What it Looks Like to Value Your Spouse - Crosswalk Couples Devotional - January 31

What it Looks Like to Value Your Spouse
By Gina Smith

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. - John 15:12

"Good bye. Have a good day." He whispers. I roll over and curl up, pulling the soft quilt up right under my chin. "Be careful. I need you!" I say. He kisses my forehead. "I need you too!" He says. And he's gone. It's the same every day. He is my constant. He is my best friend. Loyal. Devoted. Hardworking. He has never wavered in his love for me. Ever.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? - Ecclesiastes 4:9

God knew what He was doing when He put us together over 30 years ago. Oh, my 24-year-old self thought I loved him. And I did in my own way. I knew he was a good man, but I had no idea what was ahead and how much God would use him in my life. I had no idea how much he would teach me by his quiet example. His patience. His steady, consistent love and commitment...to me and to God.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself -(Ephesians 5:22-23)

He has won me over---again and again and again. His stability has tamed my passionate intensity and has brought balance to my life. His self-discipline has helped to calm my spontaneity. He has taught me how to respond thoughtfully, and to choose to not react heedlessly, to life's circumstances. He has led me in every way - as a parent, in our life's calling, in our relationships. He has led. He has my respect AND he has my heart!

…let the wife see that she respects her husband. - Ephesians 5:33

And yet, he has freed me to be me. He laughs when I laugh. He smiles when I wink at him from across the room. And he loves when I push aside his books, sit on his lap, and wrap my arms around his neck. We help each other. We need each other.

I see my flaws. The wrinkles. The once youthful body that is now aging. He says, "I find maturity in a woman very attractive!"

I see my shortcomings. That I hang on too long and get too involved. He says, "I love your heart for people. It makes me love you more!"

I feel like I am not growing. I get discouraged by my failure. He says, "I love your heart for God. I'm so thankful for you!"

He does laundry. Cleans dishes. Cleans toilets. Makes our bed. Brings me coffee. And still likes to hold my hand.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs" 1 Corinthians 13:4-5:

“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:14:

He values me intentionally and chooses to love me deeply.

He is the man that God gave me. And the more I see, the more I realize how very blessed I am.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12

Gina Smith has been married for 30 years and has 2 grown children. Gina and her husband have been in ministry to college students and young couples for most of their married life, and her husband, Brian, is a college professor and athletic trainer. Gina has written for multiple websites and has authored one book entitled “Grace Gifts: Practical Ways To Help Your Children Understand God’s Grace.” Her desire is to fulfill her most important God-given callings– God follower, wife, mother, member of the body of Christ, and gospel proclaimer. Gina has a passion for mentoring (Titus 2) and encouraging intergenerational relationships. She writes, and is an online mentor, for The MOB Society, an online community and website that offers resources and support to mothers of boys. Gina blogs at GinaLSmith.com

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Originally published Wednesday, 31 January 2024.