Loving My Wife
First Post. I guess this one should be about me, but it’s not going to be. If you’re reading this, you probably already know me, and if you don’t, then hopefully as you read this you’ll begin to see my heart and get to know me a little better.
This year marks my twentieth wedding anniversary. I hardly feel old enough to have been married twenty years, but nevertheless, here I am. A couple of months ago, I thought it would be fun and a little romantic to begin twenty days before my actual anniversary and do twenty things for my wife–One thing each day. I have to say that some of the stuff I’ve done has been great. She loved the new kitchen table (we hadn’t had one in nearly a year); I’m sure cleaning the refrigerator was a big hit; and the night spent watching old Christmas shows on TV probably ranks up there too. There have also been some misses and some times where I’ve barely gotten something in before the day was over. And now, tomorrow is the big day. The end of the twenty days. I’m not much of a philosopher, but the past twenty days has caused me to do some reflecting and led me to some conclusions about how I love my wife.
When I get the opportunity to teach adult men, I often tell them that the standard for loving our wives is to love them like Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25, Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her). What that means in practical terms is that when we disagree, argue, or fight with our wives if our goal is to be right, or to win, or any other thing besides loving our wives like Christ loved the church, then we’re wrong—even if we’re factually right. In theory, I’ve got this one down. I think my wife would testify that in practice, I could use some work.
Over the past twenty days God’s led me to an even better understanding of this. If I’m really loving my wife the way I should, I shouldn’t choose only twenty days out of one year to show her. I should be loving her every day. I remember an old joke that my dad probably told me (because he’s the king of cheesy jokes). There’s a guy whose wife complains that he never tells her he loves her anymore. He says, “The day we got married, I told you that I loved you. If I ever change my mind, I’ll let you know.” Telling your wife that you love her is all well and good. I’m told that women need to hear it from time to time. I’ve learned that showing your wife that you love her is even better. When I look at the New Testament to see how Jesus loves the church, I don’t see a sentimental, wishy-washy kind of love. I see the kind of love John was talking about when he said, “Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” His love was active. It meets us where we are. It challenges us. It comforts us. It sacrifices for us. I think any man I know would say that he would willingly die for his wife. My question is, “Would you willingly give up the living part of your life for her?”
Jesus’s death on the cross was the ultimate demonstration of God’s love for us, but leading up to that was an entire life of sacrifice on our behalf. If my love for my wife is a picture of Christ’s love for the church, how does that play out in my marriage? Does it mean that I cut off a meeting at 5:00 so that I can be home at the time she’s expecting me? Does it mean that I do the dishes after dinner or help the kids with their homework? I’m still exploring what it looks like, but I know this. The challenge for me now is not to come up with twenty ways to show my love for my wife. It’s to come up with a lifetime of ways to show her how much I love her.