Love them how they need to be loved

Yesterday was an interesting day for me and I want to share my experience with you all. I will continue the study in Proverbs later on today, I though this was too important to not post.

Relationships are tough at times and we can often experience the biggest conflicts with those closest to us. Marriage is no exception. Married life is full huge challenges. Our culture treats marriage as expendable. I have experienced divorce in my past and I find it crazy how high the divorce rates are, especially among Christians.

Marriage is not easier among Christians, it is just as difficult. Maybe even be more challenging in some ways. The biggest difference is that we have a relationship with with our Almighty Creator and He is working in our marriages,  if we let Him. We are called to something higher and God will do the work that needs to be done if we bring it before Him.

Today I want to remind us all that our spouse is a gift from God, even though it may not always feel like it. In marriage we challenge each other in ways no one else possibly could. Growth is not always pretty. Transformation can be ugly when we’re in the midst of it. It’s important that we remember that. My husband has challenged me in ways I never thought possible and it’s been very difficult at times, but I can look back and see just how far we’ve grown together. I need to remember how far those past challenges have brought us so that I can look at current challenges in a different light. No one pushes me out of my comfort zone like my hubby. How I handle that and respond is up to me.

My husband is not perfect,  nor should I expect him to be. I know I am far from perfect and often have to repent for my actions. This is a good thing! If we were to disillusion ourselves into thinking we are perfect,  we would miss out on the beauty that comes out of being together. If we are in a place of neutrality then we may very well be skirting over some major issues. Not that every day should be difficult. However, if I am not feeling challenged and my perspective is not being challenged then I think it is time to look at myself and see if I am choosing to remain in a stagnant place. Life is a process of never ending growth and deepening of understanding. Some lessons are harder to learn than others. However, I feel there is always a lesson to be learned.

Yesterday I experienced an example of my husband’s imperfection. He was wrong in many ways and I was hurt deeply by his actions. Later on he wanted to hug me as I was trying to go about the things that needed to be done and I pushed him away because I wasn’t ready to accept his affection. As I thought about it, I could feel Jesus reminding me to love him how he needs me to love him, not how I think he deserves to be. This blew me away. this is not a new concept, but it hit deep this time.

I still struggled for a bit and pondered this idea. Of course we should love others how they need us to. None of us deserve very much when you think about how horrible we can be in our flesh. We certainly didn’t deserve Jesus sacrificing Himself on that cross,  but He loved us so much that He gave us what we needed. We need His grace, mercy and forgiveness. If He just gave us all what we deserve we would be trouble!

I listened to that small voice from within and loved my husband how he needed me to in that moment. He was sorry for how he treated me, he talked about it and healing took place in that moment. If I had decided to continue to push him away, shut down and reject him, we would be in a very different place this morning. A place of anger, pain and suffering. Instead we’re in a place of forgiveness,  love and healing. This is a much better place to be. I know, because we’ve been in that other place and it’s not pretty.

I had a choice. I could react to the hurt and choose to clam up and shut down or I could honor my husband and God and love him beyond that. I had to put myself aside and to be vulnerable before him in the way he needed me to be. He knew he was wrong. I knew he was lashing out die to stressors beyond his control. This does not excuse his actions at all. He came to me in true repentance, I forgave and loved him through it. Isn’t this what we are to do with Jesus? How can I expect my husband to live to a higher standard than the one our Lord and Savior has set for us?

This is a lesson that I have had the privilege of learning in many ways. This applies to all relationships in our lives. Instead of shutting down and condemning people for being human, what a world it would be if we instead chose love and kindness in these moments.

We’re all far from perfect and we don’t always make the best choices but I’d like us all to keep this lesson in our hearts today.

Love them how the need us to, not how they deserve to be loved.

In the previous name of our Lord Jesus.

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