From the beginning, Rob loved me as I’d never experienced. God’s love came through Rob, and I let it soak into me—and I loved him back. But I saw him as my Savior. A good man will step into a challenge that requires the best of him, and what requires more than protecting and loving his wife and children? As we grew in exquisite harmony, we believed by default that we could meet each other’s needs. The more I sought him [instead of Jesus] for meaning, the more his shoulders strained. The more he turned on me for expecting so much [instead of turning to Jesus], the more inadequate we both felt.
I picture a little girl whose daddy swings her on his shoulder and carries her effortlessly. But the older she gets… and the older he gets… the more his shoulders strain. After a while he can’t carry her. Eventually she’s going to have to support him.
When we marry, our husband thinks nothing of carrying the weight of the family, but the more time passes, the more he struggles to carry it. As the family grows, the needs increase. The expenses increase. But the man was never meant to carry it. God spends half His time trying to show us we can’t carry our own lives!
I grieve for men who carry the weight of the world, not realizing that all the while, they could hand it over to Jesus. I also grieve that women have expected everything of them, instead of putting all their weight on their Savior. Christ already requires complete sacrifice from them, which is possible only through Him, but God will not let any husband usurp His role as Savior. If we could grasp this piece in the depths of our soul, it would transform our marriages!
God alone is sovereign. Our displeasure with our spouse really reflects our displeasure with God for the circumstance He allows us to be in.
Husbands and wives both have an important job: the privilege to love, nurture and encourage their spouse as they expand into their own life in Christ. We can help each other along by choosing to love and respect each other—Christ alone will meet their deepest needs.
We cannot make our spouse grow any more than we can make a plant grow. We’re grafted into the vine to produce fruit for us both to enjoy. The best we can offer is a safe environment for them to bloom in Christ, encouraging and loving them as we go, remembering all the while that He is their Savior, not us.