Our marriages are designed to be as colorful as the vibrant changes of Fall. The colors that contrast each other come together into one beautiful picture. Just like how two different souls find a way to become one flesh. When that oneness happens, it is such a beautiful picture of love. So men, love your wives fiercely. Women, respect your husbands with the same fierceness. Allow the picture that nature paints to become a reality in your marriage. Take in the beauty and discover how colorfully beautiful your marriage can be.
Yes, those 3 words can be hard! While sleeping one night, God spoke to me and all He said was “Just Love Her.” (Eph 5:25 NLT- For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up His life for her.) That’s all I heard from Him. As I woke up in bed after this, I was confused and perplexed. What did “just love her” actually mean and why would God tell me this? Let’s see, I love my wife every day and do pretty much all I can to help her with whatever she needs, so why would God tell me this so clearly? As if He was speaking to little old me in neon lighting? You see, I like to think that my wife is my partner in everything and that what happens to her also happens to me. When she is down, hurt, suffering, lonely, weak, etc., I am the one who is there for her. It comes almost naturally to me. She depends on me to be there for her and I likewise, depend on her to be there for me. My wife lives with chronic pain from several spinal surgeries. Her bones and soft tissue are degrading faster than most people her age. I knew this would be something that would be in our reality earlier than most marriages and I promised both her and God that I was up for the task. As such, I believe this is why I was able to retire young and her, as well. Yet, I do find myself sometimes stuck in the monotony of it all, every so often. So, truthfully, I can say to myself that I am doing all that I can to help her, but am I really from my heart doing these things? Galatians 6:9 says “So let us not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up” When God told me to “just love her”, I asked God again to help me understand what that meant. Sometimes, it takes more than a neon sign to make me understand! God then revealed to me that sometimes its not just about helping your spouse daily or making sure all is going well. Sometimes, you better expect a trial to happen and be ready to fight it! Honestly, as much as I dislike trials in our marriage, I also understand that this is when our marriage is strengthened the most. Even more, this is when I am personally strengthened the most!
Right around the time that God spoke these words to me, my wife started having a physical trial. Her right eye was injured and was not recovering. After 7 long months, we both finally surrendered that it may never be healed and maybe this would be her “thorn in the flesh” as an ambassador for Christ. My, how this revelation changed each of our perspectives. However, those 7 months of getting to this revelation were relentlessly hard, on each of us. For her, it was a battle with trusting God with her healing and understanding that God wasn’t mad at her. That she hadn’t let Him down in some way. For me, it was releasing control to God to care for my wife, whom I strive to fix everything for. It was a heavy dose of humility for me. See, God wants us both to rely on Him and He knows exactly how to get that across to each of us, individually. As far as I am concerned, God doesn’t waste our trials on just one of us; they are for both my wife and myself.
So, what does “just love her” mean? It means allowing my wife to say whatever she wants to me, and to listen with understanding and compassion. If I am considerate toward Janie, she will likewise be considerate toward me. It also means that no matter how frustrated I get with her physical ailments, I must love her as Christ loved the Church. Paul says it clear in Eph 5:25, that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. We must all knock down our barriers to love and pull up our sleeves, not to fight Christ, but to embrace LOVE for our spouse. So, husbands, just love your wives and wives just love your husbands. Let today be the day you let down your walls and you have an honest conversation with one another and choose together to pursue Christ in marriage.