JOB 2:10 "... SHALL WE ACCEPT THE GOOD FROM GOD AND NOT THE BAD?"
ONE family TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE.
Ephesians 5:25 ~ "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her"
Before I begin, this a part 2 of sorts from my previous post, so if you haven't read it yet click here and read it first. You'll want to know the context of this before you dive into this one.
Hopefully, you're not looking for reasons WHY you should love your wife, because that is not what I'll be covering in this post. In this post I want to provide a couple of real life scenarios where loving your wife with a sacrificial love actually matters (Beyond the obvious way it matters to your wife!). If you are needing to be convinced that you should actually love your wife sacrificially, I would suggest reading through the gospels to get a better understanding.
Ephesians 5:28 ~"In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself."
1. your friends will notice
We have all witnessed a relationship that was extremely one-sided. Maybe you've even been in one of those relationships. But, relationships are not meant to be that way. Relationships are meant to be 2 people who are working to make themselves second and the other first. That's ideal. But, so many people (including me) are self-focused and want things done their way and it plagues our relationships.
If 2 people are both self-focused, their relationship will always have problems, because each of them are focused on what they want. When the focus is what "I want" and both people feel this way, there are few times that any given situation will allow for both of them to be "happy." Not to say it will never happen, there will be times when both are extremely happy. However, there will be more times of conflict between the 2, because each of them will feel as though the other is "getting more."
Side note here: Some of the best advice I was given before my wedding was, "expect to give 60% or more and expect to receive 40% or less."
If one person is self-focused and the other is giving sacrificial love, that relationship will be very one sided. This can be an extremely useful situation, especially for witnessing to others, or if the "self-focused" spouse is lost, but it will be a strenuous test of the partner who is giving sacrificial love. You could very well argue that they have more of an opportunity to be like Jesus, because their sacrifice is not reciprocated by their bride.
BUT, if both are loving the other sacrificially, just think of all the tiny "wrongs" that will be overlooked. It is a relationship of two people who are in a sense trying to out-do the other by giving more to them than they receive. This is not meant to be corrupted into a "I can do one better" and keeping score, but it is a pure desire to forget yourself in order to give the other more.
The friends you and your wife spend time with will see this dance play out before their eyes. And, they need to see you, the husband, as a living, loving sacrifice toward your wife. NOT just one time, but over and over again. Why? It's not because you want your friends to envy your marriage or pat you on the back. You need to show them Jesus in every area of your life, not just at church or Bible study, but everywhere, especially in your marriage.
2. Your Children will notice
As a father this can be one of the first and best ways to explain Jesus's love to your children. Reading stories to them of a man from a far away place and a far away time in one thing, but how can you prove to them that the stories are REAL to YOU?
The answer is simple, though not easy, LIVE IT. I'm convinced that, although the are plenty of other ways, there aren't many better ways to witness to your own children than by providing an example of loving sacrifice living in their home right beside them.
The bottom line is this, your marriage needs to be as clear of a reflection of Jesus's love for us as you can make it. Doing so will of course impact your wife in an unbelievable way, but the consequences extend far beyond even her. Loving your wife with sacrificial love will provide a living, breathing, walking example of Jesus's love to everybody around you.
Don't expect her to respect you if you aren't doing your part. Provide this sacrificial love, and nobody can help but to respect that. And... it wasn't a request, but a command.
Ephesians 5:33 ~"However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."
For starters: I am nothing special, I love Jesus and He is my Lord. I am the husband of a godly woman. She is working with me to raise a godly child. I am a teacher. I love to read and write.