Tasks are not completed well…unless you follow a process. Consider painting a room.
Task – determine how much paint I need. There is a process to measuring the room.
Task – going to get the paint. There is a process for driving the car to the store.
Task – painting the room. There is a process.
Task – cleaning up. There is a process.
Getting the idea? Tasks require processes; and the better the process the better the results for completing the task.
I’ve been considering how I approach loving my wife and leading our marriage; and then thinking about how God has approach loving me.
I am great at completing tasks. Give me a list…it will get done. Show me a problem…and I will either fix it or give you a list on how to fix it yourself (dangerous approach in marriage, but that is a post for another day). But if you consider life’s challenges, then you will see that they are not simply tasks to be completed. Our relationship with God, our wives and our families are not tasks to be checked off.
God did not create us; and then say you’re done – good luck. God sacrificed His son for our sins. God continues to invest in us – through grace and forgiveness. Our pastor provided an illustration using forgiveness that is appropriate…”you may embrace forgiveness in a moment, but you must practice forgiveness throughout your life to be transformed by it”. God can only work with you if you participate in the process, so do not disconnect from the process.
Loving our wives like Christ loved the church is not a task – it is a life-long process. If we focus on the process; then we will achieve success in completing the tasks. Focus on your relationship with God; and then you will become better equipped to be an Ephesians 5 husband. Focus on your relationship with your wife; and then you will become more successful at the process of loving your wife
Warning: avoid complacency. You might develop a process to paint a room that yields good results consistently; but if you learn new painting techniques – you can produce even better results. The process is never ending and the goal is to continue to become better every day at displaying the character of God in that process. In relationships, with God and our wives, the process has to be ever evolving, constantly striving to be more and more like Christ each day.
Last thought – ask her to paint the room with you. It is always much better to share the process with someone.
Be strong. Act like men.