Loving People Different Than Us
There are a lot of jokes about husbands in the marriage relationship. For example, if a man is in the woods, is he still wrong? Another would be, what are the five words that husbands need to know for a successful marriage? The answer is, “I’m sorry, it’s my fault.” Be that as it may, those jokes are made up by men for men. I must admit there is some truth to them, but it is not the complete picture.
If husbands had any idea of how different God made their wives, they would not have to apologize during disagreements or, worse, storm out of the room angry, or even worse, retaliate with cruel words and threats. The questions come up; can we love them even though we will never completely understand them, and can we respond to them in love when they think and react differently to circumstances than us?
Out of Our Element
There are a lot of things I don’t understand. I don’t understand the plight of the African-American. I’ve not lived with prejudice because of the color of my skin. I don’t understand the struggle of an immigrant living in a foreign land, because they have been forced out of their homeland.
I don’t understand party politics and why there can’t be some common ground. I don’t understand why we have 30,000 denominations and one Jesus. I don’t understand how the co-pay on a drug that I need can cost me $225 one month and the next, $18.17 (true story).
And, even though I have been married 48 years, I don’t understand the emotional depth of my wife. I love it when I am the recipient of her affection, and I cringe when, for any of a dozen reasons, I am the cause of her grief. I have many flaws, and I know it, especially now within marriage. Transparency in a relationship will do that. At the same time, I have never known a relationship that has brought me so much joy and happiness. So, what is the difference? How can I minimize the struggles and maximize intimacy?
Finding The Answers We Need
The answers have been written for years.
- Ephesians 5:25 – “Husbands love your wife as Christ loved the church (his earthly family) and gave His life for it.”
- Ephesians 5:28 – “…husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife, loves himself.”
- 1 Peter 3:7 – “Be considerate as you live with your wife, with respect …”
- Matthew 6:15 – “But if you do not forgive others (your wife) their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
But let me put it in terms for guys.
- Love your wife more than your most prized customer.
- Treat her with as much care as if she were the Ferrari that you dreamed of owning.
- Understand the depth of her emotion more than your emotion when your team wins the Super Bowl.
- Love her as tenderly as you would nursing your broken arm.
- Forgive her more than the policeman who gave you a warning ticket instead of a $150 speeding ticket.
Hey guys! Protect yourself from yourself. Let Christ do it through you. You can’t do it alone. Learn to love her, through the power of the Holy Spirit, for whom she is and not reject her for who she isn’t. She will bloom into how God made her and not what you want her to be. She will be better.
Takeaway: If a man is in the woods, is he still wrong? It doesn’t matter. He has learned to love despite his own or her shortcomings.
Author: Paul Veerman