Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Learning to Love

When Malana was pregnant with our first child, she became really ill with “morning sickness”. You know, the kind that lasts all day and goes on for 7-8 months. She discovered she was pregnant soon after the second month of our marriage.

I was working making office furniture that was usually covered with a plastic laminate. In order to clean off the excess contact cement I washed my hands and everything else with lacquer thinner. Now this lacquer thinner would get into my breath and would take a while for it to completely dissipate.

Since we were newly married Malana was going to be the perfect wife and greet me with a kiss as I came home and came in the front door. But these days that I worked with the contact cement were becoming more common, and, when she greeted me at the door with a kiss, she would get a biff whiff of lacquer thinner. Her poor unsettled stomach couldn’t withstand the shock and she would run to the bathroom and vomit.

This went on for some time. I would go to work, come home, get greeted at the door with a kiss, and Malana would run to the bathroom and vomit. Besides all this, the smells of food being cooked were too strong and she felt lousy all the time. Not much got done while I was away at work.

Soon afterwards I went outside to the back porch, lifted up my hands, and complained to God. “God”, I said. “This is awful. This isn’t what I though marriage would be. What am I to do?”

There have been few times in my life where God so quickly answered. He spoke clearly in my heart in a voice that allowed for no wiggle room. He said, “Go back in there and love her!”

Well, that made sense to me. The Bible does say after all the husbands are to love their wives. So I went back I there and loved her.

But nothing changed. She still greeted me at the door with a kiss and ran to the bathroom to vomit. I still needed to do most of the cooking and stuff. After two weeks I got tired of it all and went again out to the back porch to pray.

“What should I do now Lord?” I asked. “I loved her but nothing has changed.” No sooner was my complaint out of my mouth than I heard again the voice of the Lord, the voice that breaks cedars, speaking in my heart. He said, ever so clearly, “Go back in there and love her!”

Then it dawned on me. I was to love her because I was to love her, not for the changes I thought it might make. She was deserving of love, always.

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