Daily stress from work, family turmoil, uneasy disconnect, marriage falling apart, raising two daughters one with anxiety and panic attacks, the other reaching the teen years and entering into the realm of “dating”, health issues that keep rising up and the list goes on and on. Living life to the fullest sounds like a fairytale and dreaming for a day that I don’t want to ball up and break down seems so far away.
Yesterday I met with a great friend and in our time of spilling out the gory details of what life can do a verse was told to me. Ephesians 5:25: For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.
I have heard this 100’s of times and read it just as many but when we began to look into just what the meaning of what Jesus did for his church it became apparent the level of love that we as husbands are expected to have. The thought of a love like that is mind numbing and seemingly unreachable as a human, that is the point. You will never reach your “true love”, you will never find the end or the pot of gold, we are not meant to reach that destination. Life will continue to change and evolve into a new story, a new chapter, a new journey, life is not meant to reach any destinations or “finish”. We should not stop growing and changing until the day we take our last breath, in that time we will reach our “finish”.
This time in my life has worn me thin, tested my faith, pushed me closer to giving up then I ever have been and this is nothing compared to the sacrifices that Jesus made for his church. Is it my job to lay down my life for my bride as Christ did for his church? Is it my duty to hold back the world and filter out the terrors of the world from my daughter’s eyes and heart? Am I being called to break my body and mind to assure my family is safe from the dirty world we live in? Well if what Ephesians 5:25 says is God’s word then that is exactly what I need to do.
As I grew up being raised by a somewhat single mother and many different “father figures” in my life I learned what a man should be. A man should be there when it is convenient for him, he should provide a paycheck to help provide for what he has created, and he should do the heavy lifting of life….
I am learning today at the age of 33 that my entire life has been one test after another preparing me for this time in my life. I see the pain of my family, the disconnect of my wife’s heart and the sacrifices that have to be made, I see them as a man through a woman’s eyes.
God has raised me to be a bit more emotional than your typical man, he has allowed me to see the pain of a man and a woman that did not make it through marriage after marriage only to secure the feelings so deep in my heart to fight for mine so that I can “attempt” to live up to the standard of loving my wife like He loved his church.
If my life would have been any different I may have simply let go a long time ago yet my heart still burns for my wife like the night we had our first kiss, my back is strong for my family to stand as a man, husband and father against the world and say bring it on…
I am a man of God, with the daily reminder of the name Jesus tattooed over my heart and a cross on my back to remind me of the past I come from nothing from this world will separate me from my family, I bear the scars of a battle that will never end… I am worn thin but will never be broken!