Written by Stacy Joy, USA
I recently found myself grumpy and tired after a day of taking care of sick kids, cleaning the house, and doing laundry. My sweet husband Andrew knew it had been a long day and I thought that maybe, just maybe, he would surprise me with flowers, a sweet note, or something, anything, to make me smile.
Well, he didn’t, and that was my tipping point. I had a massive pity party—after all, it had been quite a while since he had done anything romantic for me. I became lost in my own thoughts. Flowers, undivided attention, a handwritten note, a date, a back rub, chocolate—something simple. That’s all women want; is this such a big ask?
That’s when I stopped myself. “Woah. Hold on just a minute, Stacy. How long has it been since you’ve done any of this for him?”
My selfishness immediately repulsed me, but the very real frustration lingered. I knew I was missing the mark, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on how to sort out all of this in a God-honoring way.
So, I opened my Bible. As I began to read, the first verse I came across was Philippians 2:3, which encourages believers to humbly count others as better than ourselves—that is, to not look out for our own interests first but for the interests of others.
Instead of thinking about how long it had been since my husband romanced me, Philippians tells me that I should be asking how long it has been since I had not only romanced him, but considered his very well-being above my own. This, as 1 Corinthians 13:5 tells us, is a mark of true love, which is not self-seeking. This means I need to take simple but active steps to show my consideration and love for Andrew as part of our everyday lives.
As wives, we need to learn what speaks love to our husbands; striving to love them sacrificially through their languages of love. Romance for him may come in the form of planning a scavenger hunt, eating out at a new place, planning get-togethers with his friends, lighting candles after the kids go to sleep, making him coffee in the morning, writing him surprise notes, or even what my husband and I just began doing—putting down our phones at night so we are together with undivided attention.
Now, I know we wives are sinners, who are also married to sinners; we have husbands who are selfish, and some are simply very hard to love. As I considered this matter further, though, God opened my eyes to what romancing our spouse should be founded on: obedience and sacrifice to our Savior. That was the bigger picture to be seen here.
When loving our husband sacrificially seems impossible, may we remember the example we have in Christ—the One who, even having lived perfectly, died a brutal death to make it possible for us to spend eternity with Him. That is true sacrifice, and this is the way in which we have been loved by our maker. Believers are called to follow the example of their King—the One who emptied Himself for His glory and our good, being obedient to the point of dying upon a cross.
These are not easy words to even type, for I fall so short. My selfishness is enslaving. Yet, we must try for the sake of following the call of Christ to live a life giving of ourselves for others—and in this instance, our husbands. Even if we are never thanked or acknowledged, serving can be done with joy because ultimately we are not serving our husbands; we are serving and being obedient to our Savior.