Recently I caught the last part of the Christian flick Fireproof. The film is about Caleb Holt, a husband who sets out on one last ditch effort to save his troubled marriage to Catherine by implementing a 40 day test called “The Love Dare.” At first, Caleb’s heart isn’t in what he’s doing, but he eventually comes to realize how selfish he’s been and what it truly means to love his wife.
What struck me watching the film this time around was the level of inconvenience Caleb was willing to bear in order to love Catherine…Spoiler Alert in case you haven’t seen it...After learning that his wife’s mother needed some specialized home care equipment that her parents couldn’t afford, Caleb secretly covered the cost with $24,000 he had been saving up for a new fishing boat.
$24,000 can buy a very sweet fishing boat. Believe me, I’ve looked.
Caleb’s bighearted gesture reminded me of a universal truth:
If you want to be considerate of your spouse…get ready to be inconvenienced.
Up for loving your spouse…get ready to have your schedule interrupted and your plans changed. Are you up for taking an interest in what’s important to him/her…get ready to do something that you wouldn’t choose to do yourself, but you willingly choose to do it because it’s valuable to him/her.
As a husband and Christian counselor, one of the best pieces of marital advice I’ve run across continues to come back something Jesus said. When asked what was the most important commandment, He said to love God with everything in you and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-38). No. Jesus may have not had a marital relationship in mind when he spoke these words, but if there is one relationship where His words apply…it is marriage. Whether a couple is married twenty plus years and in the throes of marital discord or just coming off their honeymoon, this is some of the best advice for both husband and wife (not just one) to take to heart and put into practice.
Loving others as we love ourselves can be inconvenient, but it has the power to produce deep intimacy and rescue even the most troubled marriage.