Giving of Self
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:25
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
Traditionally, men struggle with the bonding rituals more than women. Dr. Gary Smiley once said that women have a “built in marriage manual.” He was saying that the concept of nurturing and bonding comes more “naturally” to women than it does to men. (Of course, there are many exceptions to this generalization!) This means that the person who does “see it” and “value it” the most should not hesitate to take the lead in initiating the bonding rituals. So often I hear people say – mostly wives – “I’m tired of always having to initiate these things!” This is totally understandable, but self-defeating, thinking. Both the husband and the wife will have their contributions to the home and the relationship. Each one should “weary not in well doing” when it comes to what comes naturally to them!
Our scripture today refers to Christ’s love for the church, relating it to a husband’s love for his wife. If we study Jesus’ life, we’ll see a lot of effort to bond with his followers. Long walks, dinners in their homes, and healing touches, were all part of how Jesus bonded with His church. As couples decide to create “bonding rituals” in their marriages, the Jesus model shows the way. The key ingredient to all rituals is “time!” Logging time with each other cannot be substituted with “good intentions.” There are too many men who have come home to the empty house that they worked so much overtime to purchase, just to find that the wife wanted his time more than his purchasing power! Give yourself to your spouse…bonding will happen!
Father, as Jesus gave Himself to the church, I will give myself to my spouse. Help me ‘see’ the many ways I can accomplish that – In Jesus’ Name, amen.