Okay, so I admit it, I was a weird kid. I have known from the time I could think that I wanted to do ministry. I love to teach people God’s Word. I love to preach, and love listening to a good preacher. Maybe those things would make me weird. But there is something else related that I think makes me even weirder.
You see, from the time I could think about it, I knew I wanted to be a husband and a father. I had other dreams of course, but that was one of the the main ones I really wanted (I even called my imaginary friend my “little boy”). I knew that if I wanted to be a good father, I needed to be a good husband first. And, if I wanted to be a good husband first, like with many other things in life, I needed to study. So, I read. I read all kinds of books on being a Godly man. I read books on how to be a good husband. I read Dr. Dobson’s book “What wives wish their husbands knew about women.” I even read a book titled, “What most women want, but few women find”. I would listen to marriage seminars on tape, and I took copious notes. I wanted to be the best husband I could possibly be. I knew what I needed to do, I knew how to do it, and I was ready. Or so I thought.
You see, I was ready for marriage, I wasn’t ready for Christy. I don’t mean that in a bad way, I just mean that I read all kinds of things that husbands are “supposed” to do for their wives, but that wasn’t what made me ready for marriage to Christy. Plus, reading all these books made it sound easy. As anyone who has been married knows, it isn’t. Not only is it not easy, but rarely do things work out in the books in the first step, second step, third step format in which they are written.
Now, don’t misunderstand, I am thankful for the preparation I did. It really did help me prepare for marriage. I learned a lot, and believe I am a better man for it, but, when I became a man, and now I had a wife, it was time to put childish things behind me.
You see, I was still coming at marriage from a selfish standpoint. Honestly, at that stage, I am not sure there is another way, because it is by living with another that you learn to be less selfish. But I wanted to be a good husband. I wanted to do things right. I wanted to treat my wife the right way and do the right things. But the focus was on me, I wasn’t looking at what she needed.
Paul in I Corinthians 13 says “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” I had to learn, and am continuing to learn that it isn’t about me being a great husband, it is about me serving, honoring, blessing and being married to the greatest woman on earth.
So, let me ask you, what does your love toward your spouse in your marriage look like, childish, or mature. Let me ask it another way.
When things don’t go the way you want them to, do you pout, stamp your foot, and get mad? When your spouse forgets to do something that is their job, or something they told you they would take care of, do you cross your arms and roll your eyes, or worse, get upset and give them the silent treatment? When your spouse does that one thing that irritates you, do you assume the worst of them, and find what they do wrong, and not only that, take that one little thing and make it a huge issue? When your spouse behaves childishly, do you cross your arms and say, “fine” and stomp off, or worse, raise your voice and get angry, because, after all, “How dare they”.
What about Christ’s love? You see, Christ’s love wasn’t childish, His love was mature. He was careful to do what would always be in our best interest and to the glory of God. He protects His church, provides for his bride and guards her, to the point of willingly dying for her. He doesn’t pitch a fit when things don’t go his way. He doesn’t become angry when His bride is less than ideal, and doesn’t do what she is supposed to. He doesn’t give the silent treatment when she fails in her task, and He doesn’t roll His eyes when she gets on His nerves (because she doesn’t get on His nerves).
So, how mature is your love? How mature are you? More importantly, in your love for each other that should mirror the love that Christ has for us, are you READY to put the childish behind you?