Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Her Needs, My Needs

Some Bible passages are easier to obey than others. Instructions like “do not steal” are short and to the point; it’s generally easy to say what you should and shouldn’t do and to know if you’re obeying it.

Sweeping passages like the Great Commandment, the Golden Rule, the Great Commission, not so much. These ideas reach out and touch every aspect of our lives so much that we are always finding new ways we’re not measuring up.

For married men, Ephesians 5:25 is one of the latter: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

“Husbands, love your wives” is bad enough. That’s a life long endeavor on it’s own. But adding “as Christ loved the church” takes it to a whole new level.

Paul’s calling for a love that’s willing to give it all away. Christ humbled Himself to an immeasurable degree for the church. Christ gave up everything for the church. Christ laid down His life for the church.

And we’re supposed to imitate that.

Not only is it nigh impossible to carry out correctly, it’s hard to even wrap our minds around it.

Trying to make the idea a little more manageable, I’ve adopted a little couplet I try to remind myself of often:
Her needs, my needs;
Her wants, my wants.
The order’s significant. I should work myself to the bone, if necessary, to provide my wife with food and shelter – but not a convertible. However, if she wants Chinese and I want … anything but Chinese, should I not give her that?

Do I do this perfectly? Don’t ask my wife; I don’t want her to bust a gut.

I try, but I’m still a sinner; sometimes I’m selfish, and sometimes I confuse want and need – on both sides of the equation. But this does help me identify what I should do and diagnose problems.

So, gentlemen, hopefully this will help you as it’s helped me because obedience to His command honors our Lord, and, after all, we all have got it better that we deserve.


Anonymous said...

That's really very good. Thanks, I'll try hard to remember that.

Ellen Haroutunian said...

LOL, well said. :-)