Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Ephesians 5:25 KJV)
I’m in bed on this Saturday morning. My wife is sleeping next to me. I’m lying here thinking about the sacrifices I make to put a smile on her face and wondering where the inspiration comes from.
It comes from the scripture I posted above. If you read Ephesians 5 you’ll see that before that scripture there are scriptures telling the woman to submit herself to her husband. I saw those but I didn’t pay as much attention to them as I did to the one for me. The one for me told me to love her as Christ loves the church. Being a Christian I look up to Jesus Christ and I live His lifestyle because I’ve found it to be a healthy and productive one. It has worked wonders in my life. So when I draw the parallel between Christ and the church to my wife and I, it’s life changing. Christ died for the church. He carried out a mission and was selfless in the process. Nothing was in the sacrifice for Him. It was all for His followers.
I decided to love my wife that way. I have to love her selflessly even if there is nothing in it for me. All I can do is hope that she will reciprocate the love I give, but I can’t focus on the reciprocation. I focus on the giving.
By me taking the lead and leading with love, it changed our marriage. The first two years were rocky. We contemplated divorce privately numerous times. It was rocky because we were doing it our way, not God’s way. Our way is selfish. God’s way is selfless. When we started considering one another and not just ourselves, things changed drastically.
My wife was once very stubborn and hard-headed. Now she’s the opposite. She’s the opposite of who she was because I’m the opposite of who I was. When I sacrificed my wants, needs, and desires and I made her my priority it transformed everything. I laid down my life for her. I sacrificed for her. I gave and didn’t ask to receive. It changed her heart, her mind, her spirit, and her outlook on life. I know her inner circle who knew of how stressed she was with me in the first two years are scratching their heads now. I hope they don’t miss the drama because there won’t ever be anymore. Why? Because I’m loving like Christ. Once you experience this type of love you don’t go back.
I learned that in order to receive you have to give. I received peace and happiness when I gave all of myself to my wife. I closed off the possibility of cheating, abusing (physically, verbally, emotionally), lying, deceiving, manipulating, and everything else that is unhealthy for a relationship. I created a safe haven for her. I washed her with love. I made her wish my command. I put her first. I loved her the way she needed to be loved instead of the way I wanted to love.
Today, I can honestly say; My marriage is perfect. It has been perfected through a Christ-like love. There is no arguing. There is no cheating. There is no break-up to make-up.
We catch little attitudes that last all of 5 minutes. We quickly snap back to the Christ-like mindset of “be slow to anger.” We check ourselves and we check one another. We subscribe to a higher standard of living. One that is rooted in selflessness. It has changed everything.
Real Love is real! Peaceful love is real. Stress free love is real!
Tony A. Gaskins Jr.