This morning, I was given a pretty big glimpse of just how selfish I can be. I had heard it said that marriage is able to help people see just how selfish and prideful they can be. This is definitely true of me. I went into my marriage thinking that I would never be that way. That I would be able to love my wife like I loved myself and not even struggle with that. How wrong I was. Just ask my wife. Time and time again I have failed to love my wife with my actions. The saying “actions speak louder than words” definitely applies to my actions towards my wife. No matter how many times I would tell her I love her, my actions would be showing her that I am still first.
This morning my wife asked me to help her with some things and instead of just agreeing to help, I started discussing reasons why we did not need to do everything that she had even mentioned. What was I doing? Putting my own desires first and not thinking about her. Ephesians 5:25 was not practiced here on my part at all. “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Simply put, I failed. I have done this many times before and because I am so hard headed, I still have not quite learned how to put others before myself. I am so grateful to have a wife whose spiritual gift is mercy or I would be in for trouble. Whenever I hear guys talk about marriage in a negative way or talk about how demanding their wife is or anything like that, it always seems to burn me up on the inside and maybe one of the biggest reasons I have kept quiet instead of saying something around guys like that is because maybe I haven’t begun practicing loving my wife as Christ loved the church. I do not lay my life and desires down in place of hers. What does that show with my actions? Too often I allow myself to feel like I am some great gift from God to my wife instead of realizing that I am nothing. I do not deserve anyone like Marcie. I allow myself to act like I am more important. This has quite a few disastrous results. First, it does not free her up to be who God wants her to be. Second, it keeps me from being the servant leader that I should be. Third, instead of drawing us closer, it pushes us apart which is never good for a relationship that is used in the Bible more than anything else to describe how God relates to us. So not only do I not honor my wife when I do this, I do not honor God.
How much did Christ love the church? He “gave Himself up for her.” He put her before Himself. Have I done that with my wife? Sometimes I do and let me say that it brings me the greatest joy. Just as Christ gave Himself up for the church and received the greatest joy out of it. I have the perfect example to follow and yet I struggle so often. Many times I have put reading a book, watching TV or even playing a video game before loving my wife. Is that what my wife signed up for? Is that what I told her in our vows when we stood in front of God as well as family and friends? No. I told her I would love her sacrificially. Have I done that? Sometimes. But what about other times? Definitely not. I know marriage is tough because two people with sinful natures come together. But as the man in this relationship, I need to take the lead. If I were to put myself in her place, what would I think? Another thing I fail to do enough is put myself in her shoes. I sometimes feel like I might have more pressure on myself than she does, but that is not so. She is feeling pressure in ways I do not even understand. I do not try to look through her eyes enough.
So, why am I writing this you may wonder? Well, I enjoy writing and putting my thoughts out there for others to see but more importantly I am writing this as a public apology to my wife. I am sorry baby for not loving you like Christ loved the church. I have not been the greatest at that and I know I have quite a bit to learn but please keep praying for me, that God will have His perfect work done in me and that I will remain sensitive to His Spirit.
I am also hoping that through it will come some accountability in that I have friends who will read this and this is a public announcement to tell you that you can ask me how I am doing in this area. So, if you have read this far, I pray that you might even feel challenged to look at your own life and relationship with God and see how you are doing in that area.
But once again, Marcie, thank you for being the person you are. I know I have failed many times to be the man that you married and I am sorry. I want to be better at that and I desire to the man of God in your life that you have seen glimpses of. Thank you for not being the type to give up on me. You are so much more than I deserve and I love you.