Something really neat that the Lord is teaching me lately in my marriage is that my spouse is God’s most tangible way of loving me. The Lord loves me in MANY ways, and yes, my sweet husband is not perfect, but the Lord DESIRES my husband and I to LOVE each other as He would love us if He was visible and standing right next to us. This is why the love languages are so important I think. God has these love languages too! He gives us gifts, sends people in our midst to give us physical comfort and affection and intimacy, spends time with us, gives us words of appreciation/encouragement, and takes care of things for us. I think there are a few more love languages that God has as well (like defending us, making our dreams come true, knowing us so intimately, being patient with us–and many more–all the loving characteristics of a Holy and PERFECT Father in Heaven), but that is just my inclination from reading Scripture.
I’ve seen lately how important it is for a wife to give her husband unconditional respect and a husband give his wife unconditional love. Do we always act in ways that deserve that love?–definitely not. Do our husbands always act in ways that commend our respect–no, unfortunately not. BUT, the cost of not giving that love and respect unconditionally is that we choose not to love our spouse in the way that God wants us to–it becomes conditional. And this causes us to stagnate. A woman not loved very well is a flower wilted. She is not joyful, not content, oftentimes angry, hurt, confused, and very insecure. She may search for ways to be loved to fill that hole…in all the wrong places. A man not respected is a lost and aimless man. He is a man unsupported and often with no purpose–he can perhaps lose himself at work, in video games, in adult magazines, or be very angry and also insecure. There are many different manifestations of these huge holes in our hearts. Whether we are married or not–if we seek to fill these holes with anything but God, the results are catastrophic. We find ourselves getting more and more hurt instead of whole and restored/rebuilt or never able to be content or at peace. It is a dark hole and it is scary. BUT, if we fill it with God–regardless of the choices of those around us–the bigger the hole, the MORE room for God–we find ourselves restored, comforted, with purpose, sanctified to look more and more like him, at peace, content, and complete! We were made to glorify and enjoy HIM. We cannot run away from Him. He will find us!!! No matter what our pasts, what our mistakes, God will make us whole. Remember, the bigger the hole, the more room for HIM. And God makes EVERYTHING beautiful. Nothing can separate you from His love.
I notice when I choose to love my spouse as God wants me to–to give my sweet husband unconditional respect no matter what–I see him thrive. God made him with the need for respect. They especially need their woman–their “help-meet” –to provide this respect. It is not arrogant. It is not wrong. It is not selfish or dominating. It is simply the way that the Lord made man. I see this in every man. They were made to lead. They were made to defend. They were made to conquer. They were made to provide. (Different men have different combinations of these characterists–and more.) These are beautiful and wonderful characteristics of God Himself. And a woman has the other side of God’s characteristics. If the two work together to become one, as the Bible (New Testament) states, you have a full picture of many of God’s characteristics….and a beautiful team for parenting God’s children. Marriage is a mystery–but a mystery that God lets us in on–all that we need to know to follow His will for us in having a SACRED MARRIAGE.
God is calling me to learn new ways of being respectful and gentle to my incredible husband. His Spirit leads me, guides me, coaches me, teaches me, inspires me, convicts me, and energizes me to be a better wife. May my marriage look more like HE wants it to. May my husband seek to love me as Christ loved the church and may I respect him and submit to him as is fitting in the Lord. If I cannot submit to my own husband, I surely cannot submit to the Lord. May we all have a proper understanding of submission and what a Sacred Marriage should look like. HE IS OUR MIGHTY COUNSELOR and will show us the way.