Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Loving my wife... when she's a new mother.

This is something of a follow-up to Loving My Wife that I wrote last summer. It also resonates with Dave Warnock's post on How to help your wife when there is a new baby.

Previously I reflected that this Bible teacher isn't going to best love his wife by filedumping conference audio, study and the like onto my wife when I get home, instinctive as that is for me. Rather, if I've really studied and benefitted from a conference - if I've met Jesus - then the effect should be transformational, and that should help me fulfil my primary humanward calling, to love my wife, through love, kindness, patience etc. Which isn't to say I shouldn't be verbally bringing her to see and treasure Christ, but that firstly I should adorn that gospel with my life. Preaching the gospel without words, one could say.

Life with our newborn son, now 10lb 10oz of him, in the house follows in the stead of this. One might give her the Bish-family iPod with sermons to listen to whilst breastfeeding at 2am, but I'm inclined to think that this isn't her primary need. For a while she's not likely to be in any position to take in sermons from an iPod or even at church, or to read the Bible much. She's been through phenomenal trauma and then has the drain of motherhood to deal with hour by hour.

I'm not holding myself up as a model husband here at all, my patience has failed, I've kept records of wrongs at points, I've spoken harshly in the last month more than I want to admit. But it seems to me that I might best serve my wife by dying to myself, by getting the tea and honey sandwiches that will get her through the night feed, by taking Zach for a walk around the house when he's crying so that she can get that extra hour of sleep she needs, by changing that nappy, by washing up, by cooking. Some might call that unmanly. Some might say that's not my place, but last I checked I was called to be like Jesus, and he became the servant of all. I think that's what leading my family looks like.

Yes I will pray for and with my wife, yes I will seek to remind her of the glories of the gospel, but I want the loudest voice to be the embodiment of the gospel through my service of her, and my repentance for my lack of service. The next way to love her is to hit publish, then hit that red button in the top corner of the screen, get out of my study and go be with her and my son.