A Gracious Gift – Spending Time With Your Spouse

By Susan Burkepile, Contributing Writer

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My husband, Mike, left his plate unguarded for a moment.   And a snickering little boy looted the meat from his sandwich.

This, however, is not an isolated event.

I have found Eli hiding in the pantry, naked, eating cookies .   He has eaten chunks out of a cheese block while my back was turned.  And I often find empty food containers under his covers.

Eli loves food.

But, of course, it doesn’t compare to how much I love him.   He can invade the food pantry, throw tantrums, disobey, and meddle in all sorts of mischief – but I will still love him.  Always.

Unconditional Love

My love for my children is a mere glimpse into the unconditional love that God has for His children.

 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.        Isaiah 49:15 NIV

 

I have the assurance that God, and His steadfast love, are continually before me.  Caring.  Protecting.  Loving.  My confidence comes solely in my identity in Him.  I am his masterpiece.  Loved.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus….  Ephesians 2:10 NLT

 

But while my identity, my confidence, is in Him – He also did not create me to be alone.

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone….”  Genesis 2:18 NIV

 

And, therefore, as I struggle with my self image, my confidence, my anxious heart – God has placed a gracious gift in my life… my husband. God has blessed me with a man who is commanded to love me.  To communicate God’s love.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25 NIV

Sacrificial Love

Recently, though, Mike made a sacrifice that made me feel more loved than anything he has ever done……

He is a dedicated school teacher.  And a professional musician.  And a private lesson instructor.  Every contribution  he makes to his field  also contributes to his professional reputation as both a musician and a teacher.

But on the other side of his dedication was the unintentional sacrifice of his family.  We hardly saw him.    And he always slept through our family time because he had already exhausted himself.

However, as my body reacted to a lifetime of stress, we were forced to evaluate our lifestyle.  And we began to pray for a way to sustain our income while allowing him to spend time at home.

But we did NOT receive any other sources of income. My husband, however, did condense his obligations.  Significantly.

And yet, God has met our financial needs.  And continued to bless my husband with success.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20 NLT

 

And as God has blessed my husband’s decision to re-prioritized his time, He has blessed my heart.

With love.

My husbands love.

God’s love.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.     John 13:34 ESV

 

Husbands…. how can you love your wife with your time?  Do you show her love by the choices you make?  Do you reserve some of yourself for your wife?  Do you intentionally balance work and family?

Wives……do you recognize the love your husband shows you with his time? Do you tell him how much you appreciate his choices that show you love? Do YOU reserve some of yourself for him?