How Much Do You Love Your Husband?

 
At the time writing this, my wife and I have just celebrated our 45th Wedding Anniversary. I remember the first time I met her, and I knew straight away that this was the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I remember the courting days well; time had no meaning. I walked on air, there were late bedtimes, as I walked home after walking her home, butterflies in the stomach, a tickle in my heart that I couldn’t scratch, etc., etc. It’s different now. I’m not saying I don’t love her as much. In fact, I love her even more. But it’s a different kind of love.
 
My wife and I have two beautiful daughters, and four lovely grandchildren, and God has really blessed our marriage. I am keenly aware of the value of time. I’m heavier than I should be; I’m not as light on my feet. My body creaks at times. I need my sleep so I go to bed earlier, and those butterflies don’t tickle quite as much.
 
The church is described in Scripture as the “Bride of Christ.” That implies some very specific roles and responsibilities. For instance, a bride should love her husband more than anything else. She should be supportive of his goals and life-purpose. She should be loyal at all times, defending him from criticism. She should share his joys and his sorrows.
 
She should be faithful to him at all times, and listen to what he wants and do it. She should keep the temple of her body healthy, and keep vows made to him. She should bear him children. Is the Bridegroom happy with his Bride?
 
I do have the privilege of visiting a number of churches, and become very saddened by the falling numbers of the congregations. One very large church south of Bedford, which several years ago had regular congregations in excess of 100, is now closing, as the regular congregation is down to 3.
 
And yet, have you ever noticed that new people fall in love with the church, often at first sight? I do remember a couple who attended my church, who discovered us by accident and asked, “Where have you been all my life?”
I could almost hear those “sour grapes” thinking, “What’s the matter with them? When they find out what we are really like, they won’t be so exuberant!”
 
The problem is that many of us have never had the joy of discovering the church for the first time. We were carried in as babes, dragged in as toddlers, or pushed in as teenagers.
 
We should, of course, be asking, “What do they see in us that we don’t see for ourselves?” If we discovered the answer to that question, maybe we’d fall in love with the church – perhaps for the first time. Who knows what might happen then!
 
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
 
Stuart Grant
Chaplain
The Limes MHA