by Pastor Scott Godinez
Just today I went into a local wood working store, and experienced the all too familiar sense of being a beginner. And so, I endured the one thing many a man has sought to avoid with every fiber of his being: I asked for help.
As many times as I have had to play the beginner, I still have not adjusted to this weighty humility hung around my neck each and every time I have to concede, I ain’t all that great at what I’m trying to do.
It’s even more evident when I walk around the store and see the most incredible wood creations other people have made. I’m quick to recognize the mark of an expert. Their craftsmanship is unparalleled and the wood is a testimony to the years and resources sacrificed to accomplish such great feats. They are experts.
Sadly, for woodworking, I will likely never be as good as the experts.
I only have 24 hours to spend each day, and God has not called me to spend the best of my day on my hobbies, or even my career. As much as I desire to perform all of my work at a high level, there is still one responsibility, which eclipses everything else.
When I entered into a covenant of marriage with my wife I also agreed to be bound to God’s expectations of my role as a husband.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25
The only other time a Christian is expected to surrender their life is in the call to discipleship directly from Jesus. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. What a commitment! What a directive to be called to become an expert-level husband!
Jesus loved without flaw, his commitment to the church embodies perfection in every way. Men, Jesus is our example and our expectation. We must become an Expert in Love for our wife.
We can do this when we commit to the following:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Colossians 3:23
Yes, buy her flowers, take her out for her birthday and tell her you love her. But may we never allow ourselves to feel comfortable doing such things half-heartedly! If you find yourself serving your wife begrudgingly then stop! Identify what is influencing your perspective, repent of it and seek God in prayer to correct your attitude and increase your love for your wife! We need his help to cut through the selfishness and pridefulness that poisons our servant heart and robs our wife of feeling like the treasure she is.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:21
Clearly we would agree the things we treasure inevitably dictate the path of our passions.
Do your greatest treasures draw you into a deeper passion for your wife or something else? Husbands, God has gifted you with a variety of skills and resources with which to do good work and provide for your family. Yet as the cliche goes, the shoemaker’s children always go barefoot.
Are we wisely investing our resources into loving our wife the way Jesus loves the church?
If there is an area where someone or something else is getting the best of your resources, consider what possible adjustments could be made to rebalance the distribution. Notice I did not say “most”. This can be a tricky subject. Our “best” resource is often characterized by our attitude. In loving the world, God sends his only son to save it. Arguably his best resource surrendered to the cause as a demonstration of his overflowing love. This is a conversation about quality not quantity.
And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” Luke 8:45-46
Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” John 4:6-7
I love that in both of these instances Jesus completely surrenders his time for the greater need of these two women. In the example from Luke, Jesus is traveling through a large crowd and stops everything the moment this woman reaches out to him for healing. Even Peter is shocked when Jesus abruptly seeks her out. I can almost imagine Peter attempting to dissuade Jesus from the change in plans to find this woman in the large crowd.
In the passage from John 4, the author clearly explains Jesus was tired and needed to sit, yet in this situation he encounters a woman and the entire thing turns into a beautiful ministry moment.
Whether in an unforeseen change of plans, or in the midst of his exhaustion from a “long workday,” Jesus continues to surrender his time to the needs of those he loves. It’s a beautiful picture of self-sacrifice and God’s love.
This is our calling as well.
When we love our wives with our whole heart, and invest our best resources into serving them at any time no matter the circumstance, through the power of the Holy Spirit we can pursue these actions with faithfulness. And in time we will reap a greater joy than we can fathom as you and I learn year after year, and grow to become “love experts.”
“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22
This is the kind of craftsmanship I want to be known for. I may excel and succeed at a thousand other things. I may even one day win awards and recognition for my accomplishments. But I want my wife to always know that she will forever have my whole heart, the best of me, and any hour of any day.
This is the marriage I want people to see as a representation of Jesus’ love for his bride. Unlike Jesus, I won’t always get it right, but I’m going to die trying!
The calling on every husband is to become an expert in loving his wife. It will hopefully take a lifetime, require all that I have to give, and be one of the highest pursuits in my life.