Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 2, 2019
In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. Ephesians 5:28-30
Sadly, I sometimes forget to care for my spouse. Not materially, but emotionally. I stay too busy helping others, but fail the one who needs me the most. Since we have been married for decades, I can take her for granted, wrongly assuming she is alright and not needy. And being married to a “peacekeeper” she is not one to complain, only to carry on as a good and supportive wife. I am learning that to care for my spouse is to enter into an exclusive level of intimacy, only for her.
The Apostle Paul helps us become the best care giver of our spouse by comparing our love to caring for our body. Yes, the body has routine maintenance that is unconscious and ingrained, but as the body matures, there are unique and specific needs that need to be met. In the same way, husbands and wives each yearn for attention from each other. Compassionate eye contact and comforting words are food for the soul. Understanding and empathy reassure the heart. Honesty and honor nurture trust and security. Spousal care grows intimate affections for each other, not others. Exclusivity of care builds an emotional connection that protects marriages from apathy.
“Be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble” (1 Peter 3:8).
Beautifully, Christ’s care for the church illustrates a husband’s caring for his wife. As Jesus gave Himself up for the church, so men, we give ourselves up for our wives. Humility and selflessness are prerequisites for this level of love. Jesus became a servant, so the church could be set free to grow healthy, and serve others. The bride of Christ is the apple of His eye, helping her to be pure and beautiful for all to adore and glorify God. As Christ cares for the church, so we have the privilege to lovingly care for our brides. Love cares uniquely. But how? Where do we begin?
We have to first disconnect from distractions, so we can connect with our spouse’s heart. Ignore work requests after hours, and trust matters can wait until another date. In the meantime, we linger after dinner in conversation and connection. We unplug from any other ideas electrifying our minds and we plug into the thoughts of the one we are most excited about. “What’s on your mind?”, “How is your heart?” Allowing us to lovingly probe below the surface into the secret soul. The “rings” and the “pings” of inanimate devices are replaced by animated conversations, tears, laughter, confessions and forgiveness. Caring for what she cares about creates deep connection.
Invite Christ to care for you and then you will have the capacity to care for your spouse. God’s Spirit of love expands your soul to a sensitivity that seeks out how she needs to be loved and cared for, but only after you wait in the presence of Perfect Love. Cease any flirtations for another and reserve your emotional energy for the one you are becoming one with. The one you vowed to “death due us part, in sickness in health, in good or bad”. Her heart alone deserves your exclusive focus, with no other competing affections. Christ cares for you, so you can care for her.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Heavenly Father, show me how You want me to love my wife, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Consider these questions with your bride: How did you feel loved last week? How can I help you this week? How can I pray for you this week?
Caring for what another cares about creates deep connection. #wisdomhunters #care #Jesus
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