Attentive to what Matters. Marriage Bliss, 8


The barrier

"Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs." (1Pet 3:1b, MSG) The same is true about husbands towards their wife.

"The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband." (1Cor 7:3, NIV2)

How often don’t we hear husbands or wives complain: “He (or she) doesn’t care for me!”

Why?

Because their needs are not being met, and so they come to the conclusion that they are not loved.

Every temperament has its own unique set of needs. For example, my mom needed to receive gifts to know she was loved. Needless to say, she would show her love by buying you something special. To me, however, a present is not nearly as special as hearing my wife or my kids tell me they love me. To me this means everything. My wife, on the other hand, isn't at all impressed by hearing the words, "I love you". She says that talk is cheap, and you need to show your love by your actions. She prefers that I do the dishes, for example, or go do groceries for her.

Since every person has different needs, it is our assignment once we are married to discover how to meet the needs of our spouse. As long as we do so, our marriage will blossom. Truly, marriage is a living illustration of what commitment means, and interestingly, it is the same commitment as when we follow our Saviour with all our hearts. After all, we were created to love with pure motives.

A couple of years ago, we visited Etretat, a lovely city in France on the North Sea. Unfortunately we weren't the only ones who had heard about how quaint the town was, and parking was a problem.

After driving around for what seemed an eternity, we found a parking lot with a couple of free slots. We entered quickly before the spots could disappear. There was an automatic gate at the entrance, complete with a mechanical arm. The arm was down, and the only way into the parking lot was to take a ticket from the machine that indicated our time of arrival.

My wife, who was the designated driver for the trip, was suffering from a torn rotator cuff on her left side, and reaching out to take the ticket was nearly impossible for her. Wanting to help, I stepped out of the car to take the ticket. The barrier then lifted to admit our rented car, and I was happy because I had been able to show my wife love. I had helped her. My smile quickly faded, however, as the mechanical arm dropped straight onto the bridge of my nose, driving my glasses into my skin. Needless to say, I was bleeding, and the entire side of my face screamed out in pain.

After parking the car, my wife joined me."What happened?” she asked.

“The barrier didn’t like my touch, and it made certain that I would know about it!”

“My poor honey!”

These words were like honey in my heart!

Caring for one another is what marriage is about.

By the way, can you get the ticket? For some reason I don’t feel like doing this now!

Be careful though. That mechanical arm can be vicious!

Rob Chaffart

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