I'm pondering the gift the Lord has given me of my husband this week. I ponder it quite frequently, but for some reason this week it led to a blog post. I'm traveling with my Doug this week for his work. We spent many years apart as I stayed home with children while his work took him out of town quite frequently but we're now in a season when I can be with him.
I have a love/struggle relationship to being with him when he travels. He loves me to be with him on the road. But there are always needs at home to be taken care of, and my struggle comes in staying home instead of being with him. Household chores, ministry to others, office work, time with my children and grandchildren all make me want to be home.
Then, on the other hand, there is a great benefit to being on the road with my Dougie. Much together time that I would so miss while he is away. Reading and chatting and praying together, sleeping together (a great benefit!) and eating meals together.
Many times his work brings meetings with customers and suppliers that I participate in very hesitantly – not my comfort zone and also much time car sitting looking at walls of businesses while he's in meetings and I'm waiting for him. We don't have the luxury of staying in the same place every night as he's in sales and has a territory that keeps him on the move. This week I have that luxury to be in one spot. Hence I'm writing.
We've been going through a series in our small group at church called Pleasing God by R.C. Sproul. It has had me pondering and praying much in my mundane moments of every day (which are many!) of my motivation to please God.
The Lord used my husband and my great love for him to get a better grasp on why I desire to please the Lord. It seemed so simple to me – because I love Him.
I desire to please God with my life and my actions and desires out of my great love for Him.
Taking a Look at God's Word on Pleasing our Neighbor:
Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
~ Romans 15:2
Romans 15:2 tells us to please our neighbor so to build him up and who is our closet neighbor if we are married? Our husbands!
I want you to take a look at the Amplified version of Romans 15:2:
Let each one of us make it a practice to please (make happy) his neighbor for his good and for his true welfare, to edify him [to strengthen him and build him up spiritually].
Let's tear this verse apart together. It starts out with “each” which means every one of us if we're in Christ. There are no exceptions here.
Please is the Greek word aresko which is a command for each of us to behave properly toward those to whom we're related. Your neighbor is anyone near or in need and as I stated above your husband is your closest neighbor. I love that the apostle Paul used “us” in this verse as he includes himself too.
Good (agathos) is defined as useful and means that which is good in its character or constitution and profitable or beneficial in its effect.
To build him up (other translations use the word edification which is the Greek word okidome) can be defined as the literal building of a house but here it is referring to promoting another's growth in Christian wisdom, piety (our reverence and devotion to God), happiness and holiness.
My take from this verse reminds me of our culture today and how it is continually telling us to look to our own rights and desires. God's Word and the example set before us of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2) is telling us the total opposite. The true way to pleasing God and pleasing others is to lay down our rights and to seek whatever we need for the good of the other person. Spiritual needs being a priority. Why do we do this? To please our neighbors and to build them up in the Lord.
To think Jesus died for me
Upon the cross of Calvary
Should move my selfish heart to pray,
“For others, Lord, I'll live each day.” —DJD
(excerpt above taken from Our Daily Bread – Good Church Members)
I want to share with you how after 31 years of marriage I still am smitten with this man. It has only come about because of a work the Lord has done in my life of what if means to cherish and love my husband.
I'm just getting practical with you on what this looks like in my marriage. The list below isn't exhaustive, but I hope to get you thinking and praying over how the Lord would desire you to please your husband in your own marriage.
Ways I Desire to Please My Husband:
- Next to the Lord making him my number one priority relationship in my life.
- Doing things for him that make his day easier.
- Taking care of his physical needs (feeding him well, caring for our home, loving him well and meeting his sexual needs).
- Picking up special items he would enjoy and learn more about things he loves.
- Helping him to grow spiritually by sharing resources and picking him up books that would interest him.
- Listening to him share about his workday and truly being interested.
- Wearing outfits, he loves on me. Including my bedtime wardrobe.
- Holding his hand whenever I get the opportunity.
- Making time together a priority on the calendar.
- Sending him cards, letter, and texts letting him know how much I love him and think about him.
- Praying for him daily.
Ask the Lord to give you a love for Him and self-sacrificial love for your husband today. Pray about ways you can begin to please your husband and repent and seek forgiveness from the Lord and your husband for any selfishness that you have been dealing with in your marriage.
“I have now concentrated all my prayers into one, and that one prayer is this, that I may die to self, and live wholly to Him.”
~ Charles Spurgeon
Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney
The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace