A husband who loves the way husbands are supposed to

Posted on July 27, 2011

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My husband loves me the way husbands are supposed to love their wives. I don’t say this to brag (ok, well maybe a tinnie bit) or to imply that all the other husbands out there are not up to snuff, but to highlight how I have experienced the love of Christ through my husband.

This week marks our 3rd anniversary. And I fully realize that still makes us amateurs in the whole world of matrimony, but I hope that doesn’t invalidate our experiences. I think I can safely speak for both of us when I say that we LOVE being married. Not that it is not without its hardships (living day in and day out with an imperfect, sinful person is bound to), but we love getting to do life together.

When the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, he had some specific words about marriage.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…

And when I think about the way that God loves us, there are two words that come to mind. Sacrifice and grace.

Sacrifice

In Christ’s sacrifice, there was death. I don’t know if a single day goes by in which my husband doesn’t sacrifice for me in some small way and put to death his own desires so that he could serve me. I don’t mean that he is a pushover or a doormat. His sacrifice isn’t a martyrdom, but a daily dying to self, an embodiment of Philippians 2:3, “…in humility count others as more significant than yourselves.”

So what does this look like tangibly, in every day life?

He always gives me the bigger, the better, the nicer.

  • We have two cars. Car #1 (The car I brought to the marriage) is a 1994 Toyota Corolla wagon. It get’s you from point A to B just fine, but it is definitely an “old” car. Car #2 (the car John brought to the marriage) is a 2007 Toyota Matrix and even though he would have every right take this, the nice car, to work every day, he doesn’t.

He is continually using his money to serve and bless me

  • John and I are on a pretty fixed budget. That means we have our monthly income allotted to specific categories and there is not a lot of budge room. One of those categories is “discretionary spending.” That means we each get a little bit of money every month to do whatever we want with. John tends not to spend his very much, and he lets it stockpile for months, then he can buy a nice tool or something. For me, well, let’s just say 3/4 of the way through the month it is gone. I never really quite know where it goes, but I think coffee shops and random thrift store purchases eat it up. I can’t count the number of times that John has used his money to buy something for me, whether it is an americano from one of our favorite coffee shops, or some other little trinket that brings me joy.  I always vow that the next month, I am going to save my money and do something special for him, but alas I fail.

He is often using his own time to serve and bless me

  • Certainly, when you are married you never really have your “own” time, but it still never ceases to amaze me that John joyfully concedes to join me in the kitchen for dinner prep or to go for a walk with me when I know that there are others things he would prefer to do with his time.

Grace

God relates to me with grace. He showers me with love, when I deserve otherwise. And his love is not dependent on my actions or attitudes, but is quite often in spite of them.”Unconditional love” is a phrase that, through overuse, has perhaps lost the punch of what it truly means, that is, love without any conditions, and boundaries, can’t lose it, can’t influence it, it is just there. That is how God loves me, and that is also how John loves me (less perfect, of course, but the reflection is there).

When I am grumpy

  • When I a frustrated that things aren’t going my way, when plans fail, when dinner is a wreck and I am generally “out of spirits” John responds (usually) with compassion, with encouraging words to remind me what is really important and good questions to help me dig into what is really going on in my heart. When all I need is for him to sit and cuddle with me, he is tender; and when I need a swift proverbial kick in the rear, he is willing to do that, too.

When I fail in my duties

  • I can’t count the number of times that I have managed to waste my day on fruitless things like sleeping in, facebook, and reading food blogs, while the dishes are piled up, there is no food for John to take to lunch, and the To Do list is long forgotten. I lose (read here: misplace) my keys, my cell phone and credit cards regularly, and John never responds with anger and reprimanding. He is not passive aggressive in noting my failures, rather he jumps in to help with the dishes, the To Do list and finding all the lost items. If this is not grace I don’t know what is. And, like the grace of God, it actually motivates me to be better.

For part of our anniversary celebration, we got redressed in our wedding clothes and went for a picnic. Here are some pictures. And PS, hopefully we are not as narcissistic as the multitude of pics of one another would suggest; really we are just trying to learn better portrait photography, and since we are always around each other, we becomes our own main subjects.

  

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