Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Loving Your Husband: Titus 2:3-5 - Part 3

Laine's Letter

Dear Beautiful Homemakers,

"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God." Titus 2:3-5

Yesterday we talked about loving our husbands. I spoke first of what speaks love to our husbands, which is physical love. A man is very physical. Very physical. Smile. While I was writing this my husband just came in and kissed me. I thought that was a prime example of what I am talking about! I stopped typing, told him how good looking he was, and kissed him back. He went off smiling about cutting some wood.

Was I always so loving to my husband? No, I am sorry to say, I wasn't. I have heard a lot of women say that God made a mistake when He made a man so physically hungry and the woman (especially after she's had children) much more easily satisfied with just a hug. But as I have thought and meditated on this in conjunction with God's Word in 1 Corinthians 7:4, I realized that God never, never makes a mistake. His creations are perfect. And marital love ordained by God is perfect. I was just not walking in His Will. I found that I had to obey my LORD before the physical feelings were even there. Many times I would call on Him to help me love my husband as he so longed to be loved. The LORD answered each and every time.

And as I practiced physically loving my husband, the LORD showed me the way and opened up my heart to love him even more than when we were first married. One way was to read Song of Solomon often. For this is marital love as God ordained it. And the Word of God is sharper than any two edged sword. It pierced through to me and helped me to understand more deeply just what physically loving my husband meant and why God ordained it. For God knew a woman would be tired after a long day of taking care of children or getting up to nurse a child in the middle of the night. Yet He says her body is not her own, but belongs to her husband. And vice versa. So I learned what physical love meant to my husband. It would help him to stay pure in an impure society. It would help him to feel loved as no other could do for him. It would help him to do better in his job, as a tension reliever, so to speak. It would help us stay close as a husband and wife. And in the process it would ultimately be good for me as well. How did I prepare myself to obey God's Word?

One way was to have loving my husband on my mind. To expect to love my husband that evening or that morning. For as I added children and duties each year of my marriage, I found my husband's needs were not high on my priority anymore. In other words, my priorities were quickly getting out of order. My marriage was not at peace. And I was in stress most of the time. The LORD in His Good Word "rearranged me" and got me back on His Track., (1 Corinthians 11:3). There is nothing like abiding in the Word of God, and I will remind you of that frequently.

So I began to obey. It was not easy. Obedience is not always easy, is it? Especially when we feel everyone needs something from us. That is why I had to learn to lean on the LORD's strength. I had to learn to abide in The Word daily. For the joys of obedience far outweigh the stress of disobedience. And slowly I saw my marriage begin to flourish back to where it was during our honeymoon year. Recently I began to have female problems. My husband was very understanding as I had been doing my best to meet him in his needs. Years ago, I do not believe this would have been true. We would have just had more arguing going on.

In Song of Solomon I learned to praise my husband. To point out to him frequently his positive traits. Now I was not good at this, and it felt awkward at first, but the more I practiced, the better I got at it! And I watched my husband flourish from my praise. Where I had been critical before, I now praised. Who do you think reaped the benefits? God does not call us "one" for nothing. The good that I did for my husband came back twofold on me.

For the LORD made the man, who is physically hungry, to restrain himself some unselfishly for his wife; and the woman, who is not as physically hungry, to give some unselfishly for her husband. They meet in a balance of marital love. Godly marriages are meant to slowly squash selfishness until it no longer exists.

Now this is the ideal. Of course, life is not always this way. But I love to know God's ideal which shows me what to strive for as this world teaches just the opposite. Abiding in The Word is abiding in The Truth. When you have The Truth coursing through your veins, you do not look at anything the same anymore. It is as though blinders were dropped from your eyes and you can finally see. His Spirit takes The Truth and walks It through your obedience in a life bent on His Glory.



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