Husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. — Ephesians 5:28
If your older car breaks down and requires major repairs for it to be road-worthy again, would it be reasonable to use the funds to buy a newer vehicle instead? Of course. But if you broke your hand, wouldn’t you have it fixed at all costs? Of course.
What about in your marriage? If things “break down,” do you give up on it, or go to extremes to repair the relationship? If you are tempted to trade in your spouse for another one, then you have believed the lies of our culture. In chapter 11 of The Love Dare it says, “Don’t let the culture around you determine the worth of your marriage. To compare it with something that can be discarded or replaced is to dishonor God’s purpose for it . . . . Instead, it should be a picture of love between two imperfect people who choose to love each other regardless.” (p. 53)
The truth is that a husband and a wife are one—you are a part of each other. What one experiences, you both experience. When one hurts, you both hurt. When one rejoices, you both rejoice. When there is a problem in that relationship, a couple should go to all lengths to fix the problem. Think carefully about what Paul writes to husbands in Ephesians 5:28-29, “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it . . .” This verse makes it clear that when you show love to your spouse, you are actually showing love to yourself, too.
Consider the other side to that—if you hurt your spouse, you are hurting yourself as well. Did you ever think about that? Love would have us to make sure that his or her needs are met because you are a part of each other. Stephen and Alex Kendrick write, “. . . if she has issues causing pain or frustration, then you should care for these with the same love and tenderness as you would a bodily injury. If he is wounded in some way, you should think of yourself as an instrument that helps bring healing to his life.” (p. 52) This is called cherishing your precious partner, your gift from God.
Here is today’s dare during deployment: The dare today is to choose a gesture that says “I cherish you” and do it cheerfully. But I think in the military we have an opportunity during deployment to take this one step further. What could you do for your spouse that would make them feel cherished? The help for this is going to be found on www.fivelovelanguages.com Choose to do something creative for them today that will make them feel cherished.
When you go to the The Five Love Languages website, you will find that Dr. Gary Chapman has timeless advice for helping you to figure out what means love to your spouse. To some it is a word of affirmation, to some an act of service, to others gifts, to still others it is quality time, and lastly there is the love language of physical touch. Study this—it is information that has saved many a marriage and has enriched many others. Dr. Chapman even has information there for military personnel. You will be blessed . . .
Here are Scriptures to encourage you in truth:
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’ — Proverbs 31:28,29
. . . .remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ — Acts 20:35
Kendrick, Stephen and Alex, The Love Dare (Nashville: B & H Publishing, 2008)