It's easy to love your spouse when things are going well, when he's just suggested going out to dinner so neither of you has to cook, when she's woken up early to make you coffee before work, etc. Those are the moments when you post, “I have the BEST husband” as your facebook status. It's harder to be loving when your spouse has hurt you, or even when you're feeling hurt by someone else. That is when you are tempted to retreat or react, rather than responding with love. Husbands are called to love their wives EVEN when they're being unloving, and wives are called to respect their husbands EVEN when they're making mistakes that could cause our respect to dwindle. True love chooses to love and respect, even when the temptation is not to.
These aren't earth-shattering or brand new ideas, but I guess it cemented something I already knew and have experienced. A few months after Gil and I started dating, I remember being really really angry at him about something. He was driving in from Toronto, and I was fuming while I waited for him to arrive, imagining all the things I would say to him when he finally got there. All of a sudden, I was struck by the fact that it was later in the evening and he likely hadn't eaten dinner... and maybe lunch as well. I fought with myself, knowing I should make something for him to eat, but not wanting to because I was so mad. In the end, I boiled some frozen Chinese dumplings, and in the end, I basically handed him the bowl when he arrived, right before I told him all the reasons I was upset. Needless to say, he was a bit perplexed! Still, I think it helped him realized that even though I was angry, I still cared about him deeply. Unfortunately, there have been many other angry moments, when I definitely have not been that loving.
On that note, it's official that I will start out my marriage book reading with Timothy and Cathy Keller's The Meaning of Marriage. It's on hold for me at the library and should be available soon. I'm looking forward to reading it and posting some of my thoughts. Thanks to everyone who voted!
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.