Want a better marriage? Give up.
If you want a better marriage, then you have to give up…
The graphic above was inspired by something that actually happened to me. I was walking around downtown Columbia, SC, and out of nowhere this guy with a news camera shows up. It was the day before Valentine’s Day, and he was doing a piece on people’s plans for Valentine’s. He asked a series of questions. Eventually, he asked “If money were no object, and you could give your wife anything in the world, what would it be?”
Now, with no camera pointed at me, this would have been a simple question. Knowing, however, that tons of people (many of whom know me personally) would be seeing this, I choked a little. What I finally settled on was jokingly answering “I would give her the world.”
I knew full well that I was thinking something else entirely. Why didn’t I say it on camera? The second I said that, he shut off the camera. Immediately, I said to him, “That’s not true, actually. Honestly, I would give her every minute of my time.” He said to me, “Too bad, the camera is off now.”
The answer I wanted to give, the only one that seemed suitable, was “If I love her like I say I do, then the greatest gift I could possibly give her is my life.” That is the absolute truth. This is a truth that escapes most men these days, and it is unfortunate.
Ephesians 5:25 tells us “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” What does that actually mean though? The truth is, that, yes, Christ did come to die for our sins, however, that is not the only purpose He served. He also modeled a better way to live as well.
Jesus not only gave His life on the cross, He gave it every day. He spent time with people. He poured Himself out to them. He served, He loved, and He went where people said He shouldn’t. He did what people said He shouldn’t do. He did all that to show us how to love well. He was busy giving His life up for the church (His bride), long before He gave His life up on the cross. He could easily have just stayed a carpenter, lived out His life unnoticed, and died of old age. He could even have decided to come as a rich man, after all, He is God. No, He chose a much better way. We should too.
As husbands, we should be willing to give every second of our time that we can possibly give, every ounce of energy we can possibly pour out, and every bit of attention we can pay in order to love our wives as Christ loves the church. Don’t underestimate the effect that modeling this sort of self-sacrificing love will have on your children either, after all, they will learn about relationships by watching you.
So, if you want a better marriage (and better kids too), then just give up. Give up as much of your time, energy, attention and love as you can possibly give up for your wife, because what you will gain is worth far more than anything you could possibly ever obtain by putting those resources into things that don’t matter nearly as much.
How can you model this type of love in your own marriage?
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