In case you missed yesterday’s post, my dear wife, Christy is occupied. She is the one who usually does the pictures (finds, posts, etc) that make my writing tolerable to read. However, since she is busy and can’t to that right now, instead of pictures, you have to do the visual aids yourself. Trust me, you will catch on!!
Imagine a picture of a guy scratching his head, looking confused
It started out as a conversation. Then it got a little more, shall we say, intense. Nothing bad, things were being discussed that needed to be talked about, but, as is frequently the case with something like this, feelings were close to the surface, and a bit raw. However, we were both adults, and we could handle it. Right? We were talking. We were discussing the problem. We were not accusing each other, we were not saying mean things, we were discussing the issue. Then came “those words”. I said them, knowing as I spoke them, I should be keeping my mouth shut. They came out. I tried to grab them. I tried to stop them. I wanted to stop them. As soon as I said them, I knew that, not only were they not true, they were meant to hurt. If I had just a minute more to think about it, I wouldn’t have said them, but that was the problem, as frequently happens, I wasn’t thinking. “The problem is you ALWAYS…”
What follows doesn’t really matter. At that moment, what had been a little tense, but profitable talk was lost. Now we were in a full fledged argument. I had thrown an accusation that was meant to hurt, and it did. My simple words told her that she had not grown, that she had not matured, that she was trying to irritate me, and that she had no regard for me or my feelings. None of this was true, but that was what that one word says. There is another word that can be just as bad, “Never”.
Imagine a picture of a couple arguing. No, that may be too intense and too close to home. Imagine a picture of a little kid who is angry. That is more innocent looking, but gets the point across.
These words, always and never, imply permanency to a situation that is inherently temporary. Now let’s be honest, we have all read the counselors that say we should never use words like never or always (note the never being used to describe when to … you get the idea). But why. See, we have to remember that everything, and I mean everything in our life is temporary. Our anger at our spouse is temporary. Their bad mood is temporary. My bad mood is temporary. Their good mood is temporary. So is mine. Their joy or their sorrow is temporary. Them acting like a gentleman is temporary, them acting like a jerk is temporary. Every part of our marriage relationship is temporary. We even acknowledge that in our marriage vows, because we say, “‘Till death to we part”. At some point, even if it is death, it will end. it is Temporary.
Ok, I can’t resist this one. Insert a picture of the priest from the Princess Bride standing in front of Westley and Buttercup, saying “Mawrige is what Bwings us Towgever Today”.
Does that mean it doesn’t hurt. No! Does that mean it sometimes feels like the pain won’t end. Of course not. I have had times, as I am sure you have too, where your thought was, just make the pain stop!!! But it will, it is temporary, by its very nature. But, there is one thing about this all that is not temporary, something that is permanent. Besides that, God used the 2 “forbidden” words to describe it, Always and Never.
Love Never Fails, Love Always protects, Always hopes, Always trust, Always perseveres. See, Christ is a picture of love. In fact, like I have mentioned in my other posts, I think that I Corinthians 13 is a picture of Christ’s love for us. We are called to imitate Christ, so this should be a picture of our love for each other, based on the love Christ has for us.
Now, we do fail, but Christ didn’t. We were His enemies. We hated Him. We nailed Him to a tree. If we would have been there, we would have mocked Him, we would have spat upon Him. We would have denied Him. We would have been at the foot of the cross shaking our head in disbelief. But in the midst of being an enemy of God, Christ’s love never failed. He could have gotten off the cross. He could have destroyed the world, or at least Rome, but He stayed on the cross for me, and for you. His love never failed.
Insert a picture of the cross against a sunset
We do not Always protect. In fact, sometimes we do the opposite and hurt instead. We do not always hope (now understand the word for hope here is not how we usually use hope, hope in what we are not sure of, I hope I get a new job. Rather this hope is something that is sure, hope in the life to come, hope in the knowledge that we are loved by Christ). In fact, we question the love we have for our spouse, and at times question the love our spouse has for us. We do not always trust, nor do we always persevere (remember the argument at the beginning?) We give up, we think we have failed, or our spouse has failed. We feel like, at times, throwing in the towel and assuming the worst of the person who vowed to love us for the rest of our life.
But, and here is the beautiful part. The Holy Spirit is forever, God’s Word is forever, and He will change me. He will make me so that I can love more and more like He does. These 3 remain, faith, hope and love. When all around is done. When the world has fallen apart, Faith in who God is remains, Hope in who God is and His promises remain, and Love that Christ has given to us remains. By the power of God, I can take that love and begin to give a taste to my wife. What does that look like?
Well, maybe in our next argument, I can hug her instead of crossing my arms. Maybe I can apologize much sooner. Maybe I can stop my words before they escape to hurt. Maybe I can think about how my words will sound. Maybe I can work toward not failing my wife in my mistakes. Maybe I can work on protecting her emotions too. Maybe I can learn to always hope in the work Christ is doing in her. Maybe I can learn to trust in Christ and the work He is doing in both her and me, instead of what I see in a moment of weakness, and maybe I can know that I will love my wife, even in moments where I don’t feel it.
Imagine a picture of an empty tomb, with God’s glory shining out. The glory far outweighed the pain
On the other hand, maybe I can see God doing the same in her. Remember the pain that Christ suffered on the cross was temporary, the effects of the love are eternal. And He said, Love never ends!!!!