Jeff’s work required extensive travel during the week. On weekends he entertained clients on the golf course, often spending time beyond the golf for drinks and a meal afterward. Jeff was well respected in his profession, a good manager with a knack for connecting with customers and building solid business relationships.
On the personal side, Jeff did the “church thing” when he did not have an early Sunday tee time. He provided well for his family and his marriage was okay. He thought tension in the marriage would ease once he was able to establish a level of financial security. One Sunday at church, the pastor talked of how husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church, and that husbands are to live with their wives in an understanding way. As he skipped Sunday school to make a 12:00 tee time, the pastor’s words were playing back in his mind. On the back nine, three hours plus into the round it hit him, “What am I doing here?” He was busted that business relationships had become an escape from struggles in his marriage relationship. The pastor was putting the hones on him. It was his responsibility to learn how to love his wife and live with her in an understanding way.
Be a Husband: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” – Ephesians 5:25. “Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way,” – 1Peter 3:7a. Christ loved the church selflessly and sacrificially. Selflessness is not something taught in the business world or anywhere outside the Bible. “Selfless Improvement” should be taught as part of marriage preparation. In turn, “Selfless Improvement II” should be part of family preparation to guide husbands in sacrificially letting go of some prized hobbies or pastimes. It is a husband’s responsibility to be selfless and sacrificial in loving his wife.
Jeff scaled his golf outings back significantly and began managing business trips in a way that minimized being away from home more than one or two nights at a time. He began attending church and Sunday school on a regular basis. And he and his wife signed up to be part of a mentoring initiative in the church where an older couple would meet with them on a monthly basis to get acquainted and talk about life. This was about five years ago. Jeff has realized his concept of love was more physical and emotional early in the marriage. Now he has learned to love from a spiritual perspective and take responsibility for his emotions. Today he loves his wife more than the day they were married.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for my wife. Forgive me for not loving her as You have loved the church. I have not looked at love as the verb it is nor have I understood the analogy of You and the church as one of marriage. My understanding now is that You want the relationship with my wife to be the closest thing in this life to my relationship with You. Thank You for that clarity. Marriage is foundational in Your plan for man to raise godly offspring. Strengthen me when I struggle and teach me to love as You love. Amen.
A faithful father loves his wife as Christ loves the Church.