Lately, I have felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me in regards to my wife. It may have had something to do with our recent vacation. My wife and I recently took a week off to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. One week of just the two of us enjoying each other’s company. It was awesome! And it reminded me that I don’t value my wife half as much as I should.
The God of the universe created her and threw her in my path knowing exactly how I’d react! Now 15 years and three kids later, I’m still crazy about her. But, I have a problem (well, actually several, but one thing at a time). I’m a pretty absent-minded and passive individual. I take nearly everything in my life for granted almost immediately. I know how much my wife means to me and what I’m willing to do for her, however, I regularly drop the ball in showing it. There are several ways that I do this:
- Rather than listening to her when she needs me to, I regularly check out or act as though she’s wasting my time. I know she can’t possibly feel loved and treasured when this happens.
- I neglect to check in on her. I usually get home and try to zone out or focus on how I’m feeling after the day. I often forget that she has been home with our kids and animals working even harder than I have and I don’t often check to see what she needs.
- When I do try to listen to how her day went, I often turn her frustrations back onto her as if it’s her problem that the kids misbehaved or the housework was harder than usual. I don’t stop and acknowledge that her frustrations are just as valid as they would be if I were in her shoes.
What the Holy Spirit has reminded me of through Ephesians 5 is that God treasures her immensely. That is why I am called to love her as Christ loved the Church. God is challenging me to make her physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being as important to me as my own. If this means that I take over cooking dinner sometimes, or do some chores around the house, I should be humble enough to step up. If it means that she needs to vent about a problem to me and have me listen and hear her (NOT try to fix it) then I need to bite my tongue, swallow my pride, and be humble enough to let her get it all out. And lastly, if I say I care about her but, don’t regularly pray for her, with her, or spend time in the Word with her, then I am not treasuring the gift that she is in my life.
The common thread through all of this is humility — not counting her needs as less important than my own. My prayer is that God would continue to mold and shape me into a husband that sees the treasure that my wife is and as a result, that I would work diligently to never let her collect the dust of indifference or the tarnish of neglect.
Let me challenge you to commit to one thing starting this week to begin making it into a habit. Pick an area where you are weak in showing your wife that you care and do that. For example, making dinner one night a week, or cleaning up after dinner each night, or the big one, ask her if there’s anything she’s been thinking about, and then listen. Being a good husband means being intentional and leaning on God’s wisdom. My challenge for myself is to put away anything that distracts me and spend intentionally time “checking in” and giving her my undivided attention.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands also ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;