This past year has been a lesson for me on the importance of my role and how important the man is in the structure of the marriage, the family, the business, and every other structure God has created. God has been refining me and rebuilding me (isn't He doing that to us all?!?), especially since Cindy and I got married.
Ephesians 5:25 says "Husbands, love your wives as Christ has loved the church, and gave himself up for her.
But the next verse is really awesome and we leave it out all the time, verse 26 says: "to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word."
But in order to love my wife the way God is calling and leading me to there is one thing that gets in the way and prevents this from happening.....SELFISHNESS. In order to love her as Christ loved the church, I have to be selfless. I lived by myself the entire time I was in college. I had the opportunity to move in with a couple different sets of guys, but like doing my own thing all the time so I stayed by myself through undergrad and grad school. So when I married Cindy and we got an apartment together in Dallas, needless to say it was a huge adjustment for me because I was so used to thinking only about myself all the time. The same thing happened when Cindy graduated and started working in the office with me. I had already been out practicing for about a year and a half and so I had always just done everything I wanted to do, because I was the only person in the office so when she joined me, I had to adjust to not being the only doctor in the office anymore. Even more so lately since we've had Harper. Both of us have had to adjust because now it's not just about us anymore!! Someone told me not so long ago that the reason God doesn't just show you everything you need to know or change you all at once was because if He did you couldn't handle it and now I understand that alot better. I'm glad He teaches us in steps and leads us down the path He has for us as slow or as fast as we require to understand Him and give Him total control.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
The problem with our entire culture is that we've been fed a lie that says the opposite of this verse. The world we live in tells us to do everything for ourselves and let others take care of their own problems. It says to look out for "numero uno" and not to worry about anyone else. But that's not what God wants from us at all. The love that God has for us and wants for us to have for others is totally dependant upon us putting others before us and putting ourselves second in every situation.
So I'm learning my role. My role as a husband, as a father, as a boss, and as a friend. And in each situation, God's teaching me to be self-less. With Cindy and Harper that means that I may not get to go do some of the things I had on my schedule that I thought I would because I need to take them somewhere or need to take care of Harper for Cindy so she can get some stuff done. As a boss I have to always think of myself second when I ask the employees to do something for me. As a friend, I'm trying to be here and be available and not always be the one to need favors or try and keep up with my friends better and not be the one who never calls. Sometimes I get convicted that I'm so busy all the time that I let down in one or all of these areas so I'm trying to work on that some to be able and balance my schedule a little more.
As a man though, I think me take our role and the importance of our support for our wives and kids lightly. And I'm learning more and more how vital the selflessness and unconditional love and support is from us as guys. It's convicting and scary, but challenging and exciting all at the same time.
I think a good gauge for how selfless you are is who you actually think about before you do something, or who you think about when you're setting up your schedule.....are you the first person you think about?? Or someone else? Something to think about I guess.