Out of the billions of weddings I have attended in my lifetime there are two that stand out to me the most. Mine of course is the first, and the second isn’t that of a family member but rather a friend who in her vows spoke such truth that it dwells in my mind daily. Sitting at her wedding we watched and listened as her and her groom exchanged their own vows. Anticipating a cliche my expectations were met with astonishment when she promised her husband one thing “I promise to love you as you are, not as I want you to be”. In that moment I was pierced with an ice cold knife that drained all arrogance from my heart. Recognizing my own guilt I was instantly ashamed that this woman who was not yet even married loved her groom with more conviction than I loved my husband of a year and a half.
The question that probed my mind was ‘am I loving Clay 100% just the way he is?’. Do you love your spouse exactly as they are, or are we holding out for them to change before we love them completely? If you are anything like me then you realize the absence of change is the defining factor of love in the scenario. But what if Clay never changes? Am I supposed to only love him completely when he becomes exactly the man I want him to be? In that case I will forever love him inadequately because the only man who fits my dream characteristics is Jesus. Clay is not perfect and if I keep searching for him to be perfect than I will be met with constant disappointment.
I need to love my husband as he is right this moment, not the man he might be in 5 years. I am called to love him even though I wish he would be more romantic, do random acts of kindness, unload the dishes without being asked or listen and respond rather than just nodding and shrugging. Clay will emphatically never be exactly who I want him to be and neither will I. I will never be the perfect wife, I am so beyond flawed you can practically see the glue that holds me together. As a Godly wife I am purposed to posture myself before my husband and give him my all. Her vows not only convicted me of my selfishness, but also of my lack of giving myself fully to him. I was reserving a piece for the version of him I will never have; and I came to realize that I am desperately undeserving of that perfect guy.
Thank goodness Clay is not exactly who I want him to be. If he were I would pursue him more than God. There is a beauty to our flaws and a purpose for our imperfection. Love your husband as he is, because Christ is exactly who you want him to be.