we do at our wedding. I entrusted my heart to my wife, and she entrusted her heart to me. There is a beautiful vulnerability and a staggering permanence in this action which is only possible with the grace of God.
“Into Your hands I commend this relationship because I want to love her like You love Your Church. I want a crucifixion type love.”
This final line is the clincher. The love we show for our wife is not determined by our abilities or desire. The strength of our marriage is determined by how closely we align to the Cross. For marriage to excel, for the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children, then God must be in control. We only have hope in the Lord. He must lead the way, and He did so, par excellence, on the Cross. God gives us His grace and we must cooperate.