Friday, January 6, 2012

A spring in her step

Happy New Year, gents!

I was struck this morning by a column that dealt with living what we believed. Do I believe I am a child of God? If so, why do I not live that way? In the midst of the article, the author presented an example that struck me as a husband. Hear the words:
A husband and wife part in the morning for their respective jobs. That woman who is mindful throughout the day that a man out there loves her has a spring in her step. Everything that happens is colored by that love: Minor irritations are less irritating; insults may sting but not destroy; she has a generous spirit as the natural issue of substantial internal reserves.  (AndreĆ© Seu)
The author used the example to flesh out how the Christian should be living based upon the promises and declarations of God's word, but like the examples Christ uses in Scripture that point us to a higher truth, the simple truth should be taking place on this plane as well. Is your woman mindful of your love throughout the day? Does it put a spring in her step?

Or is it a relief to her when you leave for work? Does she dread the clock as its hands move closer and closer to your return home?

If the former, you're likely loving your wife in a manner that pleases God. If the latter, something's broken and needs to be fixed. I don't mean to be trite, but most areas of marital friction and conflict can be resolved by a husband who loves his wife. He will be a man who lives that out in a number of ways:
    1. He will consistently reaffirm that love. Say it. Text it. Write it. Do it. Brother, you cannot tell your wife that you love her too much.
    2. Exemplify that love. Saying it is one thing. Doing it proves it. If you say that you love your wife but are not laying down your life for her, if you are not loving her as Christ loved the church, if you are not dwelling with her with understanding, your words, texts, and poems will lie meaningless on the floor.
    3. Exemplify it in ways that minister to her. Where is she fragile? There build her up. Where is she hurting? There provide salve. You cannot do this unless you know your wife, and that takes us to the next way to live that out.
    4.  Communicate. You are the husband. God commands you to lead your wife. If communication has broken down and if your conversations don't head much beyond what's for dinner, you must repair those bridges. Open yourself up by holding your tongue and listening to your bride. Man up and take ownership for where you have fallen, faltered or inflicted pain in the past. You might have no clue. That's okay. Do not take offense at her words; hear them through the grace of Christ, and you will learn. Christ will help you become the man he intends you to be through your bride. But if you are going to put a spring in her step, that will not happen unless you have reopened long-clogged lines of communication.
    5. Know her. Once communication is flowing, listen. To live out 1 Peter 3:7, to dwell with your woman in knowledge and understanding, you must know her. Be slow to speak and quick to listen. Take mental notes. Take physical notes. 
If she sees you as one who loves her, who aches to know her, and who really likes her even though you know her, how could she not have a spring in her step? She might not bounce through her day like Tigger, but you can bet her staring at the clock will not be in dread but will be in expectation for the time you walk through the door and she gets to see your face.

2012 is under way. Husband, love your wife!

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