Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Don't Love My Wife.

3:30am...I was awake, and knew I was going to be awake for quite awhile. By now I know very well when I am NOT going to be going back to sleep.

Of course I didn't know in "crazy" Christian style, I asked.

"What do you want to say to me Jesus?"

Silence....and more silence....

"What a stupid question." I punishingly chided myself.

Then, as my mind was wondering, I started thinking about couples I have seen recently and what I would tell them if I thought it would help. In each and every case I would pull the man aside and say,

"The only way you can save your marriage is to love your wife more than you love yourself."

I was shocked at the simplicity of this statement. It was suddenly so very clear....if they could just get that point...if they could put it into practice in even a small way, they would save their marriages.

"Ha!" I thought to myself, "That will be the day when you can say that and expect them to listen, learn, or understand."

Then I must have dozed off, had a disturbing dream, and woke up.

"What do you want to say to me Jesus?"
"The only way you can save your marriage is to love your wife more than you love yourself."
"But my marriage isn't at risk...I didn't know it needed saving."

I read that the bible tells husbands to "love your wife" 32 times in 32 different passages. It only tells wives to do so twice. I like to think that that is because women are so good at loving others, whereas men are not naturally inclined to do so.

I also know that it is because we men are 95% of the time responsible for "checking out" of our marriages. Coasting. Moving on to other things (job, money, children, fun, wine, whatever).

I believe we are called to be men of power, men with voices, men of love.

Why is that so hard?

Because somewhere along the way I forgot to put my pride, my fears, my self-adoration on the cross. It's a wonder my wife and child can even see me.

Rather than the armor of God, I've put on the armor of Richard.

The belt of silence, the breastplate of "Leave me alone." The shoes of solitude, The helm of escape. The sword....

Now where did I put my sword?

Dear God let my daughter be found by someone better than me.

Dear God help me to love my wife the way you love me.

Oh, and that disturbing dream: My daughter was sick. I was sitting on the couch and my wife came and was displeased that I was not helping her. She wanted me to read something she had written and I refused and stormed out of the room. I went in our room and found that she had purchased new clothing for me, and rearranged the room to look very nice (and the bathroom was probably finished too right hon?).

She had come to me asking me to take care of her, when she had already taken care of me.

"Husband's love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."
Ephesians 5:25