As we can clearly see from the signs all around us, the coming of our Lord Jesus is going to be soon. However, we must reach a much higher standard of character if we are to have a place in His heavenly home. We are to live as Jesus lived.
As I have reflected on the nature of our husbands' work, I have realized that theirs is not an ordinary work. They go through stresses that we cannot explain. As we try to soothe them, support them, and love them, we are growing and attaining the standard that Christ has set for us. I would like to share with shepherdesses worldwide my thoughts on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. The passage starts, "Love is .. .
It's too much! How many times do you tell your husband, "Please put your dirty clothes in the wash basket. Hang up your jacket! Put your..."? The list is endless. And when he does not do it, you grumble and maybe even think up ways of punishing him. Talk to your Jesus. Even cry if you feel like it, and then put your husband's things in their right places. Jesus did not sin even in thought.
Suppose you have prepared a small meal for yourself, and then your husband comes home unexpectedly. You can see he is hungry, but so are you. Learn to be kind, give thanks to God, and share with him the little that you have. He will see kindness in you. Jesus shared five loaves of bread and two fishes among more than 5,000 people.
It does not envy
Envy is brought about by discontentment. It breeds bitterness toward your husband as well as loss of respect for him. "You are not organized." "Look, Pastor Smith already owns a car, and Mrs. Smith has a dressing table and a big stove." But Jesus did not envy those around Him. He had only one coat.
It does not boast, It is not proud
You come up with a bright idea or a solution to a problem concerning your Conference or District. Then you share it with your husband, He in turn brings it up in their special meeting to solve the issue. Everyone is impressed, and your husband is thanked again and again. Do you go to your husband and tell him, "It was my idea, not yours"? That really makes him feel small. Maybe you even insist that your husband tell the committee that it was your idea, not his. Jesus was a king, but He left that splendor of heaven and dwelt humbly among men, not seeking to be honored or praised.
It is not rude
You are doing the best you can to prepare supper quickly, but because your husband is very hungry, he feels as if he has waited forever, So he asks, "Still not finished?" Do you answer, "The microwave is not working," when you know very well that you do not even own one? Or do you rudely ask, "Do I have ten hands?" Jesus was asked many times if He was the Son of God. Even though the people's doubts hurt him, He did not answer them rudely. He gave a quiet, gentle answer.
It is not self-seeking
When it comes to the kitchen, do you feel that you are the boss. You cook what you want. Too bad for your husband if he prefers something different. And you complain when he tells you he does not want what you cooked. Give your husband a chance to say what he wants to eat, and let him cook it if he wants. If you prepare it, put your heart into it, and give him the best. Jesus did not live according to His own will, but according to the will of His Father.
It is not easily angered, not irritable
I remember one time when we were going to an engagement party. It had just stopped raining, and the driveway was very muddy. As I was closing the gate, Michael was reversing the car and splashed mud onto my nice skirt. I got really angry, but it was not his fault. He did not make the rain, nor did he intend to make me dirty. I felt bad afterwards. But even if it had been his fault, my anger was not justified. Imagine Jesus naked on the cross. What if He had gotten angry? Ask yourself how easily "easily angered" is.
It keeps no record of wrongs
"Yes, I told you. It serves you right. You did it again last week. You never listen to me." Jesus forgives our sins, andit is as if we had never sinned. He does not remember they ever happened but buries them in the depths of the sea.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth
How many times have you told your husband, "It's okay. Forget it." But you know it's not over, and an evil thought is brooding in your heart. You are delighted because he thinks it's okay, but you've told a lie. Say what you really feel. Tell the truth, even though it may be to no avail. "Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life."
It always protects
Your husband needs both physical and emotional protection just as much as you do. When was the last time you gave him a hug when you met him at the door? Don't you think he feels protected in your arms? And when he is sick, do you show compassion? Do you pray so that he is healed? When he comes home depressed, feeling as if he has failed, how do you respond when he tells you about it? Do you encourage him? Or do you say, "Yes, you thought you were Mr. Know Everything"? Jesus showed compassion for the sick and always tried to lift people's spirits when they were depressed.
Always trusting that your husband is doing the best he can for you is important. Sometimes you may feel that he is being selfish when he spends money to fix the car when you need to go to the hairdresser or you need new clothes. You will find, however, that after the car is fixed, you will want to ride in it, and you will need it to take you around your district. Even though he may have failed to provide what you felt you needed at that time, trust that it was not deliberate. If you look on all sides and assess the situation, you may well see it the way he saw it. Every time ,ce fail, Jesus trusts that we will succeed next time. That's why He gives us choices. His grace is always available for us. He sees things through our eyes because He has met every temptation that we will ever meet. He trusts us to seek help from Him.
"I never want to hold his hand again. He no longer wants to hold mine. Let me forget we ever held hands." As time progresses in marriage, there are some things that couples wrongly outgrow. For example, your husband used to faithfully kiss you good night or good morning, but now he has stopped. Or he has neglected cuddling you and noticing when you are not well. Your hopes of restoration of those early attentions are shattered. Love does not give up or lose hope. It continues to show Love and keeps hoping that those early attentions will be restored. Jesus always continues to love us, and He has the hope of saving us. And we have the hope of salvation.
There are many trying situations in marriage. Children get sick. The car breaks down just when you need it. Your husband may lose his job or feel he is a complete failure in the ministry. Do not feel that you are alone. Jesus was a man of sorrows. He persevered through many trials as He walked on this earth, and He will give you strength to do the same.
Love never fails
Because Jesus had love, He defeated the devil on the cross. He gave His very life for those whom He loved.
May Jesus help us to love more perfectly as we prayerfully seek to be fitted for His kingdom.