Monthly Archives: January 2016

How can you love your wife “as Christ loved the church”?

Part of my calling in writing this blog comes from Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for it.”  So, what does that mean?  How did Christ love the church and give Himself up for it?  And what does that mean for how I need to love my wife?  Let’s break it down…

For starters, we need to see how Christ loved the church.  What did Jesus do that showed love to others, and how did He give Himself up for them?

  • He served: Washing the disciples’ feet.  Taking time to heal people in need.  (John 13:1-17, Matthew 4:23)
  • He forgave:  The woman caught in adultery deserved to be stoned, but Jesus forgave.  Jesus asked God to forgive the soldiers crucifying Him. (John 4, Luke 23:34)
  • He led:  Everywhere he went, he taught people.  Starting when he was a boy in the temple, and then traveling to villages as an adult and speaking to thousands of people at a time.  He sought other people to come and follow him.  (Luke 2, Matthew 14, Matthew 4:18-22)
  • He took consequences from others: WE deserved death for the sin in our lives, but Jesus DIED in our place.  (John 19)

He gave up time, glory, position, and ultimately even His life to serve and love others.  So, if this is our example, how can you love your wife in the same way?

Serve her:  Ideas are easy to spot for this.  Make dinner, clean the house, do laundry, etc.  Find something that she normally does that is not enjoyable…and do it for her…without her asking.

Forgive her:  Has she ever wronged you?  Has she ever been dishonest about money, or about her time, or maybe said something mean about you to someone else?  These things can really hurt.  The most important thing you can do is to forgive her.  See my earlier post for more thoughts on this.

Lead her:  You may not be a biblical scholar or a genius at family wisdom, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to lead.  Being a leader is not easy and takes a lot of responsibility, but it is worth the effort.  Do what you can to point your relationship with your wife and your family as a whole in the right direction.  See my earlier post for more thoughts on this.

Take consequences:  This was Jesus’s ultimate act of service and love to us.  So, how can you do the same thing for your wife?  What if she broke the side mirror on her car and you swapped cars with her until you could get it fixed?  What if she spilled something in the kitchen and you cleaned it up so she didn’t have to?  What if she accidentally tore her favorite shirt and you used YOUR clothing budget money to go buy her a new one?

My challenge to you:

Are you missing opportunities in any of these 4 areas?  If so, what can you do to change that?  But, don’t just take my thoughts and stop there.  Think through this for yourself.  How did Jesus give Himself up for us?  And in the same way, that is how you need to give yourself up to show love to your wife.

Your actions may impact more than just your wife

10307433_3075307647019_5340757610806274278_nI had a blast getting to see my younger brother get married.  He is 30 years old now and had been anxiously waiting on God to show him the right person to marry.  I was so excited for him to find that person!  He and his fiancée wanted to do a small ceremony with mostly just immediate family members…and it was awesome!  We had it at our neighborhood clubhouse and went out to a local restaurant afterwards.  Then, we all went back to my parents’ house for cake.  While we were doing some toasts, my brother wanted to say a few words to us.

During his toast, he thanked me for the example I’ve been to him in how I treat Julia (my wife).  As he stood next to HIS new wife, he said that he has seen they way I love Julia, listen to her, and always think of her needs and wants ahead of my own.  He felt I did a great job modeling this and said that he hopes to treat his wife the same way.  This was such a meaningful moment to me.  It showed me that all the years that I’ve spent trying to treat Julia well have not only had an impact on her (hopefully), but have also had an impact on him.  I want to wish them a happy marriage and I KNOW he is going to be an amazing husband!

This made me think about how visible my actions can be.  The way we treat our wives, kids, friends, and co-workers aren’t just appreciated (good or bad) by them, they are also seen by the others around us.  This is a sobering reminder for me, but is also very encouraging.  We all want to make a difference in other people’s lives right?  Well, in a way you can get two birds with one stone!  Treat someone right…that’s great for them.  Also…others see the way you act and will learn from your example.  But, don’t make your actions for show.  Be genuine and real in what you do and people will know it.

My advice to you:

Love your wife, love your kids, and everyone you come in contact with.  It will make a difference not just in their lives, but also will be a good example and teaching tool for everyone else.

The subtle enemy of genuine conversation

Business executive discussing with her client

I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution this year.  This isn’t because I don’t like making them, or because I don’t stick with them, or because I don’t have anything that I want to change about myself.  It’s simply because nothing good stuck out as a resolution I wanted to make.  However, I do have things I want to change about myself.  They aren’t related to the new year…they are just things I’m working on.  One of these areas is sarcasm.

I have to admit…I think sarcasm is pretty awesome.  It is the easiest route to hilariousness for me (which always seems like a good destination).  But, one of the most important things for me is having a good, real, quality, substantial relationship with Julia.  To get this sort of relationship, it requires GENUINE interaction.  It’s too easy for our relationship to consist of, “how was your day; how was your day”, then eat dinner and watch tv until we go to bed.  It requires effort to have meaningful conversations and experiences together.  I’ve found that nothing derails a genuine conversation more than sarcasm.  And in contrast, when I AM genuine…when I listen to her well and share about things that matter and what’s going on in my life…the opposite happens.  It draws us even closer together.

Sarcasm is essentially selfishness in the form of conversation.  You say something…not to communicate information, but to make people laugh.  And you’re trying to make them laugh…not to bring joy to their lives, but to feel good about yourself.  So essentially, you’re spending time saying words devoid of substance with the sole purpose of helping you feel better about yourself.  I realize that may sound harsh, but I’m merely sharing my experience here.  I’m sure other people can be different.

I don’t want my conversations to be meaningless.  I want them to have purpose.  When I speak, I want my words to be filled with encouragement, love, and wisdom.  After we talk, I want people to feel understood and more alive about who they are.  To do this, limiting the sarcasm is an important step.

My challenge to you:

When you talk to someone, make your words matter.  Try to add something to THEIR life with what you say.  And keep the sarcasm to a minimum.  Yes, it’s an easy way to be funny, but it is the enemy of genuine conversation.