Perhaps your eagerness to be with your husband has gone down the drain. You long for his coming home so you can get a break or have a helping hand. But you don’t look forward to being with him any longer.
Jesus is the pattern your husband should be following. Jesus is like a young stag leaping from ledge to ledge to get to the one he loves. He demonstrates his love for his church (“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” [Romans 5:8]) and brings spiritual gifts. She responds in loving gratitude,
The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping over the mountains; bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag (2:8-9). …Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices (8:14).
What if your husband is running the other way–to his own interests and desires, controlling and/or using you and the children with no resemblance to Christ Jesus. There are many different ways to react in this situation. One is to respond to him with an undeserved, brotherly love.
To love someone who has become so unlovable is no easy task. If you choose to practice undeserved love, you will need the Holy Spirit’s gifts of faith, hope, and love. Never forget that if you have trusted in Christ, you have been promised the great Comforter. He delights in giving spiritual gifts and the strength to use them. He gives because it is to the glory of the Father’s grace and reflects brightly on the Son (John 16:13-14).
Paul showed us what love is like (I Corinthians 13) and said that faith, hope, and love were the best and most lasting of all gifts of the Holy Spirit. Here is brotherly love:
Love is patient and kind; Love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not count up wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth (I Corinthians 13:4-6).
What comfort and assurance of God’s love it is when we are granted the power to respond like this to an unlovable person! Grace takes on a whole new meaning. Realizing you are being given patience and kindness and cordial good manners increases your faith and hope, as well as, your ability to bear this trying circumstance. It warms your heart, and allows you to respond in tenderness. You are reminded that you are the beloved bride of Christ and he is leaping across the mountains of spices to be with you, to comfort you, to give you strength, to bring gifts.
The church in Corinth wrote to Paul with a statement that sounded very pious, “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” Paul responded with advice on marriage that covered more than matters of sexual intimacy. One of the principles was to “lead the life that the Lord has assigned” and “in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God “(I Corinthians 7:17;24). That “with God” is a very important phrase. Without strength and hope from the Holy Spirit, you will not be able to long give out undeserved love to a man who is going his own way.
Morbid introspection won’t do you any good here. Of course you have sinned. Learn to examine yourself and repent of your sins quickly and right away. Then turn your eyes outward toward Him and his tender and loving ways toward you. Look out of yourself and this marriage; look at Jesus’s love and tenderness and kindness. Look at Him leaping over the mountains….bringing fragrant gifts of spices: faith, hope, and love.
Now, of course, Paul was not saying you are to stay in a situation that is abusive or unsafe for yourself or your children (I Corinthians 7:23). A friend told me the other day of how she felt as a little girl, watching her drunk father hit her mother. Her anger and honesty forced her mother to take action. Verbal abuse is also damaging you and your listening children. Get yourself and your children to a safe place. If you find out there is adultery (whether it is on the web, via phone, or in person), you are under no obligation to stay in this marriage (Matthew 19:9). Don’t count on undeserved love to win your husband back or cover-up abuse.
The Holy Spirit will guide you, give you wisdom, and lead you to good counsel. He will give you patience, kindness,and the ability to stop demanding your own way. Ask for these gifts. The following passages will help:
Song of Solomon; Matthew 19:1-12; John 14:15-31; John 16:5-18; Ephesians 5:22-33; I Corinthians 7; I Peter 3:1-12; I John 5:19-20; I Corinthians 13; Matthew 7:7-12.