marriage Wedding Wednesday

WW! Is it Easy to Love?

Yesterday I read something that talked about how conditional our love is for other people.  We may distribute our love based on what someone is wearing or who they know.  We might give them more if they can improve our life or less if they have hurt us.  As I was reading, I realized that I am guilty of this conditional love not only in the world, but also in my marriage.

When Carl is super sweet and doing and saying all the right things it is easy for me to love him.  But when he does something that makes me feel unloved, it is difficult for me to give him the same love.  So today I want to go back to a passage that is read at many weddings from Ephesians 5.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
The Holy Bible  : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Eph 5:25-33
As a wife you may read this and try to get more ammunition against your husband.  You may say, “Faith, nearly every verse in this passage is addressed to the husband and how he is to love me! And my husband just doesn’t do that.  So even though the last sentence says I should respect him, he hasn’t earned it.  So I’m not doing it.”
Maybe you wouldn’t be that blunt, but I’ve felt this way before.  I’ve read this more as a mutual agreement between couples rather than what it is: A command from the Lord!  This is NOT a passage that says, “Wives, if you husband lives out verses 25-32 well, then you should obey verse 33.”  Giving our husbands respect isn’t an option.  It’s a command.
Is it easy to always be respectful when our feelings are hurt?  Nope. But we don’t do it in our own strength, we do it through Christ who lives in us.
I’m blessed to say in all my years of working I have only had one boss who was completely disrespectful to me day after day after day.  And let me tell you, the time I spent at that job was one of the darkest periods in my life.  I began to believe the things she said about me.  I began to believe the lie that I was incompetent and ill-equipped for ministry.  Then this thinking began to creep into all areas of my life.  I was driving to job interview that normally I would have walked into confidently.  I had to give a five-minute how-to speech.  I love speaking, it is one of my favorite things to do.  But rather than be excited that the interview seemed right up my alley, I heard the voice of this woman and thought to myself, “I’ll never get this job.”
Right then, God grabbed my attention, and helped me see that I had started believing the lies that were told to me.  I did get the job and left the berating boss behind.
I tell you this story because I think we need to be extremely careful how we speak to and treat our loved ones.  Even if your husband seems tough or unaffected by your words, he is not invincible.  He needs your respect.  He needs to know that you believe he is capable of leading your family and that if he messes you’ll still be right there beside him supporting him whole-heartedly.  He needs to know that your love isn’t based on how well he can meet your needs or fill your love tank, but your love for him is based on the fact that he was created in the image of God.  He is important to God.  If your husband was the only man on earth, Christ would have still died for him.  That’s how much Jesus loves him.  Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Do you believe that your husband deserves the same grace God gives you?  Are you willing to respect him enough to give him that grace?
None of us have married perfect men.  So don’t compare your husband to anyone else’s.  God made him unique.  Your job isn’t to find all of his faults.  Your job is to respect him.  To be his biggest fan.  To build him up.  And to love him and Christ loves you.
This week, I encourage you to do some soul-searching.  Is there a way you have been disrespectful to your husband?  Has it become a habit like rolling your eyes? Or belittling him either to his face or to your friends?
Let’s choose this week not to give the devil a foothold in our marriages.  Rather let’s respect our husbands and build them up.  Let us not hold their faults against them, but love them with the love Christ has shown each of us.
I’m praying for you.  Will you pray for me?

2 comments on “WW! Is it Easy to Love?

  1. This is a good post. Love is something that we all should charish. We should treat our love ones with care and respect. This post really relates to my most recent post. 😉 thanks for sharing.

  2. Good one Faithy! Thank you for respecting me. I love you!

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