“‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”-Ephesians 5:30-33
Right now, I am sitting in a hotel room in New Jersey. I’m not here for a business meeting. I’m not here for an interview. I’m not here for me. I’m here for my wife.
My wife is a Physician Assistant. She is currently serving as a PA in pediatrician’s office. She loves her job. She is passionate about her work with children, but she is also very passionate about serving new mothers.
She wants to assist new mothers in the birthing process by giving them support, encouragement, and love. So, for the next few days, she is at a conference to enhance her knowledge of breastfeeding in order to advance her steps in becoming a lactation consultant.
I seriously would not have ever thought I would take a six hour drive for such a conference, but I have.
Simple: I love and support my wife.
I want her to know I encourage her in every step of her journey. If this is her passion and the desire that God has placed on her heart, then I want her to take every opportunity she can to fulfill that purpose for God’s glory.
She is not in this alone and I want her to know that I am with her every step of the way.
I am very proud of my wife, but at breakfast, I sat there so proud to say she is my bride and the mother of my children. I had to go back to the room and she was going into her conference, so I told her, “I love you!” Then, of course, in a joking way I said, “Be good, be kind (a phrase her mom told her before she went to school). Have a great first day!”
Now, as I sit in the room, I feel compelled to write to spouses (and future spouses) and share three reasons why we should always support our partners:
1) CHRIST: Scripture tells us “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” (Ephesians 5:24-25). For some reason, the first part of this section is focused on, but the second section is ignored. Christ had to submit to His Father in order to show the meaning of love to the Church. Husbands, we have a role to play in showing our wives what love really is. It means pushing our needs aside at times in order to show how much we love our wife. I could have been home hanging out with our kids and watching television in my house, but I wanted to support my wife instead of letting her go alone. (PS…I’m thankful for a mother in-law who stayed with the kids for us). Christ sacrificed Himself for the Church to demonstrate the sacrifice husbands should make for their wives and vise versa. I’m not trying to come off as a martyr here, but I am saying I recognize that my wife and I are equals in this marriage and my needs and dreams do not trump hers, and she needs to see me demonstrate that.
2)THE VOWS: When we got married we made vows with each other. We looked at each other on the stage of the church and we repeated words to each other with a purpose. In one part of the vows I said, “I, Bobby, take you, Natasha, as my wife…to love and to cherish…”. We all know what love means…hopefully, but the cherish part is the point of focus. Cherish means to “protect and care for; hold (something or someone) dear; keep (a hope or ambition) in one’s mind” (Merriam-Webster). I made a vow to protect and care for her, which means her whole self. If I push her desires down for my own plans and achievements, then I am no longer protecting her. I am not holding her dear to me if I choose to tell her that her dreams are not important. Her hope and ambition should be just as important as mine. I need to hold firm to the vows we made. They weren’t just words, but a meaningful connection between us for our marriage.
3) FUTURE GENERATIONS: Our kids need to see what a healthy marriage looks like. It may not be perfect, but it is healthy. If and when we argue, we argue fairly. We avoid yelling at each other, especially around the kids. We love each other and tell each other we love each other in front of the kids. Our children will know we support each other and their future spouse should be willing to support and encourage them, just like their mom and dad support and encourage each other. As we serve young people in the church from different family dynamics, we want them to see a healthy marriage. They might have great parents who demonstrate a healthy relationship, we aim to complement that. Yet, they might see broken parent relationships, we aim to counteract that image and show it can be different.
Ultimately, we know our individual lives should shine for Jesus, but we know our marriage is another way to shine the light of Christ to the world. So, my wife and I strive to demonstrate our love for the glory of God and the world to see.
If you’re married, may you value your spouse as Christ values us. May you feel encouraged and supported from the person you married.
If you’re not married, may you pray for your future spouse. May you pray for yourself to be humble enough to be self-sacrificial and willing to support their dreams as much as your own.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: How have you intentionally shown support for anyone, not just your spouse?