Thursday, May 9, 2013
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If you're into fitness, you'll be happy to know that at times my wife and I have been walking together several times a week. Now, we lived in a place where it was three and a half miles around our local lake, and that was really good. For two reasons: First of all, that walk improved our physical condition-and I know that's something you'd be happy about. But it also gave us time to talk.
Now, there's a problem. I like to walk faster. I think I was doing those three and a half miles in about forty-two minutes, which is a pretty good pace. But I've learned that walking and talking can get in each other's way, especially if you walk too fast and I have a tendency to do that. When we chug up and down our local hills at my hyper pace, my wife would often voice a very legitimate complaint. She'd say, "Ron, you're walking too fast to talk!" I was doing that long before we started our little hikes.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Walking Too Fast to Talk."
Our word for today from the Word of God; some of my favorite verses I love to return to - Ephesians chapter 5, and I'm going to begin reading at verse 25. This is that marriage passage, you know, about how husbands should treat wives and wives treat their husbands. I call it elbow verses. You ever notice in church when the pastor speaks on this how couples start to elbow each other when it gets to that part that's supposed to apply to your partner? Yeah, elbow verses, "Hey, you better listen to this, Honey."
We're going to look at the man's part today. "Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Verse 28 says, "Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself." Verse 29, "After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church."
Now, there are some practical things here, because we're told that the biblical way for a husband to treat his wife is to love her as Christ loved the church. And then it says a couple of practical things that deal with feeding her and caring for her. That's a lot more than material, because a woman is more than anything an emotional, spiritual person. She needs to be spiritually fed and spiritually cared for. And apparently, love means sacrifice. Because it says, "As Christ laid down His life."
Now, a woman's greatest need, I think, is to know she's heard by her man. She needs to be loved, she sure needs to be valued, and being heard by him is how she knows she's loved and valued maybe more than any other way. In other words, a woman needs focused time. And guess what a man has the hardest time giving? Time...time to listen.
Frankly, our wives feel neglected and demoted because we're walking too fast to talk. "If she can catch me, she can talk to me. If she can keep it to three minutes, well then she can have my attention." That's not love. That's not like Jesus. Time limit? Do you have to chase Him to get His attention? "Husbands love your wives as Christ loves us."
If you're married or if you're in love, the woman you love needs time to be heard. When a woman isn't heard, she starts to talk louder, and longer, and more often. And she nags because she's not been heard. That time with her needs to be a deliberate choice you make, a sacrificial choice, "I'm all yours, Honey, and I'm yours for a while." That kind of love will create a home that is a caring place, safe place for the man who lives there.
Remember what I've learned about walking with my wife. You have to slow down in order to talk, and her language of love is your willingness to listen.