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Marriage & Relationships

Malachi 2:14 (NASB)

Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the Lord
has been a witness between you and the wife
of your youth, against whom you have dealt
treacherously, though she is your companion
and your wife by covenant.

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Bible Commentary

Malachi 2:14 is a Bible verse in the Old Testament where the Lord is rebuking those who have mistreated their wives.

In Bible days, women were considered more like property than people. Unfortunately, in some parts of the world, this is still the case. But make no mistake. God gave us clear instructions as to how we should treat others (Luke 10:27), but for this study we will look specifically at how He holds men accountable for how they treat their wives.

Malachi 2:14 is God’s direct response to a question from those He was chastening. They wanted to know why He was no longer regarding their offering. Nothing gets our attention as fast as when our finances dry up.


God’s exact words in Malachi 2:14 were, “
Because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.”

God’s word gives husbands a clear command as to how they are to regard their wives.

Ephesians 5:25-30
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body.”

It’s a pretty tall order for men to love their wives the way Christ loved the church. Christ did not regard his own life above ours. He gave Himself up for us.

According to God's instructions, that is how a husband is to love his wife, to esteem her above himself.

But what if the wife is not subject to the husband? She most certainly has faults, just as we all do. However, look at how Christ treats His followers. Even though we disobey Him, He still loves us. He still gave up His life for us.

Just as a man expects his wife to follow him, so Christ expects the husband to follow Him. As you are faithful in lifting up your wife in prayer, He will make known to you how to communicate love to your wife, or better yet, love her through you.

Christ also left the example of developing and fostering his disciples, and so he expects men to do the same for their wives, just as verse 26-27 above talks about. 

Foster is defined like this: to bring up, help develop, promote.

It is difficult to develop your wife unless you are in the lead. Men, be of good courage and do not shrink back in fear (Hebrews 10:38). Your wife will gain respect and love for you when you show leadership through strength and humility, just as Christ displayed His leadership by being a servant in righteousness and love. (John 13:5)


Whatever needs to be culled out of us (wives and husbands alike) can be handled by the washing of water by the Word (Ephesians 5:26 above). Our faithful study of God’s Word cleanses us.

How can a man develop or promote his wife? What are her characteristics and traits, her gifts and strengths? Develop her by encouraging her to use her strengths for the good of others. Promote her by honoring her before others.

If Jesus Christ were going to introduce us to someone, what would He say? Ephesians 5:27 says, “that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”

He would be full of grace in presenting us as having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing. He would present us as holy and blameless, because in Christ, we ARE.

Unlocking the Truth - See Christ in Her

Malachi 2:14 uses the word, “treacherously,”...   click to continue reading



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