When my husband and I said our “I do’s”, we decided not to have a house divided by sports teams. That meant that I gave up my NFL team for his, and he gave up his college team for mine. Over the years I’ve watched my husband love and support his team no matter whether they had a win or (unfortunately many) losses. What can I say, my man is certainly committed.
I like to think of marriage along the same lines.
No matter how many wins or losses we have in life, we are committed, for better or worse, to be our spouse’s biggest fan, to love them, encourage them, and support them. But it’s not always easy, can I hear an ‘amen’?
This past week, we’ve had a lot of “losses.” Do you ever have one of those weeks? It was just one mistake and hardship after another. By the end of the week I found myself weary, and to be honest, I found myself struggling to be his biggest fan. Phrases like, “I wish you would have… ” or, “why didn’t you think through…” wanted to come spewing from my mouth.
It was in those tense moments of choosing my words that the Lord convicted my heart and reminded me of what it means to love and respect my husband. A passage I’ve heard and read so many times was a much-needed reminder for me:
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Though Paul wrote these words for the church as a whole, the relationship between a husband and wife reflect the church and these words hold true for us in our marriage as well. When love is present, Paul says that there is patience, kindness, and the desire to see the other succeed. But, when love is absent, there is envy, arrogance, selfishness, rudeness, and irritability.
This passage made me think of my own actions and words this week. Was I portraying love, or the absence of love?
So when my man tried to play “Mr. Fix it,” and it cost us twice as much money because we had to end up hiring a professional, I had to remind myself to be kind. Or when he forgot to fill up the gas tank, and I was praying we could make it to the gas station on empty, I had to remind myself to show him patience.
And let’s be honest, I am far from perfect as well. Just this week we went through the stress of family pictures… who knew it was so hard to get three people dressed in somewhat coinciding clothing, with good attitudes, and on time. By the time we had made our hour-long commute to the location, I found out the pictures were not until the following week! My husband could have chosen to respond negatively, but instead, he chuckled, told me he loved me, and suggested our favorite food, pizza. Such love!
We are two imperfect people, but God has given us this beautiful gift called marriage. We have the opportunity to show the world the great love with which God loved us, but we need to love each other well, and when we don’t, we need to forgive.
So instead of saying, “I told you so,” or “why didn’t you do…”, show patience, humility, and kindness and choose to love well. At least, that’s what I am working on in my own marriage!
How have you shown your spouse love when they have made a mistake or failed?