Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:5
My hubby is taking the “in sickness and in health” vow to a whole new level. Last week, he missed a step on a ladder and earned himself a weekend in the hospital with a spinal fracture.
I was so happy when he was discharged but honestly overwhelmed at the list now running through my mind of all the physical limits he would have. I joked with him and said, “If you didn’t want to do the honey-do list over the weekend, you could have just said something. Good grief! No need to lunge yourself off a ladder.”
I said that to someone at church who asked how Scott was doing. I think he was equally humored and horrified at my comment. Laughter is a huge part of our relationship. It has helped us make it through some challenging moments over the last 26 years.
As I was putting Scott’s shoes and socks on this morning (not yet laughing about this chore quite yet….), I realized how honored I am to be able to serve him right now while he is recovering. I can show him how much I cherish him.
Before you get some misguided impression of me as a holier-than-thou wife, let me assure you that I am just like you. I am overwhelmed, stressed, and tired. These minor snafus of life never happen when it is convenient. I had a little stress-reducing cry with Scott a few days ago and kept moving forward.
Back to my shoe chore…I can think of many people who would love to have a spouse sitting in front of them so they can serve them by tying a shoe. I started thinking about those people this morning.
If you asked me, I would tell you that I love and cherish my husband. But what does that really mean? I couldn’t even correctly define the word cherish. Merriam-Webster defines it as, to hold dear: feel or show affection for: to keep or cultivate with care or affection.
This was a good time for me to do a self-evaluation and examine if I was really cherishing my husband. Do I show him enthusiasm when I see him or speak to him? Am I focused on his strengths or the annoying habits? Do I speak life to him?
If I’m honest, I was annoyed with Scott the morning of his fall because he didn’t make the bed that day. Look people, a deal is a deal. The rule is last one out of bed makes the bed. That little annoying find got me fired up. “Why can’t he just make the bed? How long does it take?” I was focused on the wrong things that morning.
Isn’t it funny how God got my attention? Now, I’m the head bed-maker for the time being.
Let’s get back to cherishing our spouses. We can love our spouses in a new way when we genuinely seek to cherish them. I’m assuming your spouse would be freaked out if you offered to lace up their shoes like I am doing right now, so let me give you some other ideas.
- Pray for your spouse. This seems obvious, but are you doing it? Are you really spending time praying for their protection from the enemy? Pray that they walk in purity. Pray that they will have a heart that desires to follow after Christ. Pray that they will strive to be the husband or wife God called them to be. Don’t nag your spouse into changing. Instead, pray for them and watch God do the work.
- Be an encourager. Call out the best in your spouse. Your words matter! You can help your spouse grow as a person when you show confidence and encouragement. Be intentional. Text your spouse mid-day and tell them how much you appreciate them. Is your spouse taking steps to change a habit? Take time to comment on how you have noticed the change. Speak life with your words!
- Laugh together. Sometimes life is just too serious. Be willing to get silly. Play a prank on your spouse, sit and watch funny videos together, find a clean comedian and watch that for date night. Don’t be so serious! Some days, if I am not laughing, I am crying, so laughter seems like it would be more fun.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
Be intentional with your marriage relationship. It takes work. In our sinfulness, we are selfish people. Work on aligning your thoughts, words, and deeds with what Christ would do and watch your marriage flourish.
We have a new website launching soon! It is going to give you a place to comment and interact below each of these marriage devotionals. I can’t wait to interact with you there. In the meantime, I want to know your ideas on ways to show your spouse that they are loved and cherished. Contact me here and share your thoughts. I may even include some of them in a future Mark 10 Nine devotional.
In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church. Ephesians 5:28-29