Friday, August 22, 2008

Freiday Devotional

One Year of Marriage

As many of you know, Amy and I celebrated our one year anniversary last week. It is hard to believe it's been one year already. My fellow friends that have recently been married kept telling me how fast the first year goes by. Guess what, they were not lying. This first year of marriage just flew by like a rocket to the moon.

Another comment made by several of my friends was that they have come to realize just how selfish they were before (and during) being married. I did not think much of these comments, as I considered myself to be pretty selfless. I was always willing to help a friend. And I really did not exert my opinion on too many things and just went with the flow. However, this truth has made itself know through the first year of marriage. I have come to realize just how selfish I am. I do not always want to walk the dog, take out the trash, unload the dishwasher, etc., especially if I'm doing homework, playing video games, or watching a favorite TV show. I want new books, videos, cds, and any other techy-gadget. But I must ask myself during those times, is this an attitude of love? Am I truly loving Amy by having this selfish attitude?

I am reminded of Ephesians 5:25 where Paul states, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her...." We husbands are to love our wives, which seems like a "no-brainer," but as you and I well know that is not always the easiest thing to do. Yet, Paul exhorts us to love our wives. He does not give any conditions when it is alright to not love. In fact, he does just the opposite and calls husbands to follow in the likeness of Christ. Christ loves His church as exemplified by His sacrifice on the cross. He gave His life so that those of us who are part of His church may have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Our love is not based on selfishness, but on selflessness. Christ put the church before Himself. As husbands, we are called to do the same for our wives. Our love should be a sacrificial love. That is my prayer every night, that I would love Amy as Christ loves His church.

This sacrificial love has not been easy to learn. It does not come naturally to me, or to anyone. Yet, that is what Christ has called us to. And for the wives that may be reading this, do not think for a moment that you are exempt from this. For just a few verses later Paul writes, "and the wife must respect her husband" (v. 33). Note again, that Paul does not leave any wiggle room. Wives are to respect their husband to the same extent that husbands are to love their wives. Funny how that all circles 'round. are you treating your wife/husband? What can you do differently to show your love/respect? What should you do differently to show your love/respect? What, if anything, has taken the place of the love/respect for your wife/husband? How can you fix that?

May God's peace and love be upon you.

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