Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Patience, Understanding, and Selflessness

Today's Daily Soap {Scripture | Observation | Application | Prayer}
  • S: Ephesians 5:25-33
  • O: The Bible says that a husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church: by giving, not getting. Also, that a wife should honor her husband.
  • A: It seems that it should be so easy for a husband to be lovingly selfless with his wife (his entire family, for that matter). It seems that any husband would be happy to sacrifice -- to give his wife the best seat in the room, the last slice of cake, to let her watch the sappy chick flick instead of getting caught up on the latest news, even to give her the shirt off his own back. That's chivalry, after all, right? But so many people today have come to believe that chivalry is dead, and seem to have chosen to live those words (that chivalry is dead) instead of the words of God (that we should love our wives as Christ loves the church). It's an easy trap to fall into, thinking of yourself first. Sometimes, after a long and stressful day at work, I pull into the garage, looking forward to a fresh hot cup of coffee and dinner, just knowing that all of the stress is going to melt away the minute I walk in the door. But it rarely happens that way. Not because my wife doesn't love me. Not because the coffee isn't always fresh, or dinner isn't always ready. But because my wife has been home with two toddlers all day long, and her day has probably been more stressful than my own. And rather than being disappointed that my haven from stress is not there, I should be prepared to help my wife achieve her own relief from stress. Yesterday I came home from work to a sink disposal that was clogged with a potato (why do most women not know that you aren't supposed to put potato in a disposal?), new curtains to hang in the dining room, and the coffee wasn't made. My wife was making potato soup for dinner, but she had originally planned something else, and I was a little disappointed to see that she had changed the menu. We ate, I fixed the sink, and hung the curtains. The whole time, we kind of griped at each other. Why? Because I wanted to relax with a hot cup of coffee, but had work to do instead. Because my wife had changed the menu to hot soup on a cold night, and I seemed more disappointed than grateful. Was I loving my wife as Christ loves the church? I love her, sure. And I did unclog the sink, and I did hang the curtains. I was selfless, right? One might think so. But one would be wrong. I may have done what seemed to me to be some selfless acts, but my attitude about the whole time was one of me, me, me -- selfish. I was disappointed because I didn't get my cup of coffee. I was disappointed because my dinner menu had been changed. I was disappointed because instead of relaxing and letting the stress of the day melt away, I had to unclog the sink and hang some curtains. But you know what? I'm sitting next to those curtains in the dining room right now, and it's kind of nice having those windows covered finally. My wife did well, as she usually does, and I need to be a little more mindful and appreciative of that.
  • P: Father, help me to better express my love for my wife and my family as Christ shows his love for the church. He died on the cross for us, and while I would unhesitatingly die to save anyone in my family, why do I sometimes hesitate to do much smaller things to please them? Help me, Lord, to be the selfless, loving husband and father that you would have me be. Help me to be more giving, more understanding, more patient, and more appreciative.
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