My Part of Our Love Equation
After our anniversary date, which consisted of a nice dinner and a show, I read my last post to my wife as a sort of anniversary card.
While she greatly appreciated my loving words, she was a bit concerned that it might leave the wrong impression. She felt it was important that I also clearly explain how my own attitudes and actions of surrender have led her to the kind of loving surrender that I described last time.
I hesitated at first, thinking it was going to sound too much like blowing my own horn. But as I thought about it, I decided she was right. So here is my shot at telling the rest of our Surrendered Marriage story.
His Love Comes First
The truth is that my wife’s willingness to love me in a manner reflective of how the church loves Jesus (with things like trust, service, honor, submission, and commitment) is because of and in response to the Christ-like love I have shown her. Of course my love is but a faint reflection of the infinite, selfless, unconditional, and perfect love of Jesus, but I have made it more than clear, for years and years, that my desire is to love her more and better than any other human could, to come as close as possible to loving her as Jesus does.
She knows my heart and that my heart is for her. In fact, I have made it clear to her that my number one goal is to serve her and to love her well. It is every husband’s responsibility and should be every husband’s goal: love your wife selflessly, daily and tangibly, in the things you say and the things you do.
This is not some optional theory. It is the basis of God’s design for marriage. Period.
It’s All Mutual
Everything I said in my previous post, about how my wife knows me and loves me and takes delight in delighting me is true in the reverse. I have spent our entire married life learning about her, about who she is, how she is wired, gifted and called. I do all I can to see that my leadership of our marriage and family causes her to thrive and to step fully into the destiny that God has on her life. I am purposeful in delighting her because her happiness and fulfillment are my highest earthly priority.
In my case, it consists of things like knowing how she likes her tea and making it for her most mornings, even though I am not a tea drinker myself. She also loves it that I collect tea bags during my business trips around the world and bring them to her. I schedule and re-schedule trips to make sure I am home for special occasions or whenever family needs dictate. She knows she can call me anywhere, anytime, and I will drop whatever I’m doing to attend to her needs. Whether she is lost and needs directions, has an issue with one of the children, or just needs reassurance about something, she knows I am there for her and that she is my priority.
I am far from the perfect husband. But I do everything I can to make sure she feels as blessed to be married to me as I do to be married to her.
Perhaps we haven’t yet arrived at the ideal state: the 100-100 marriage that I talk about here often, where we each are giving 100% to the other, holding nothing back. Still, that is our goal.
We are both able to be who we really are with each other, and that is a wonderfully freeing thing. As we strive toward being completely one in spirit, soul, and body, we know that each of us has grace for the other’s shortcomings and mistakes. We try to give and receive that grace freely. It is this understanding that allows us to be “naked without shame” with each other; that is, to be genuine with each other, to bring the fullness of ourselves to our marriage, without pretense, trepidation or shame.
As a husband, I realize that I set the cap on how many blessings we enjoy in our marriage. So I aim high! I encourage every husband to do the same.