Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. (Ephesians 5:25-28, MSG)
As I always tell my daughters, “men are pigs, always remember that.”
In case there is any confusion on this point, especially among any of you distant observers of my family, let me state for the record that I’m seldom a husband worth holding up as an example.
I am selfish and arrogant much of the time, and moody and needy and whiny and weary. Did I mention moody? And irritable. And generally pathetic.
My observations of husbands, in general, tend to support my conclusion that men are pigs, bar none, but honestly, I don’t need other examples to confirm this hypothesis. My introspective, self-experiment has proven this to be true. Men are pigs. I know what dwells in me.
This is the beauty of this thing called marriage, though. I honestly don’t understand it very well, but I do recognize it and carry an overwhelming appreciation for its value.
The truth is that I love my wife. It’s hard to believe what an understatement that expression is. It’s like saying I love breathing.
I’m not very good at loving her in the way that Jesus loves the church, but I’m really trying.
I know. Most of you guys, and some of you girls, who know the scriptures and are thinking of the way women are instructed to be toward their husbands, want to cut me a break – you want to let me off the hook, saying, “yes, but she’s supposed to love you this way and that way, too, and we’re all just human anyway.”
Yes, of course. But tonight, I just want to talk about me (and us guys) without any excuses or diversions. It seems like if I can get it right, or even close to right, even some of the time . . . well, maybe I won’t have to worry about anyone else getting it right.
So here’s the deal, in this public forum, I’m hereby giving myself permission, and all of you men out there, as well, to love your wives. In fact, you might even consider this an exhortation, maybe even a bit of a challenge. You might want to take this so far as to say that I’m stepping up with my own shortcomings and getting in your face about yours.
Here’s the deal, men – here’s the big flippin’, hairy deal:
Love your wives. Go all out in your love, without concern for what you’ll get, rather what you’ll get to give. Your love makes your wife whole; it evokes the beauty that is already within her, bringing out the best. Your love sets her free.
I don’t want to be a coward. I don’t want to be worried about how foolish I might look to say the words my wife longs to hear, with meaning and passion. I don’t want to be afraid of seeming spineless or unmanly when I need to tell her that I’m sorry. I want to have the strength to say and do the things that will bring out her beauty. I want that for all of us.
Renee, I love you with all of my heart. When you are distant from me, I am half a man, all the more ashamed because I’ve imposed the distance between us. I’m sorry. I need you. Your love for me is the closest thing in this world to eternity, a testimony of abundant life. You are a gift of beauty and the assurance that good prevails. Your love is a tangible representation that God’s mercy is new every morning.
Even more importantly, you’re pretty, and the touch of your hand makes me get all twitterpated. And you make me laugh, and look forward to life. I’d rather do stuff with you than with anyone else. I like you the best.
I love you, Renee.