lessons in loving

My dear, practical friend Rob,

We are gathered tonight on this night of blessing to encourage you as you marry the lovely Lindy Graves next week.

Tonight you are surrounded by practical men. And they will give you a lot of practical advice. But as your most romantic friend, as a man who reads novels and writes sonnets, I want to give you more romantic suggestions.

You will need them.

First, about the flowers. Yes, I know that fresh cut flowers will die next week. A plant is much more practical. Ignore this impulse and go with the flowers. Lindy will tell you she prefers a plant because she knows you want to buy her one. But she will in fact love the flowers.

She will treasure the sight of them and she will delight in the scent of them. She will be moved by your willingness to savor a moment rather than invest in a decoration.

Let her buy her own plants.

When you buy her flowers you are making an investment of a different sort. You are saying I saw something lovely and I thought of you. This is what she needs.

And speaking of needs, no woman really wants a blender or a mixer for Christmas, no matter what she says. She may need a blender, but don’t mistake it for a gift.

Through the year, notice what she pauses to admire. Listen to her talk about things she loves. Pay attention if she touches something more than once or goes back to look at it again.

Keep a list. I can usually list about five things I know my wife wants that she has forgotten she desired. Or else she has put them out of her head, thinking them too expensive or too impractical.

Notice these things and remember them. You are a channel of Christ’s grace to her. His grace breaks through into our lives every single day. Let yours break into hers.

And finally, say the things she needs to hear, even if you’ve already said them.

She will never tire of hearing you say you love her. I tell my wife this several times a day. I call her gorgemous, a word I invented, and I literally say that I am madly and passionately in love with her. There are other endearments too private to share. But Katie needs to hear them and I need to say them.

When Lindy feels unworthy you must remind her that you set your love upon her. She needs to hear you say that it is constant and gracious and good. Your words too are gifts.

Christ is our example of how to love our wives, of course. He gives us fleeting, vibrant sunsets. You can give her flowers. He gives us unexpected gifts, moments of glory and fragments of delight. He is your example.

And he assures us of his love as often as we hear his voice. We never tire of his assurance.

Nor will Lindy tire of yours.

So speak freely of your love.

Remember the covenant you make. Pour your life into hers, in impractical, extravagant, and unexpected ways.

Christ did this for you.

Do it for Lindy.

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About wally metts

Wally Metts is the daysman. He is director of graduate studies in communication at Spring Arbor University and is a pastor at Countryside Bible Church in Jonesville, MI. The father of four adult children, he and his wife Katie raise barn cats and Christmas trees in Michigan. His grandchildren call him Santa.

5 Responses to “lessons in loving”

  1. Moved me to tears… even though I’m not the same “Rob.”

  2. Thanks for this Mr. Metts. I’m saving this blog. This may really come in handy someday.
    My favorite quote: “Christ is our example of how to love our wives, of course. He gives us fleeting, vibrant sunsets. You can give her flowers”

  3. This response is long overdue . . . too much baking & holiday prep to be more prompt this time!

    As if the “night of blessing” alternate to the trashy bachelor party wasn’t enough to melt my heart, this beautiful advice has turned me into a puddle. It’s a keeper, and should be required reading for all dating, engaged and even married men in our churches!

    My fave quote: ” And finally, say the things she needs to hear, even if you’ve already said them. She will never tire of hearing you say you love her.”
    Yup . . . after 30 years of marriage those are still the words I treasure most from my husband’s lips . . . especially when he’s gazing tenderly into my eyes.

    Keep up the romantic posts Dr. Metts!

    Linda 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. a blessing indeed | the daysman - June 30, 2012

    […] Lessons in loving […]

  2. loving leadership | the daysman - July 26, 2012

    […] charges or essays in this series. A few good men A love story retold Lessons in loving A night of blessing Marriage as a cross cultural experience The mystery of marriage for Jon Hoyt on […]

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