07 November 2005

How Do I Love Her?

Well you know it’s not the first time and it will not be the last
When you find me here on my knees praying for the storm to pass
But what I am really needing is much more than just relief
I am crying out for wisdom only you can give to me
‘Cause it’s such a mystery
I’m a clueless man when it comes to knowing how to love a woman

How do I love her
How do I let her know she means more than anything to me
How do I love her

Out of all the gifts you’ve given besides the very gift of life
There is none as precious to me as the treasure of my wife
And still all the love in my heart is like a raindrop to the sea
When compared to your love for her…and that’s why I’m asking please
Will you teach me what she needs
I’m an earnest man when it comes to learning how to love this woman

How Do I Love Her?
-- Steven Curtis Chapman

I find that I have a hard time being a good husband. All too often, my first priority seems to be me. I want to do this. I need her to do that. Lately, too much of my attention has been focused on me, rather than on my wife.

This lack of focusing on the needs of my wife creates too many problems. When I am focusing on me, I tend to get frustrated and dissatisfied. I spend time thinking about what I don't get out of the deal. I get jealous of my wife's time. I want her to spend time with me, instead of reading a book, watcing TV, or talking to her mom on the phone. As a result of having a wrong focus, I wind up upset, unhappy. And that causes me to be less focused at work, and less satisfied with everything else in life, even if things are generally going okay.

On the other hand, when I am able to take my attention of myself and focus more on my wife's needs, I can see that she has busy, stressful days taking care of the kids, homeschooling the older kids, cleaning, cooking, and everything else that fills her day. When I stop and think about it, I can realize that she needs time to unwind, relax, and catch up with her friends. She doesn't have time for that during the day, when all of life's demands press in on her.

Of course, if I am fair, I have to realize that there are probably times when I am doing things, and she would rather that I spend time with her. I go off to basketball or football games. I go cycling or running. Some nights, I just surf the web for a while. She probably wishes that I would stop doing some of that and help with the dishes, or the laundry, or telling the kids to get back in bed and go to sleep.

So what happens when I sacrifice and focus on her? If I can remember from the time I tried it years ago, I think that she then began to focus more on me. Amazing, when I let go and do things for her, she tends to do the same thing.

Beyond that, it is a calling and the way that things ought to be. Husbands have a command to love their wives. And not just to love them, but to love them the way that Christ loved the church. That means serious self-sacrifice. That means leading through serving. It means doing the dishes so that she doesn't have to.

Of course, as I type this, the dishes are sitting in the sink. Maybe it is time to sign off and live what I am realizing.


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