Have you ever taken a moment to step back and think about how you may or may not be showing Jesus to those whom you love? Every now and then, not near as often as I ought to, I stop to think about how much my husband sees Jesus in the way I love him. Growing in love is one of the most important things I can do, and loving my husband is an area I strongly hope to continue to grow in.
One particular way I fall short in exuding Christ is when I make a habit of zeroing in on what I, at the time, consider to be my husband’s shortcomings. If I am not careful this can become something I catch myself doing a great deal of, whether it be verbalized or merely dwelled upon in my thoughts. Yet I know this is not how I feel my relationship with Jesus truly is, and flaws are not what I want my husband to feel is all I see in him either.
What I do want my husband to feel, to know, is he does not need to conquer mountains to receive my grace, my patience, and my love. Those are freely his because he is mine for this life. Jesus freely gives me His love, patience, and grace. I do not have to fight to be worthy of Him. He calls me His and because I am His I am already worthy. Not only do I know I am worthy being His, but I know I am deeply loved no matter my flaws. I want to emanate that same kind of love to my husband.
When I start to dwell on or just begin to be tempted with the opportunity to brood over my husband’s flaws, it’s important that I stop to consider how I would treat myself in this situation. If I am to sincerely love him as part of myself, I need to judge him with the standard that is set before me. I have to ask, “What does Jesus have to say about this?”.
In Matthew 7:1-5 Jesus remarks,
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
If I want my husband to experience in our relationship what I experience in my relationship with Jesus, I have to be purposeful in reining myself in, along with my thoughts and emotions. Jesus’s grace, His oh so overwhelming and unending love utterly consumes me in the moments I need it most. I can do the same for my husband.
So many times I know he already beats himself up, tears himself down from the inside out just the same way I have. While I am busy thinking about what he could be doing differently in our life, I could be considering my own potential for growth and betterment.
The grace of God never encourages me to stay in low places. Instead, the grace of God shines an impeccable light of love and goodness. While I can not be so pristine as God, I can use the light of Jesus within me to guide my husband in His direction. Small acts of empathy, compassion, and forgiveness can do just that. I adore the way in which Jesus loves me, and through refining these attributes in my own character, I hope to adorn my husband with that same love.