What’s the worst that could happen?
It’s a question often posed when we are faced with uncertainty. It’s similar to the expression,
What have you got to lose?
As a man, I’ve often feared the worst possible outcome of a given situation; I call it the Job Syndrome:
"What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true."1
It’s my worst fear that what could happen has been initiated, I am no longer under the protection of God, and my situation has spiraled out of control. I wanted my wife to live up to an ideal of what I needed. I wanted to feel needed and wanted by her; I did not. I wanted her to hold my hand when we walked together; she would not. My wife wasn’t comfortable being openly affectionate towards me, and that bothered me; a lot.
But what I failed to see was what God was saying to me:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her…”2
God commands me to love my wife unconditionally; I didn’t. I was unwilling to give myself up for her. I know in the world of logical, intelligent thinking people, obedience to God is archaic, but that shouldn’t come as surprise because God declares that to the world His ways are foolish.
“But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”3
What does it mean to love my wife as Christ loved the church?
I’ve come to realize that I was so focused on what my wife didn’t do that I robbed myself of the daily opportunity to truly love her for the woman she is. I was stuck in an endless loop of conditions.
I was afraid. I was afraid to love my wife
As a man, this is an uncomfortable admission, but I was afraid of not being loved enough. I wanted what I was supposed to be giving her. God has helped me see that I was guilty of being selfish. I say this because; I know I never have a problem loving me. Some may have that problem; I’m not in that group. I take no solace in the belief that many other men have fallen prey to this fear. Men can be quite hurtful to a woman. Men can say things that are hurtful. Men can do things that are hurtful, but men can only do one thing that is necessary:
Love their wife.
A wife needs to be loved.
I’ve got to believe that God created women in this way for a reason. Women have such a capacity to love, yet they have a greater need to be loved. I could talk about how Satan perverts this need in a woman, but I’d rather focus on what happens when a wife is genuinely loved by a husband committed to obeying God.
We get hung up in the terminology of the scriptures.
Just as many men get tripped up in obeying the command to love their wife, some women are skeptical of committing to God’s command that says:
“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”4
We both fear the worst if we commit.
The result is that I refuse to love my wife. I’ll love my job, or I’ll love things, but I won’t love her. I’m afraid to love her for a million reasons that are rooted in mythology:
- She may not be the one.
- She might reject my love.
- She may tell her family and friends what a dope I am for loving her.
- She may love somebody else.
A wife can love herself, but it is a poor substitute for the love of her husband. A wife can buy herself fancy clothes, expensive jewelry, shoes, and furs, but what is it if her husband doesn’t love her? A wife can get a pedicure, or manicure, but there's no cure for the absence of a husband's love. She can get implants, liposuction, tummy tuck, or a reduction, but there is no cosmetic surgery to give her the love of her husband. I can give her the one thing she desires, but is incapable of obtaining on her own; my love.
I can love my wife, but I’m too afraid.
What’s the worst that could happen in choosing to love my wife?
What’s the worst that could happen in choosing not to love my wife?
A wife needs to be loved.
What about you? What are the reasons you believe a wife needs to be loved? I look forward to reading responses from you.
I can think of three reasons why a wife needs to be loved, and next week, I'll begin to break down those reasons.
Almighty God and Father,
I have been ignorant of many things in this life; the greatest is why I need to obey Your word. I pray for the many husbands who are afraid to love, afraid to commit, and afraid to obey. Loving my wife should not be difficult, but we complicate the simple act of obedience. We fail to understand how neccessary it is for a wife to be loved by her husband. Open our eyes that we may see. Remove the gunk from our ears that we may hear. Melt the hardness that encases our hearts so that we may love. I want to obey You Lord. I don't want to live in fear anymore.
|Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte and Ginger).|
- Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, By James B. Strong, S.T.D, LL.D., Riverside Book and Bible House, Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126
- Unger's Bible Dictionary, By Merrill F. Unger, Moody Press, Chicago
- The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6
- The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA
- The New Living Translation Bible, by Tyndale Charitable Trust, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois, ISBN-13: 978-0842384896
- Matthew Henry's Commentary, McDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia 22101, ISBN 0-917006-21-6