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Devotionals by Dennis Rainey

The last parachute

The plane was eerily silent as he tightened the final strap on his wife’s parachute. Their single engine Cessna was losing altitude rapidly. All he could hear was the howl of the wind outside, creaking of metal, and his wife’s breath. She was terrified.

“I love you,” he whispered, hands on her shoulders. He felt her begin to relax in his calm steadiness.

“Okay. Now let me help you with your chute!” she said as he turned to open the plane door. Then, without another word, she felt his powerful hands shoving her out into the void. She would later learn they only had one parachute.

Ask any husband if he would be willing to die to save his wife and most would say yes without a second thought. This form of heroism is often seen as the ultimate expression of love; the stuff of songs and legends. 

In a lot of ways, dying for your wife is easier than living for her.

When Jesus chose to sacrifice Himself for the church, His bride, He set the standard for husbands everywhere. Through His journey to the cross, He showed us how to:

By nature we are selfish creatures. We work hard to safeguard our rights and we’d much rather have others serve us.

So how can a husband love his wife like Christ loved the church? When Christ endured the humiliation of the cross, He wanted to wash us, to make us holy and without blemish. As husbands, we’re similarly motivated.

Without such purpose, the nobility of our self-sacrifice is lost. When the betterment of his wife is the goal, a husband can more easily decide when to give in, when to stand firm, and when to give her the last parachute.

For more on this topic listen to “The Sacrificial Leader.

THE GOOD STUFF: Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. (Ephesians 5:25-30)

ACTION POINTS: What could this sacrifice possibly look like?

  • doing some extra housework 
  • coming home early and taking care of the kids so your wife can enjoy rest or relationships with godly friends
  • overlooking an insult to model a picture of God’s grace
  • What would you add from your own situation? (What would your wife add?)

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About Real FamilyLife®

Real FamilyLife® is conversational in nature and provides practical, biblical tools to address the issues affecting your family. You'll receive motivation, encouragement, and help.

About Dennis Rainey

Dennis Rainey is a best-selling author, dynamic speaker, and cofounder of FamilyLife®, a ministry of Cru®. Under his leadership, FamilyLife grew to help marriages and families survive and thrive in more than 109 countries. Together he and his wife, Barbara, have spoken at over 150 FamilyLife Weekend to Remember® marriage getaways and authored or co-authored more than 35 books, including best-selling Moments Together for Couples and Staying Close. He is also the original daily host of the three-time award-winning radio program FamilyLife Today®. He and Barbara have been married since 1972 and love laughing with their six children and growing number of grandchildren. The Raineys still serve with Cru. You can follow their work at

Contact Real FamilyLife® with Dennis Rainey

Mailing Address
FamilyLife ®
P.O. Box 7111
Little Rock, AR 72223
Telephone Number
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