Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 16, 2018
[Jesus] made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:7-8, NKJV
Sometimes out of fear and pride, I obsess over my reputation as a husband. Do I meet all my wife’s expectations? What if my small group of friends think I am an unfit, bad husband or I am not sensitive to Rita’s every need? Do my children respect me as their mom’s husband or do they quietly wish I would be a better listener, emotionally engaged and not so selfish? I am learning these are not the right questions, because I cannot control my image of being a flawless husband. Only when I am a man who desperately needs my Savior’s love and grace can I become a husband of no reputation. Only as I abide in Christ, am I able to serve my wife as she needs to be served and loved. In time, I can acquire new skills and a mindset that surrenders my reputation.
“Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; submit to the Lord” (2 Chronicles 30:8).
Serve Selflessly Not Expecting To Be Served
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
Reciprocal service is nice, but not necessary for the “husband of no reputation”. Quietly and strategically he serves: sets the table, clears the table, washes the dishes and yes, cooks! Or, he knows what his bride likes, so within the budget of course, he may support her with acts of service: take the children to school, pick them up and give baths before bedtime. Surprise his exhausted spouse with a spa day or breakfast in bed. Red roses on occasion, a candlelight dinner, take out the garbage, be responsible for the yard and house maintenance, and yes, the air filters. Be a servant leader in planning regular conversations around the calendar and finances. As David told his son Solomon: 1) Be strong, 2) Act like a man, 3) Observe what the Lord God requires (1 Kings 2:2-3). Serving without expecting to be served will serve your marriage well!
Emotional Engagement Not False Harmony
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other to be healed” (James 5:16).
I like harmony, even false harmony, if I can avoid conflict. Honesty can be hard. But my wife and every wife craves deep heart connection. Not more stuff but more husband. To know him and to be known by him. As a new husband emotional engagement was a foreign language to me, and I am still not fluent in communicating my heart. I stumble, I stutter and I otherwise get frustrated in trying to share what I feel to my best friend. It shouldn’t be this way, right? I feel safe, I just don’t know what to say. Fearful. Fearful of looking weak or not being understood.
Fortunately there is good news. Emotional engagement with my wife is much more a learned skill than a spiritual discipline. Yes, I must trust the Spirit’s discernment, but the skill of expressing my true feelings is a prerequisite to intimacy. Understanding my heart requires honest feedback from a community of friends as I process my hurts, my desires and my disappointments. A “husband of no reputation” is not afraid to be vulnerable with his honey about his hang ups. He remains vulnerable, does his best and learns. He laughs at himself.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Galatians 6:2-3, NKJV).
PrayerHeavenly Father, help me learn the skill of sharing my heart with my wife, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
ApplicationAt dinner share my highs, lows and interestings from the day’s activities.
Related Reading2 Corinthians 11:27-30, 12:9-10; Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 4:10
Post/Tweet todayServing without expecting to be served will serve your marriage well!#WisdomHunters #husband
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