This falls into one of those ‘unromantic’ reasons. But to me, it’s almost more precious.
This morning I got a call after I left my house at around 6:05. It was my wife and a screaming toddler. Actually, I’d forgotten to turn on my phone, so it was a voicemail of my wife decidedly annoyed by a screaming toddler (quote is a paraphrase): “I’d like once to not be woken up by a screaming baby and then having them scream and cry and demand of me all day long. I want a vacation.” And she was NOT just kidding. Nor was there a hint of joking in her voice.
My immediate reaction: “Here goes my day. I’m going to sit around and feel guilty that I work with adults while she gets tossed around by 3 tots.” I start to get a tad upset and angry. I totally feel horrible for her, but I get all pissy.
Luckily, I am pretty quickly convicted about those feelings. I realize that it’s not a competition. There will be times when my world is tossing me all over the place and I’ll probably need to just vent to her. Regardless of how I feel or whether or not I can do anything, my primary calling in life is to love my wife as Christ loves the church.
What does that mean? I can only think about it in relation to how Jesus might think about us:
1. He Listens: Sometimes I’m sure we’re not always easy to listen to and hear. Even in our whiniest, he listens. Even when I’m on my high horse, it doesn’t matter: I need to take the time, hear my wife out because she’s precious and special and a total gift from God.
2. He lays down His life: What I have going on, while it might be important always plays at least a mental/emotional second fiddle to my wife. I can’t always drop everything and go running (codependence, I think that’d be), but I always have to be willing to sacrifice my needs and my comfort for her.
3. He tells us stuff we don’t want to hear: This is my toughest one. There are times when we as husbands or wives need to tell our spouses what they don’t want to hear. This is something I need to ponder a bit more, so I’ll stop there.
4. He delights in His church: I think this should be moved up top. Regardless of the stressors or the situation or the mood, I delight in my wife. Back to the gift thing: She’s a total, undeserved gift that I’ve been entrusted with. If my emotions and thoughts aren’t in a delighting mode, it’s a good idea to remind myself of the gift that she is and the joy that she’s brought to me.
I’m really tired since I got up really early the last 4 mornings, but the long and short of it is that I’ve been called to love this particular woman. Regardless of where she is or I am emotionally or mentally, I always know that my most important role is to love that woman and treat her well and kindly and special.