Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Loving My Husband Well

I've been challenged lately to think first of my role as wife before mother. For some reason, it comes more natural for me to think of my children before myself. When they're sick, I get up in the middle of the night and tend to their needs, often without much grumbling and complaining. But when my hubby is sick, do I tend to his needs without grumbling or complaining, or do I think to myself "suck it up" and "I'm tired, too, so too bad." I admit, it just doesn't come as naturally to put his needs before my own. But lately, that's exactly what I am learning to do through studying God's word. I believe God calls us as married women and mothers to be WIVES first and mothers second. We are "one flesh" with our husbands and called to love, serve, submit to and respect them. It's easy to love my children, even on a day when I'm tired and irritable. It's not as easy to love my husband well on those days. I've been challenged by the well-known 1 Corinthians 13 text on love in this way: Love is patient. Am I patient when my hubby is driving and allow him to go the way he wants to (even if it might be longer) or do I jump to criticize and direct him? Love is kind. Am I kind to my husband, even when I am tired, irritable, sick, or just having a bad day? Love does not envy. Do I envy his opportunity to go to work all day (even though I know his job is not easy by any means) or am I thankful for the opportunity to be a stay at home mom and be the primary influence on my kids, with the hopes that they will know Jesus and share his love with others. Love does not boast. Do I boast in my own works when he gets home by telling him what errands I ran for him that day, what chores I did around the house, how hard the meal was that I prepared for him, or do I keep quiet and allow the acts themselves to bless him? Love is not proud. Am I willing to apologize first, even when I feel wronged? Love does not dishonor others. Do I lift up my husband in the eyes of my family, my friends and acquaintances, or do I belittle him with my words? Love is not self-seeking. Do I think of my own needs first and expect him to help with the kids as soon as he gets home from work or do I think of his needs, ask about his day, and seek ways to serve him? Love is not easily angered. Do I jump to anger and defensiveness when my husband offers a suggestion, especially in regards to the kids, or do I respect his opinion and listen without feeling judged? Love keeps no record of wrongs. Do I mentally keep score in my head of all the ways my husband isn't helping out around the house or do I focus on ways to serve him in areas he might not expect and surprise him with random acts of service? Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Do I deliberately or passively encourage my husband to sin in any area of his life, or do I pray for him, speak scripture to him, and edify him with my words and actions? Love always protects. Do I seek to protect him in the eyes of my family, friends, and even our children, or do I tear him down with my words or actions? Love always trusts. Do I trust him, even when my heart is questionning whether he is doing the right thing, or do I give it to the Lord in prayer and humbly submit as a loving wife and follow his lead? Love always hopes. Am I hopeful in who he is becoming, as a man of God, or do I focus on the sinful aspects and forget that God is doing a good work in him and will perfect it until completion? Love always perserveres. Do I perservere in prayer for him, faithfulness to him, service to him, encouragement to him, and love for him, or am I quick to throw in the towel and not believe that God is doing a great and mighty work in my husband? As I said...1 Corinthians 13 has shed new light on what it means to love my husband well. Thank you, Lord, that your Word is living and active and constantly brings new and wonderful insights to every area of my life!

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