Chad is usually late coming home from work. A pastor, he gets caught up in his studying or his sermon-listening or his counseling. I suspect sometimes he gets caught up in watching cat videos on the internet. Because don’t we all.
I vividly remember one day when he was running late, and I was worn out and irritated and frustrated. I called him for the fifth time in an hour, and when he finally answered the phone I came at him. What are you doing?! I huffed. I honestly wondered how he could possibly NOT be thinking of me and my situation. Surely he realized that I was being wildly inconvenienced by his tardiness. Despite the fact that my question sliced through the phone like a self-righteous sword, Chad’s answer came back quietly and with an air of immense patience: I’m just sharing the gospel with someone.
Oh. Carry on, then.
Meekly, I hung up the phone and turned to my rowdy children with a new sense of purpose in this moment. The Holy Spirit was giving me an opportunity to see that I could be a part of the gospel sharing moment that was happening in Chad’s office. And the way I could do that is by allowing Chad to sacrifice some of the time that I wanted from him so that he could give it to someone else who, just like me, desperately needs Christ.
Tonight I write this to you while the second sweet man of the evening sits in our living room across from my husband. Discipleship is happening here tonight. Husbands and fathers are growing closer to Christ, and it blesses my soul to know that here, in our home, the man that I love is giving his life to those who trust him as their shepherd.
One thing that I’ve learned through this nineteen year journey of marriage is that what you really want to look for in a husband is not someone who will cater to your every whim. It isn’t someone who is so afraid of you that he would rather disobey God than incur your wrath. Search for the man who is always looking for ways to serve Christ and the church. Hold out for a man who is more in tune with the Holy Spirit of God than he is in tune with your moods. He is the one, my sisters, who will live a life that challenges you and helps you to see the world through spiritual eyes. He is the one who will love you truly and deeply. Who will lay himself down for you and your children. He is the one who will care for you mind, body, and soul. The man who is in love with Jesus loves like Jesus, with grace and patience and gentleness and mercy. He will cradle you as a gift from God, and he will take seriously his responsibility to see you grow in Christ. His love for you is spiritual. It is God-given and truly blessed in every sense. Marry the one who loves Jesus more than he loves you. And then watch how the Lord will change you just because you get the privilege of watching the man you love adore his Savior.
It’s possible he won’t answer his phone when you call. It’s possible that when you finally reach him with your huffiness and your entitled attitude he will softly explain that he is serving the Lord. It’s possible that you will find yourself humbled, your spiritual eyesight adjusted back to 20/20, and once again you will thank our gracious God for a man who loves Jesus even more than he loves you.
From one pastor’s wife to another, amen and amen!
That’s inspiring to a fumbling husband who wants to be more like that .Thanks for sharing!
Markus, I’m the one she’s writing about and I’m just a fumbling husband too.
Melissa-Find someone who loves Jesus more than he/she loves you has been our repeated advice to our children. It is also my chief question with those for whom I do premarital counseling. Bless you, dear sister. It’s a good word, well worth repeating.