I am proud of my wife, and proud to be married to her. She is fun to be around, a wonderful mother, a great cook, my best friend. I love all that she does in the house, and I love being married to her, but I want to look at something a little bit differently for a moment. What if all of these things were stripped away. What if, for whatever reason, she really wasn’t all that pleasant to be around. What if her cooking stank? What if she was a critical, harsh woman? What if our personalities clashed? What if the house was dirty and as for being a mom, imagine she wasn’t the greatest? I am not taking about someone who is abusive, that’s for another post, I am just talking about, what if my wife didn’t have all those wonderful qualities I love so much? What if?
Before I answer the what if, I want to take you down a path that I have been thinking for a long time. What is my love for my wife contingent upon? What if all the things I love about her went away. In looking at 1 Corinthians 13, Paul starts out the chapter by making several incredible claims. What if I could speak in all kinds of different languages, including the language of the angels, those beings who are closest in proximity to the Heavenly Father? What if he had every prophetic power and understood every mystery of earth, and had all knowledge? What if everything he had was given away to the poor so that he owned nothing? What if he gave up his body, literally, as a sacrifice to God? If he did all these things, if he acted properly, had incredible power, but had no love, he was nothing. Actually, Paul comes very close to describing the attributes of God. He uses some words that describe God alone. He talks about knowing ALL mysteries, and ALL knowledge. He talks about giving up his own body. He may be just like Christ, but if he doesn’t have love, he is nothing.
You see, that’s the thing about love, or at least love like Christ has, it isn’t contingent on anything the other person does. You see, Christ doesn’t love me because I am a wonderful person, with a great personality, who is a great asset to the kingdom of Christ. In fact, Christ loved me while I was his enemy. He loved me while I was crucifying Him.
And I am called to love the way He loves.
So, my love for my wife should not depend on any of her great attributes. My love for my wife depends on God. If I have a wonderful wife, or I have a wife who is unpleasant to be around, I am called to love her as Christ did. On days where she is a sweetheart who delights in serving me and waiting on me hand and foot, I love her. On days (however few they may be) where she is a little harder to live with, where I can’t do anything right, when she is grumpy and doesn’t realize what a great guy I am (or maybe on these days she is just more honest with herself), I love her. This changes the perspective of love, and changes the idea of “falling out of love”. My love is dependant on the love God has for me, and me giving that love to my wife.
And here is why. She is worth it. On days when I don’t think she is worth it, it doesn’t matter, because Jesus said she is worth it. If Jesus died for her, if Jesus forgave her, if Jesus loves her when she is at her worst, if Jesus knows her even more intimately than I do, and He thought she was worth dying for, then who am I to think that she isn’t worth a little bit of service and sacrifice. If Jesus says she is worth it, then I agree, regardless of how wonderful (or not) she is.
Part of the 31 day challenge and linking up at Thought Provoking Thursday