On Marriage For Robert

I find it extremely difficult to comment on your personal situation
without knowing the full details nor am I asking for them. Those
details are between you, your wife and the Lord unless you seek Godly
counsel. Any response I give will be generic at best, prayerfully
founded on Scripture and God willing, beneficial to your situation.
Please understand that if I do make a suggestion it may not be the
specific answer to your need, but I will rely on the Lord to direct my
thoughts.

Robert, my thoughts in this post contends that loving our wives go
beyond those feelings of attraction, which you mentioned. Several other
posts can be found here and here. Basically the point is that love
transcends the physical or mental and actively seeks out the well being
of another…and though this may consist of Leadership it is not
necessarily just Leadership.

The source of love is found in the fact that Christ died for us and
gave Himself for us ({{Eph 5:2}}). As a demonstration of God’s love
({{Rom 5:8}}), as a substitution for our sins and as a satisfaction of
God’s anger…Christ did this ({{Rom 3:25, 26}}). He did this in spite of
outright rejection ({{Mark 8:31}}). He did this in spite of completely
unattractiveness on the part of His people and Himself. He did this in
spite of complete incompatibility with sinful and rebellious people.

With such a tremendous example of love we are to actively reciprocate
our love to Him and subsequently, to others around us. The benefit that
our wives receive is that our reflection of Christ’s love is completely
given over to her well-being and betterment ({{Eph 5:25}}).

Unfortunately society has painted a mural to love and it is colored in
fading shades of attraction and emotion. On the contrary, the Bible
speaks of a love of a man pursuing his spouse in the darkest hours and
in the most difficult moments…constantly, powerfully, actively seeking
her greater good and doing so in a manner that glorifies Christ by
mimicking His example of giving Himself for the Church ({{Song 1-8}}).

This is practically difficult and with our mortal bodies we may
consider it nigh impossible. So I would say that a person might feel
emotionally detached and mentally unattractive but this can be overcome
by personally, effectively, dynamically doing what Love demands in
practice. You will be taking the initiative in this action in loving
her as you would love your own physical body ({{Eph 5:28}}).

All the words you wish to use to ignite the old flame of attraction are
empty without this active love. All the understanding in relationships,
or the wisdom of the Dr. Phil’s of the world will not help you in your
situation. This will take hours of prayer, days of dependence on God,
very hard work, dedicated kindness, void of jealousy or arrogance
towards your wife and complete opposed to bitterness in yourself. In so
doing you will have to take great pains not to overly react to anger
and to bear with many things you may go through in this process with
endurance and with expectation ({{1 Cor 13}}; {{Col 3:19}}).

So in practice I would first look to the Lord. He is the fount of all
Active Unconditional Love and it is to Him that we get a better
understanding of others. Without Him we find ourselves in dire
straights and our situation then has little to do with marriage but our
relationship with Him. Afterwards we can effectively deal with our home
and marriage.

In so doing we are to provide for her, be near to her, listen to her,
respect her, talk to her, be gentle with her, remove bitterness from
our voices, be open to her, tell her what is on our mind, put her on
the top of our list, spend time with her, share in burdens with her,
provide for her, think of her, write to her, help her, go out of our
way for her and chiefly pray with and for her.

When our lives are given over to this powerful rhythm of “For Her as
Him for Me” or “For my wife as my Lord Jesus Christ for Me” you will
find that the attraction will return and with power. But this is not
the goal. You will also see that she reciprocates…but this is not the
goal. You will  find yourself growing in Leadership in the home
but this is not the goal. You may find her submitting to your
Leadership but this is not the goal.

You will find that each of you are growing closer to the Lord of
creation and become public examples of what He has done. That’s the
point.

I’ll post this as an article as well so that you may see it if you don’t visit the comments section.


Prayerfully,

-r-

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