I love my son so much.
Loving my son came naturally and instantly to my wife and I. The moment he was born I looked at him and then I looked at my wife as she repeatedly with tears in her eyes shouted with joy, "My baby, my baby!" I watched her eyes as she instantly fell madly in love with Joshua.
I fell for him almost as fast.
There is a love I have for my son that is deep and even though he's only three weeks old I know it's a lasting love. I can't imagine ever not being in love with him.
Joshua does absolutely nothing to deserve this love. All he does now is need. He gives us nothing other than soft skin to kiss and big eyes to look into now. He needs food every few hours and he shouts for it. He needs to be held and shouts for it. He needs God only knows what and he shouts for it. He poops and pees and needs to be cleaned. He wakes us up. He keeps us up. He worries us. He changes our routine. He does absolutely nothing to deserve the love we have for him.
Yet we love him immensely and couldn't stop even if we wanted.
Some of you may be thinking this post is an analogy for how God loves us and it very well could be, but it's not.
Love for my son comes to me so easily and that's a good thing, but it's made me realize that I need to put more effort into loving my wife.
I love Christine deeply and I've covenanted to love her up to the day I die and I intend to keep that promise; but I'll be honest and if you're honest you'll likely agree... love for my wife doesn't come as easily as love for my son.
Sadly, unlike my love for Joshua that comes with no strings attached and no requirements, I often have unpronounced requirements for my love for Christine. I too often love Christine for what she does to deserve it and not just because she is my wife.
Christine and I have a good, healthy and happy marriage. Being married to her is one of the greatest blessings and joys of my life. But since the birth of Joshua I've been struck by the fact that unconditional love for my wife takes more effort to cultivate than love for my son. Love for her will require effort because it doesn't come naturally despite what we feel on our great days.
My love for my son may remind you of God's love for us. It does for me in a small way, too. And that reminds me of this:
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her..." Ephesians 5:25
Holding Joshua has shown me that my heart is capable of more unconditional love that I knew was possible. My wife deserves that depth of love from me and I will need to work to give it to her, not because she deserves it but simply because she is my wife.
I challenge myself and you when I say, men, let's think of ways we can do the work required to love our wives with more stability, more longevity and more depth today.