Thursday, March 22, 2012

A quickie

Back in January, I poured over the first letter of one of Jesus' dearest friends, John. It's hard not to miss his emphasis that if we are truly children of God, we will love his children (the church). Take for example 1 John 3:10, 14, 4:7-8, 20. Over and over he pounds the drum that if we love God, we will love those called by God, and conversely, if we don't love those called by God, then we do not love God ourselves.

Let me provide 4:21 for your viewing pleasure.
And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
As hard as it is to sometimes love a brother in the church, it is not an option.  God's not asking you to manifest "feelings" that are not present. He is asking you to have affection for this person and to seek their best and their good as far as it depends upon you.  As Don Francisco sang, "Love is not a feeling; it's an act of the will."

Husbands, you probably know where I am going with this. If this is true of my brothers (and sisters) in the church, is it not especially more true of the sister in the church with whom I live and share my life, the woman to whom I am knit by God in the bonds of marriage? 

  • Am I eager to see my brother in Christ?  Be eager to see your woman.
  • Am I burdened to pray for the needs of my brother in Christ? Know and pray for the burdens of your woman.
  • Am I patient with my brother in Christ even when his Doc Martens crush my toes? Be patient with your woman and give her the benefit of the doubt that affronts are not intended (even if perhaps they were).
  • Do I seek to help my brother with the challenges he is facing by investing time and energy with him? Invest time to help your bride.
  • Do you sit with your brother when he is in misery, just to be there for him? Hold your bride close to your bosom when the storms of life (bills, in-laws, children) assail.
  • Do you jot a friend an e-mail, send him a text, perhaps drop him a card to encourage him in his walk with Christ? (Are you getting the hang of this?)
  • Do you rearrange your schedule to meet with a brother who needs an ear or a word? When's the last time you rearranged your schedule for your woman?
The list could go on. Think on your relationships and your investments with brothers in Christ.  Should your relationship and investment with your wife be any less?

This really hit me as I read through 1 John. As you read through God's word and see him spell out your conduct with others, consider that first of all such conduct should begin in your home and should begin with your bride.

Simply, love your wife.

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