Loving With the End in Mind

Monday, April 18, 2016

Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. -Matthew 25:23 (ESV)

As a little girl, I wanted to be a princess. I wanted to be a princess and I dreamed of the day I would meet my prince charming, get married, and “live happily ever after.” Now that I am 25, married, and thinking about the beginning for our family, it can be hard to think about “the end.” And when I say “the end” I mean the end of my life. The end of my husband’s life. The part that comes after the “happily ever after.” As much as I wish marriage lasted forever and ever, there comes a point when “till death do us part” actually happens.

Early on in our dating relationship, Jon and I realized that God had given us each a very special gift. As we continued to date, got engaged, and now married, we realize more than ever how special this gift truly is. Along with this gift comes great responsibility. God has entrusted His son, Jon, to me and me, His daughter, to Jon.

We began reading a book the day we got back from our honeymoon called “You and Me Forever” by Francis and Lisa Chan. I can thank the Chans for helping guide the trajectory of our marriage because of a paragraph right in the introduction. They reminded us that when our spouse dies, they stand before God. I don’t get to stand with Jon, and Jon does not get to stand with me. Jon will be all alone standing before the Creator of the universe.

Did I love him and show him Jesus the best I could while we were on this earth together? Did I help him follow Christ and hold him accountable when things got hard? Did I help prepare him for the moment he would come face to face with God?

The greatest goal I have is to hear these words at the end of my life: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” I want this so badly for my Jon as well. We must not take it lightly when God blesses us and entrusts us with a spouse. There is so much more to life… because then it ends and there is eternity.

Loving with the end in mind put things into perspective. Things you may have argued about aren’t as big of a deal. Finances aren’t as big of a stress. Time is better spent.

Here are some simple ways I love my husband with the end in mind:

- Me or God?
Its been a long day and all I want to do is see my husband. But, he wants to go run at the park and spend time with God, alone. Part of me wants to send him on a guilt trip for not wanting to be at home, but the other part of me knows this isn’t just what he wants, but what he needs. We have to put our husband’s needs above our wants every time.

- Choosing My Battles
Honestly, there have been moments when Jon has upset me because he forgot to do something I asked, or he left his clothes on the floor for the hundredth time, or didn’t make a phone call, etc etc. But when I take the time to actually think about what he did, is it really worth an argument? Is it really worth saying anything at all? Or, is it something I can easily do myself and just move on to focus on more important things like Jesus?

- Follow the Leader
It is evident in scripture that God has made the husband the head of the household. I wouldn’t go as far as to call myself a feminist, but I definitely hold some strong “girl power”, so this didn’t really set well with me when I first heard of the idea. However, if you read Ephesians 5:22-33, neither the wife’s nor the husband’s instruction is any less important than the other. They are equal in dignity and in importance. Something that helped me understand submitting to my husband is that there is a huge difference in submission and oppression. Submission is a choice. Oppression is forced. If your husband is loving you as Christ loved the church, why wouldn’t you want to obey God and submit to such a man of integrity? (this is a whole other blog for another day)

- Pray, Pray, Pray
One of the very best ways you can love your husband with the end in mind is to pray for them. Pray for their heart, eyes, mind, soul, body, strength, community, job, worth, etc. Pray for protection from the enemy who seeks to kill, steal, and destroy them. Be your husband’s personal prayer warrior on a daily basis to help fight against the powers of this world who try to tear him down.

As we pray for our husband, as we try not to argue with our husband, as we submit to our husband, we are planning and preparing for our family’s future. Let us be wives who plan more for our family’s eternity than we plan for our family’s retirement.

“The end” is the end for us all. I pray we spend our lives loving our husband in light of eternity so that one day we will all hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

{photo: @elissagram}

About the Author

Jon and Elizabeth McGlathery are a dynamic newlywed couple from Nashville, Tennessee. Their passion for Christ and their heart for marriages launched Just Married Ministries (justmarriedministries.org) in April 2015. Since then, they have reached thousands in hopes to provide community, encouragement, and resources for newlywed and engaged couples. They have led a quickly growing newlywed ministry at a church in Hendersonville, Tennessee and continue to live missional lives as they carry out a two-year commitment as local missionaries.


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