We are working our way through Feminine Appeal, the book I've challenged you to read along with me, as I lead the ladies of my church through a once-a-month study. We are studying the seven virtues of a godly wife and mother, as found in Titus 2, and following the mandate (even if virtually) to mentor and be mentored. Please join in! Comment or link up from your blog at the bottom of the post!
"If Paul exhorted Titus to have the older women teach the young women how to love their husbands, we can assume this love is not something that happens spontaneously. Loving our husbands--as biblically defined--is a learned response through the grace of God." (p. 37)
Most of us don't think of love as something that should be difficult; it's a feeling, we're told, isn't it? That is, until we find ourselves deep in the years of "for better or for worse" and giddy feelings of love no longer bubble over, and we realize that love is much more than a feeling; it is a choice. How fitting, then, it is that Paul would exhort wives to love their husbands with a phileo love--a love that is affectionate, tender, and passionate.
I don't know about you, but I've got the serving part down--the laundry and his favorite dinners--but I can sometimes miss blessing The Preacher altogether, by simply failing to communicate that I enjoy him, that I like him, that he is attractive to me. Oh how much my husband needs and desires my affection and not just my service!
Why, then, do we lose those tender thoughts and actions toward our husbands?
"The answer is very simple: Sin destroyed my tender love." (p. 38)
"If we find that our affection for our husband is waning or has subsided altogether, then we do not need to look any further than our own hearts. Where sin is present, warm affection dissipates. Anger, bitterness, criticism, pride, selfishness, fear, laziness--all vigorously oppose tender love. This love cannot survive in a heart that harbors sin." (p. 38)
Author Carolyn Mahaney encourages us to examine our hearts, to focus on our husbands' strengths, to prioritize them, and to show them tender love through a joyful pursuit of cherishing them. May we turn our conviction to action; our selfishness to obedience; our weariness to vigor--through Christ and for Christ alone!
How can you pursue a phileo kind of love towards your husband?
What sinful patterns steal your affectionate love and tender thoughts of him?
What are some creative ways we can cherish our husbands?
Join in! Leave a comment, or write a post in response to this chapter on your own blog and link up below (by the little blue frog!) You have until the end of the week to link up!