The strongest man I know lifts his wife in and out her wheelchair everyday and has for forty years. He’s weakening now, but still proclaims that God is in control. Some days that’s maddening, some days it’s a comfort. “She’s the hero”, he says. “She won’t pick a fight with me, or with God. Never has, never will.”
Fighting with a spouse isn’t a normal Valentine’s Day topic, at best it’s a gambit to encourage ‘make-up sex’ and at worst it’s the culmination of surrendering to ‘that’s just the way I am.’ Where a couple draws the line in the sand is an indicator of the marriage’s foundation. One of my wife’s favorite endearments is to tell me, from her side of the pillow at night, just how many things about me she can’t stand. If they weren’t all true, I might take offense instead of correction.
For example, whenever we watch a ballgame and the camera zooms into the dugout for a close up of a player biting his fingernails, she comments on how unbecoming the habit is, especially among millionaire ball players. The implication being I should stop biting mine if I want her to feel affectionate toward me, or failing that, I should at least become a millionaire.
What a couple expects of each other can rival the Sea of Galilee in full tempest, and Christ, calming the waves, is the wonderful counselor our marriages deserve. Before I got married I was advised that living with someone is the most difficult endeavor any human can engage in, and unless living without the person is inconceivable, it is better not to begin. That’s how Jesus feels about us. It is inconceivable for the Lamb of God to face a future, a life, without us at the wedding banquet.
The example He gives us husbands is to lay down our lives for our wives. Heroics aside it could be as small as picking up our socks from the floor—again—and separating them before tossing them in the hamper, or as profound as lifting a frail, failing, body from the commode. Love takes action. Romance is more than buying cards and chocolate before you dim the lights, it’s considering the strength of the weaker vessel to reveal what makes you her man.