Wednesday, February 14, 2018
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Sometimes my regular routine doesn't allow me as much exercise as I'd like. So when my wife and I would get a few days away, I would always enjoy picking up the pace a little with some biking or hiking that I didn't get to do usually, you know. Of course, I could usually feel that I hadn't been doing it enough. It's still true. The next morning I'm hurting in places I didn't even know I had places. I remember one time we were away at the shore, and I did this sunrise jog on the beach. I felt so healthy - and so beat. I was pounding back on the sand, all tired and sweaty and disgusting, thinking about walking the rest of the way. And there was my wife in the distance. And suddenly my motivation was back. I picked up my pace like an Olympian. I had almost reached her when I saw what she had written in huge letters in the sand, "I love you, Ron." Oh! What a happy ending to a long, hard run!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "'I Love You' At The Finish Line."
Actually that's a happy ending for any man...on any day. So there's something real special about today's word for today from the Word of God, Titus 2:4-5. Paul is speaking about the older women when he says, "They can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God."
Now, Paul is describing here two generations of loving wives, with the veterans teaching the rookies about that kind of love. Women whose husbands know they are really loved, end up reaping what the Proverbs 31 woman did. "Her husband," it says, "has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life...Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband, also, and he praises her."
The first instruction from the older women to the younger women is to be about how to "love their husbands." Now that day when I was running on the beach is a picture of many days in the life of a man close to you - your husband, your father, your brother. He reaches the end of his day tired from the run. And few things mean more to a man than to know he'll find "I love you" at the finish line.
I think a man can handle just about any stress, any disappointment, if he's sure that he'll be safe and appreciated and loved when he gets home. Because all's well that ends well. There are many men who are loved by their wife, but they don't feel loved by her because she is not loving him in his language of love. And if you don't feel loved, it's the same for you as if you aren't.
So, tell him you love him - tell him often, even if it's not your style. Touch him. Do the little things that reassure him and restore him: that favorite meal, a card, a note, a compliment, a love letter. And as much as possible, try to provide some peace at the end of his race.
Now loving your man like this may be hard for you because you've run a long run today, haven't you. I would encourage you to pray the kind of prayer I've had to pray so often to be the man that my wife needed, "Lord, please give me Your strength to put him first (or in my case, her first) when I feel like being first myself." To do that is to do what Jesus would do, in fact, it's what He did over and over. By the way, it's equally important that a wife be welcomed by a man who is putting her needs first. This kind of sacrificing love is a blessed, two-way street. So, this goes both ways, sir.
When the man in your life has been pushing hard, you as a woman have a tremendous opportunity to show your love for him, to build your relationship with him, to keep him going when he feels like giving up. As a woman who goes out of her way to make him feel loved, you could well be the deciding factor in whether or not he even makes it across the finish line.
That "I love you" in the sand never means more than at the finish line after a long, hard run.