Wednesday, January 5, 2011

From the Overflow - How Does Your Husband Love You?

I remember the days when I wondered if my husband truly loved me as he claimed he did. Those days consisted of put-downs, discouraging words, and blow-ups. Yet, he still insisted on saying those three little words..."I love you."

Did I believe him? Not always. 

Instead, I'd find myself at the kitchen sink, mumbling to God. "He wouldn't say things like that if he loved me." "I can't wait until he gets the clue that I'm better than that." "Why does he doubt me so much?" "Didn't pastor tell him not to yell at me?"

I've discovered it's when I'm in the midst of cleaning dishes or talking with a friend that God shows up with a light bulb moment of revelation.

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her..."  ~ Ephesians 5:25

Sometimes, it seems like wives are treated more like a door mat to wipe his feet on than the love of our husband's life. God called husbands to love us just as Jesus gave His life for the church. That love is unconditional. It isn't based on our performance as manager of our home, in bed, or in the mothering of our children. It's based on His unconditional, unending love.

But we're only human... Being human becomes our excuse for not living up to God's expectations for us, which are clearly outlined within His word. We wives can be as guilty of this as our husbands are of not loving us as directed by God. 

Too many times I found myself looking at my husband through the log in my own eye. Just as I mumbled to God at the kitchen sink, I would justify my own sinful nature by what he was doing. 

Marriage 101 teaches us that we have to be willing to give as much of ourselves as our husbands give, and it should be a balance of 100 % and 100 %. Marriage isn't 50/50. Nope. It's all...

Jesus didn't say he'd carry the cross to Calvary, but that was it. He didn't tell God He would go half-way and then no more. 

No. He said, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done." (Matthew 26:42) He was all about completing His Father's business.

What struck me is the passage in John 3, which we all know and love..."For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." 

Usually, we stop there. I continued on. "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:16-17)

If you're feeling condemned by the words of your husband's mouth, remember that He is told to love you as Christ loved the church. Christ didn't come to condemn the church. He came to love the body of Christ unconditionally. 

Every time we open our mouths and harsh words force their way out, Jesus is there to cover them in His blood. Every time we ignore our spouse's request for help, foolishly hindering our relationship, Jesus is there with His blood. 

Forgive the man. Remember who you are in Christ, and gently remind your husband of Christ's unconditional love for His bride...

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