I have been asking the Lord to help me with having a more loving heart. The principle is pretty straight forward. God’s love has been poured into my heart (Romans 5:5). But I have to learn to respond in kind to this love. It is not a matter of my trying to “crank up” some more love. It is a matter of receiving the love that has already been poured into my heart. While the love is there, my desire to be a loving man, will be tested. I had such an experience lately with my wife.
You need to know that my wife, Judy of 48 years, is one of the finest Christians I know. That is high praise, but also the reality from my experience with her. Well, recently I was harsh with my wife in a minor exchange we had. I am not proud of this occurring pattern of being harsh. When I get harsh it hurts my wife and I can tell it in her eyes. As a work in progress, I don’t want it to be that way. What is significant is that I can confess this to all who read this blog. But more importantly is the greater awareness I have of how it hurts my wife.
What brought me to a deeper sense of regret was the fact that with others I can hide my true feelings and act kindly, creating the impression that I am this” loving, caring” guy. This is pure hypocrisy. I was able acknowledge this double standard to my wife. I am seeing how easy it is show a “loving face” in public, but then to disregard and be insensitive in my attitude and behavior with my wife. As I write blog, I am sure that I am stepping on “the spiritual toes” of more than one guy. So what is the point of my telling you my story in this blog.
Plain and simple, it is inexcusable for us as husbands to not be vigilant and on guard in our attitude and behavior with our wives. Scripture makes it clear, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” (Eph 5:25). Your wife deserves the best you have to give. If the love of Christ has been poured into your heart, then the first person to receive your love is your wife. Remember she is “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Gen 2:23). The measure of my spirituality and yours is found in the way we treat those who are closest to us. If you struggle with what I am sharing with you, ask God to show you how you ought to love your wife. Paul exhorts husbands, “to love their wives as their own bodies” (Eph 5:28). I know I am seeing how unloving it is when I express myself harshly towards my wife. If it hurts her, it should also hurt me. If not, I am not very loving.