To start the month of February, I am thrilled to introduce my friend, sister in Christ, and fellow encourager, Christy Mobley. Christy’s heart for the Lord is evident in everything she writes, and she inspires me to love others the way he does. Today she is talking to us about marriage and sacrificial love, a message which we all need to hear again and again.
Christy is a wife, mother, writer, mentor, and Life Purpose Coach. She is passionate about encouraging women to move forward, and press on through their struggles, seeking God’s presence in every bump and turn in the road.
You can follow Christy on her blog, Joying in the Journey.
1 Corinthians 12:31, “…And now I will show you the most excellent way.” (NIV)
Husbands and wives have spats from time to time and well, me and my hubby are no different. As a matter of fact, you might say in the first part of our marriage we were exceptional “spatters”!
We are so completely different, and isn’t that usually the case? I’ve always wondered why God would have opposites attract. Truth be known, I’d be a little bit better off being more like my hubby and he’d be a little better off (in my estimation) being more like me. If you think about it, it’s true what it says in James 4:1, that we argue because of our selfish desires. Human love is self-seeking.
However, by rubbing each other the wrong way, we can rub off some of our hard ways. While the chafing of disagreement may be painful, when used for God’s purposes, the shine results is excellent.
Last year God gave us another opportunity to polish that shine.
David and I had an argument and to be honest with you I don’t even remember what it was about. I only remember it was a doozie. I also recall, pridefully I might add, I was right. But because he was leaving for a short business trip I apologized quickly, taking credit for my part of the argument (hey, I’m learning) and he reluctantly accepted. I thought that was the end of it. When he came home he only had a few hours before another trip but being that apologies were made I thought we were fine.
I was wrong.
He came home as prickly as a porcupine ready for a fight, very uncharacteristic for my laid-back hubby.
Maybe you’re like me, when half of you is injured you feel crippled all over. That day I felt quadriplegic. And the real truth? I was mad at the way David was acting. He hadn’t really accepted my apology.
When he left again, I turned to God for healing…Hubby’s healing! I wanted to know what was wrong with him. I prayed the verse in Jeremiah 33:3 which says, ” Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
As I prayed for God to convict David’s heart, God convicted mine. I remember it like it was yesterday.
As I prayed to hear great and unsearchable things, I heard God whisper,
There was no mistaking the instruction, God clearly said, love him. He didn’t whisper, apologize again. There was not even a, give him the cold shoulder. There was only. . . love him.
When David came home, I gave my love to a humbled heart. We were two different people who had surrendered ourselves in obedience to God.
In 1 Corinthians 12:31, when Paul writes, “. . . and now I will show you the most excellent way,” he is talking about the excellent way of God’s love; the excellent way we should love one another. The following chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, commonly called the love chapter, is where Paul explains what this love looks like.
God’s Word is His love story to us. From beginning to end, a story of sacrifice.
If David and I were exactly alike, sharing the same wants and desires, there would be no need for sacrifice. Then what would we learn of real love? I beg to say, nothing. But in God’s infinite wisdom he made opposites attract. And in rubbing each other the wrong way, with God’s help, we smooth our rough edges and find a better way.
A sacrificial way.
The most excellent way… to love.