I knew it from the beginning, but all these years later, I can see I didn’t fully appreciate that truth. It becomes clearer to me every day. I thank God often for her, though I obviously have my moments when I forget to (like when she and the kids make fun of my balding head ;). But, I soon forget all those things and go right back to thanking God for my wife’s presence in my life.
Who else on this planet could put up with my daily antics? Who else could laugh at my stupidest jokes (well, maybe not all the time)? Who else knows me better, besides God? Who else could stand with me every day, while watching my body deteriorate, picking up after me and doing all those things I am unable to do? Who else sees my faults and yet still holds my hand as we struggle together through life?
She is a gift from God. There is no other explanation. Adam immediately saw the same thing.
20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Genesis 2:20-23 (ESV)
God saw there was nothing in the entire world fit for Adam, and He provided him a wife. There is nobody else in this entire world fit for me, but my wife. God found her and brought her to me. I can’t look at it any other way.
So, do I always treat her that way? The answer to that, unfortunately, is a pretty confident “no.” You see, I had originally planned on another title for this blog post: “I’m having an affair.” That sure would have gotten your attention, wouldn’t it? Let me explain. T and I went to a Weekend to Remember marriage conference a few weeks ago. We enjoyed so much about the conference, and highly recommend everyone attend one, whether you are about to get married or have been married for decades. Anyway, right off the bat the first day, they hit on something I had always thought about, but it wasn’t as clear before we walked through it.
They called it “Threat #4: Extramarital Affairs.” We all have a mostly superficial view of extramarital affairs, don’t we? Jesus even knew that. He told us our idea of the commandment to not commit adultery wasn’t broad enough.
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Matthew 5:27-28 (ESV)
I was so convicted years ago when I first paid attention to that verse. I had previously thought to myself, “I’m doing just fine; looking isn’t wrong; I’m not committing the ‘big sin’.” I’m still convicted over this today. Part of why I’m going cold turkey with movies is to help me with this one. How hard it is to beat this in today’s world, as we’re bombarded with images from the entertainment industry. But this marriage conference took it even a step further, which was perfect. You see, the more I paid attention to what Jesus was saying in that passage, the more I realized He wasn’t raising the bar just another few inches. He was pointing out that it goes straight to the sky. They gave us a list of all sorts of affairs we have:
- Activities affair – when we make ourselves too busy to be with each other
- Materialism affair – when we love our “things” more than our spouse
- Career affair – when we love our job more than our spouse
- Family affair – when we give all our love to our kids, and forget our spouse
- Fantasy affair – the lust we’ve already talked about
- Love affair – the “big sin” that we originally thought was the only one on this list
I’d like to go one step further and add another to the list. After T and I listened to what they had to say, we turned to each other and immediately realized they left one off: the Entertainment affair – when we spend more time with TV, movies, sports, games, etc. than focusing on quality time with our spouse. In fact, we talked about how this one can be even more insidious. Dare I say we can have this affair while sitting together in the same room staring at the TV? Is that time spent truly loving my wife?
You see, God has something more in mind for this gift He gave me.
13 And this second thing you do. You cover the LORD’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.
Malachi 2:13-15 (ESV)
He made us one. He placed a portion of the Spirit within both of us in this union. When I’m unfaithful to my wife, I’m unfaithful to the covenant we made with God. In fact, isn’t that what this is all about? Look at all those affairs up there again. Don’t I have those with God? Don’t I spend more time with my activities, my busy life, than I do with God? Don’t I spend more time focused on all this “stuff” surrounding me than I do with God, or even thanking God who provided it in the first place? Don’t I spend more time focused on work each week than I do focused on God, the one who led me there? Don’t I lust after all the things of this world more than I love God, allowing worldly idols to push Him into the corner? And don’t get me started about my tendency to head to movies, TV, etc. before I sit down with His Word.
Oh, that I could demonstrate my appreciation of God, and my wife – my gift straight from God, more than my actions show. T, know that whatever I say or do, I love you more than you can ever know. You are my gift from God, and I know it… even if I don’t show it. And that’s my stupid rhyme for the day. You don’t even have to fake a laugh. ;)
Share on Facebook