Love in Humility

Recently my pastor was teaching on love and some of its aspects. One of the aspects that stuck out to me was love in humility. This is the type of love that is not seen by all. It’s the behind the scenes action of which not many can testify. I had been learning and growing in this area without being able to categorize it. Now that I’ve experienced it, I must say, it takes quite a bit of self denial. But it is natural to desire recognition for doing selfless acts because they are rarely seen, in addition to feeling unappreciated by the person receiving. I am also reminded of 1 Corinthians 13 which says that love is not boastful. Until recently, I thought that verse only referred to boasting about material things or just making a big deal about your own personal accomplishments and such; but I realized love doesn’t boast about loving either. It does not point out how much and how often you pray for the one you love or how you’ve fasted for their breakthrough, or how you’ve neglected to pray for yourself because you’ve been “so busy” caring (worrying) about them. The truth I’ve found is that God always takes care of you when you are about His business. If He puts it on your heart to cover someone in prayer and to really commit to it and bear their burden for that moment, know that your needs will be met in return for your obedience. Might I also add as a side note that if you begin to complain about your “assignment” to pray for someone, you may need to check your own intentions. You may not be praying from a place of love but rather judgment, frustration, or obligation, because love is always willing to believe and bear all things. So no matter how long it takes for that person to come out or be delivered, the love you have helps you to continue to persevere on their behalf, no matter the obstacles.

The truth is that love is humble. If we consider that God is love and look at the way He loves us in the scriptures and even in our lives, there’s no amount of selfishness in it. Everything He does is for us. He’s so awesome that He can get glory out of what He does but we benefit from everything, even His commandments. You may feel confined trying to obey God’s commandments, but everything is for your good. God isn’t power hungry or manipulative. He already has all power so He doesn’t have to fight for that. He’s sovereign, so things go the way He pleases every time. He’s holy, but we have sinful nature and that’s the friction we experience. It is the reason we oppose the idea of denying ourselves of things that please us but not God. But through relationship with Him, we find His image in us, which makes it easier for us to be more like Him.

Love and care for others without needing applause. Do things for others without expecting to be reciprocated. Jesus loved us before we even were born and no matter what we do, He has plans to continue to love us. Instead He intercedes to the Father on our behalf that He might have mercy on us and draw us in. His perfect love is difficult to fathom at times because there’s nothing like it but it is real nonetheless. Therefore if He lives within us, we are capable of allowing His love to move through us and touch someone else.

Trophy Wife versus The Rib

The other day I was reflecting on one of my past relationships and how I felt being with that guy. Although he was a great guy and I know he cared about me, there was this one thing that I didn’t like. He really focused on my physical appearance and it was clear that he wanted to show me off. Because we were intimate, he was very well aware of my shape and he would often tell me to wear clothes that really accentuated it. He would say things like “There are girls out there who would kill for your body, you should show it off.” That didn’t mean anything to me. I mean it was great to have a nice body and no one wants to be fat, but to me, it wasn’t an opportunity to show the world how God made me. I am conservative by nature. I don’t show much skin or wear very tight clothes because I’ve been shapely from a young age and have despised the physical attention I attracted unintentionally. To him, I was something to show off to the eyes of the world but to me, I was (and am) much more. Now that I am in a deeper place spiritually, and have found even more value within myself, I refuse to simply be something to look at and lust over. From my young age I have battled with accepting who I am because the world tells you you’ve made it if your physically attractive but what they don’t tell you about is the huge void that comes with that territory; The emptiness that comes with shallow connections and being misunderstood. Many people stop at the outside and take you for what they see and insult your intelligence because of their stereotype of a beautiful girl. But I have depth and I enjoy thought provoking conversations but unfortunately, it took a while for ME to even realize that about myself because I allowed people to stop at what they saw on the outside.

There is a term that is used to describe a wife who seems to only have physical worth; she is the Trophy Wife. This woman is always on point, dressed to the tee, hair and nails always done, never seen without a full face of make up and she is in shape. She makes her husband look good when she’s on his arm. She’s the topic of discussion in her husband’s friend circle as the men covet her and fish for intimate details of their relationship. Sadly though, many of those types of wives only contribute to how their husbands LOOKS. She doesn’t speak to his character, she doesn’t help him grow or push him to his untapped potential. Although this type of woman is the jackpot in some man’s fantasy, this is never what God intended for the wife.

Genesis 2:21-22 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.

Eve was created from Adam’s rib. A rib is an internal bone structure that protects the fragile organs within the abdominal area. I believe there is a definitely a reason why God chose Adam’s rib from which to make Eve to metaphorically describe the function of a wife.

If you look at a reasonably healthy person, their ribs are not usually bursting through their skin or shirt. Although the ribs are there and serving their purpose they are not always visible. I believe that a wife should be like that in some aspect. Yes, a husband should be proud to have her and cherish her, but highlighting only her physical appearance is not the only way to “show her off”. Usually the only time you see someone’s ribs is when they are frail and mostly likely that is because of some sickness. In that same way, a wife should be most visible when her husband needs her the most. Those are the times he should be bragging on how much of a support system she has been for him. Those are the attributes that should be emphasized in a conversation about a man’s wife, the value she adds to him and not how they look together as a couple.

Although it is a man’s natural instinct to protect a woman, wives protect their husband in a different way. Men do the physical protecting while wives take care of the mental and spiritual protection. Women protect men from illogical moves and bad decisions. Men are the leaders, which gives them control but they are also risk takers and will do things that may not pan out well because they don’t always think that far ahead. Men are definitely intelligent but sometimes women have to talk some sense into them and no one has that access after a mother except a wife. A wife has access to the intimate places; she sees him in his most vulnerable moments and knows how to minister to him in a way to build him back up. A husband should be able to trust that a wife won’t advise him in the wrong direction, take advantage of him or forget that he’s not superman and help him even when he forgets himself.

Women: by all means, keep yourself up and look your best. You don’t have to be at home in “comfortable clothes” all days cleaning and praying (unless that’s what you get into). Just remember when you get home, the things that really count take place. Know who you are to your husband, you’re more than sex, dinner and a clean house. He needs you; you get him, you believe in him and you support him.