Yet, she loves me anyway. Daily. Hourly. Unconditionally. Totally. Radically. Unreservedly. Loyally. What’s so amazing is that she actually likes to love me (the vast majority of the time), even though I’m not easy to love. Julie is the top-shelf model of obedience to the call of Jesus when he inspired Paul to write on at least two occasions, “Love your husband.” She does that perfectly.
It is becoming more and more apparent to me as we tie our knot deeper and longer that Julie loves me, not because of my worthiness, but because of God’s “Wordiness.” In other words, she doesn’t love me because I deserve it; she loves me because God commands it. Granted – I don’t think she looks at it like this or dichotomizes her feelings in this way. But a “below the water line” look testifies to God’s love in her life as a fundamental motivation for everything she does. And the benefit? I see her love in my life.
Why do I mention this? Well, first, because I’m grateful. I am deeply thankful for my wife. She is the epitome of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31, living out her God-given responsibility to create a God-centered home for our family.
But also because I’m hopeful. I have watched Julie’s love for me grow proportionately to her willingness to obey Christ uncompromisingly, and I’m convinced there is a direct relation between her ability to love me and her commitment to obey her Savior. That gives me hope in the face of things that Jesus calls me to do that are sometimes tough. Hard. Difficult. Practically and biblically, obedience in spite of my feelings will open the door to obedience that accompanies my feelings.
Essentially, it’s “Jesus-first” to Julie. He is more important than her hobbies or her husband. More important than her feelings or her family. More important than her likes and dislikes, opinions, preferences, and personal tastes. And because he is more important, what he says is most important. So when he says, “Love your husband,” she’s in! Thank you, Jesus, and thank you, Julie!