Over the last year, I have been diligently reading and listening to sermons in an attempt to get ready for marriage. I thought that it might be beneficial to the body of Christ (especially to young single men), if they could see what is on my mind, and in my heart (not because I am an expert of any kind, but because I have been diligently reading other godly men, and diving into the word, in order to find out how I could be a godly and loving husband). Mainly this letter IS for my future wife, and for myself (to serve me as a reminder), but I invite you to read, and reconsider whether our expectations are egocentric or Christ-centered.
I’ve decided to write you a letter- now that we aren’t married- to let you know of the things I expect from myself to give to you. These things will serve as a reminder to me, as I await the day where we will become one.
The Things I Expect From Myself To Give To You
Notice that I said- “The Things I Expect From MYSELF To Give To YOU”. Too often in marriage, and unfortunately in Christian marriages, there is this self-fish focus on behalf of both spouses, where they enter into marriage attempting to find someone who will fulfill all their self-fish needs- this does not glorify our Lord. The husband’s love for his wife should “not seek it’s own self-interest”. Instead, it should seek the interest of the other (which leads to my first point).
- I expect from myself to seek your self-interest above my own.
Marriage is the union of two imperfect people coming together. With that being said- I don’t expect you to fulfill all my “needs” (not that you are incapable of supplying me my needs, but I understand that you WILL fail me at times, and sometimes my “needs” aren’t really needs). Rather, instead of focusing on your failures, I will focus on improving on mine. I will focus on loving you in spite of your shortcomings. Your self interest will be my duty. Not only in the “big” things, but also in the most minute of details, in all that is important to you.
- I expect to provide for you financially.
It is the duty of every man to provide for his wife and family. And a Christian man that does not, “has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever” (1st Timothy 5:8). At the same time, we must remember that even if we have financial burdens, it is not the end of the world. For we do not live for this world. We must always find our joy in the risen savior. In the riches that are in Him. On the other hand, this does not mean that I am not currently working on preparing myself financially for our future. I am doing just that, and with the Lord’s providence, we will be just fine.
- I expect to give my life for you as our Savior gave His for the Church
I believe this entails all of life. I will not only seek to please your material needs, but your spiritual ones as well. Further, I ought to seek your happiness when you are sad, I ought to seek your healing when you are hurt, I ought to seek to provide in all that you need. Even in those things that might seem minuscule to me, if they bother you, I ought to find a solution. My life will be given for yours.
John Gill expresses it more eloquently
Husbands, love your wives,…. Which consists in a strong and cordial affection for them; in a real delight and pleasure in them; in showing respect, and doing honour to them; in seeking their contentment, satisfaction, and pleasure; in a quiet, constant, and comfortable dwelling with them; in providing all things necessary for them; in protecting them from all injuries and abuses; in concealing their faults, and covering their infirmities; in entertaining the best opinion of their persons and actions; and in endeavouring to promote their spiritual good and welfare: this love ought to be hearty and sincere, and not feigned and selfish; it should be shown in private, as well as in public: it should be chaste and single, constant and perpetual; it should exceed that which is bore to neighbours, or even to parents, and should be equal to that a man bears to himself; though not so as to hinder, and break in upon love to God and Christ: many are the reasons why husbands should love their wives; they are given to be helps unto them; they are companions of them; they are wives of covenant; they are their own wives, yea, their own bodies, their own flesh, nay, as themselves; they are their image and their glory; and especially the example of Christ, in his love to his church and people, should engage to it:
I love you, awretchsaved