Ephesians 5:25-29 (NKJV)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her…So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
Do you remember your first job? I was a member of the maintenance crew at a pretty uppity establishment. Our clientele enjoyed the cuisine we served, often visiting at all hours of the night to get their fill.
The owner, Jack, had a huge white head and always wore a little hat. He was pretty jolly fellow, if I remember correctly. Always had a huge plastic smile pasted on his huge plastic face.
Yeah, you probably guessed it, I worked at Jack-in-the-Box. I was one of the maintenance dudes. We wiped up all the splattered grease, disinfected the disgusting bathrooms, and made sure the entire place smelled like the weird sanitizer that was weirdly stacked next to the mayo onion sauce (yuck) in the back. Pretty awesome, huh?
At the time, I enjoyed working in fast food, but I could only take it for six months before I had to move on to bigger and better things. As I am sure most of us have moved on from our first jobs by now.
Now, beyond your career development, I am sure your life has advanced in many other ways. You are a husband. You are a son-in-law. Maybe an uncle.
Most importantly, you are a Dad. And I believe that to be one of the most prestigious titles one can earn.
Your job as a dad entails many diverse duties: Home and vehicle provider and maintainer, bread winner, weekend taxi driver, encourager, dream supporter, giver of unconditional love. The list goes on and on.
Guys, all of those things seem important, and they are. Providing for your family is noble, necessary and needed. But there is one job you kids are counting on you to get right.
Paul talked about it in his letter to the Ephesians.
What they need is for you to be head over heels, red hot, on fire in love with their mom.
Not syrupy, cotton candy flimsy superficial “what can I get out of this relationship” love. But sacrificial, put her first, live your life for her, Christ-like love.
Look again at what he wrote in Ephesians 5:25:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her…”
Just as Christ loved His church. And gave himself for His Church. Or His Bride as we are referred to in the Bible.
Every word Jesus spoke, every move He made, every single minute of His 33 year life on this Earth, we were on His mind. He thought nothing of His own life, but made Himself a servant and became the ultimate sacrifice for us.
But wait, Paul goes even further:
“So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies…For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it.”
I think it would be difficult for most Dads to say, but we really do pamper ourselves. I have purchased more products from the Dollar Shave Club than I would really like to admit. We feed ourselves the best food we can afford, we buy clothes that we like, we drive cars that we love and we generally take pretty good care of “ME”. We nourish and cherish ourselves aplenty.
Men, we are called to put our wife above our own desires, dreams, and even our own selves. We are called to love our wives with the same kind of love Christ showed us:
All in, red hot, on fire, self-denying love for your wife: The mother of your children. Your better half. Your best friend. The center of your desire. Your love, your life, your spouse.
So, what does this have to do with your kids?
Kids can do without a lot of things in life. They don’t really need they things society today screams they have to have. Cell phones, Xbox One’s, trips to Disney world, Lebron kicks, Cello lessons, etc.
What they do need is stability. Consistency. Security. To feel protected. To feel safe.
Nothing will make them feel more secure than knowing that you are madly in love with their mother. They need assurance that although all of their life might seem to be crumbling around them (yes, even kids can feel this way), they know that Dad and Mom’s relationship is solid as a rock.
Ask anyone that came from a broken home. The shattering, trembling impact of divorce shakes you to the core. One day Mom and Dad are a team and the next day you feel abandoned and so alone.
Your kids need to know that Dad is totally smitten with Mom. They need to see you hold each other tightly. They need to see you flirt and joke with each another like teenagers. They need to see you kiss in the kitchen for no reason at all. They need to catch you staring deeply into each others eyes lost in a love about which the rest of the world is totally clueless.
They need to see you serve her. They need to see you make her special days even more special. They need to see that you are willing to give up a fishing trip so she can go on a Girl’s day out. They need to see that you loaded up her Starbucks card just because you know she is totally addicted to S’Mores Frappuccinos. Even if they are over priced and you don’t really get her obsession.
They need to hear you tell her, “I love you” randomly every day and mean it.
I think you get the idea.
Guys, your first job is to be madly in love with your wife and to make sure your kids know it. It is what they really want and what they desperately need.
You have one job, fellas. Do it well. Focus on your first job and all the rest will wonderfully fall into place.
Do you have a creative way you show your wife you love her? I would love to hear about. Take a moment and tell us about it in the comments below.