Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansingt her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 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—for we are members of his body.
I absolutely love the church, I do, and I don’t just mean my church, I mean OUR church, your church, the church down the street, the church meeting in an apartment in France, wherever. Jesus Christ makes it plain and clear that the church is his bride, and it gives me great pain when I hear people talk badly about the bride of my savior. It’s why, when I had been beaten down by a church and was given the choice between two jobs, I passed on the one that gave me the opportunity to “do youth ministry minus the church” and accepted the one that I knew would be dealing with sinners in Church, because I can’t give up on the bride of Christ.
So when Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:25-30 to love our wives as Christ loved the church, that seems easy for me. I love my wife, and I know that she knows it, and I’d say we have a great relationship. Heck, a few months ago we started working together full time and we’ve yet to kill each other!
But lately, I have been thinking about a few things when it comes to showing my wife I love her in the way Christ showed the church he loved her. Some of these have come from seeing what others are doing in their marriages and thinking “I may not be guilty of this on that level, but I still fail at this.” So with that in mind, here are 3 ideas I am trying in order to better show my wife I love her.
The Social Media world does not need to know every detail of our dates/lives.
This one seems kind of obvious, but its not. Sometimes my wife says hilarious things without really meaning to. I used to post these quite a bit on twitter or Facebook, and I’ve since realized what a jerk move this was. Firstly, the times she would laugh along with me with what she had said, I should have been cherishing those moments, laughing with her, not typing it out on my phone. But Secondly, and more importantly, I realized I was setting my wife up for Public Humiliation, and it came off as me not taking my wife seriously. I love my wife, she has such an amazing authority in my life, and I want her to know that. That’s far more important than sharing a funny thing she accidentally said with a bunch of strangers.
Second way this comes into play is with Instagram. Jeff Bachman made a hilarious video a few months back about Instagram, and one thing he poked fun at was those who take pictures of their quiet times. You need to watch the video, but the principle he shares is true in Marriage/dating as well: If you are sharing a picture saying “Enjoying a day relaxing with the spouse” your not really enjoying the day relaxing with your spouse, your taking a picture of you enjoying the day relaxing, and maybe you should put the phone down and grab your spouse and actually spend the day enjoying relaxing with your spouse. Long sentence, but you get the point?
I heard it said that if your tweeting while on your date, you pretty much suck. Youth Pastors, lets remember this. Our spouse is far more important than our band of followers, whether 10 or 10,000.
Ensure that quality time together is actually time together.
This one is fairly similar to the above, but it’s such an important concept for Youth Pastors especially that can be so hard to put into practice. Don’t tune out when your together, regardless of what your doing. Need to get work done at home? Wait until after she goes to bed and get it done then. My wife loves when I actually go to bed with her, like at the same time, but she also knows there are nights when I need to get stuff done, and if it means she gets to actually sit and enjoy my full attention in whatever we are doing while she is awake, she is willing to make that trade.
Life is about more than Youth Ministry.
This one is probably the hardest for me. Like I mentioned earlier, I have a great love for the church, so sometimes I overcommit myself with doing various odds and ends jobs for the church, which takes time away from Family time to get those things done.
Aside from that, my wife is now in my office much of the same time that I am, working in Youth Ministry just like I am, with the same concerns and frustrations and burdens that I have. It can be a challenge to make sure that when we come home, work stays at work and we switch to life outside of Youth Ministry. Especially challenging because our commute home is a 45 second walk across a parking lot to our parsonage.
But, my love for my wife has nothing to do with Youth Ministry. If I’m not careful, I’m sure it could turn into having everything to do with Youth Ministry. I love my wife more than I love Youth Ministry, and I need to remind myself of that on a daily basis.