Loving my Wife
Posted on 25 Mar 2015 by Jerome Leng
“It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison, 27-28
Three days after the wedding, I followed Robyn to Singapore because she had three more weeks of work before the end of her internship at Changi Hospital. Once she was done, we took a day and a half to pack and drove to our “new home” back in Malaysia. Half of our stay will be at Northwest, the other at my parents’ place. We feel like nomads, travelling in our little black Myvi, constantly packing and making sure we have extras for everything (you know, small yet important things like toothbrushes can go missing in all the movement).
Our first week home felt like it ended so quickly. Robyn acquainted herself with the kitchen, cooked kicap kai (chicken with black sauce), omelette with luncheon meat and choy sam for the family. It was the first meal my wife made for me. Words cannot describe the joy that was in my heart when I had the first bite (yes, I may sound like I am exaggerating but I mean it). The Leng household is in good hands. In return, I brought Robyn along to the Christian Fellowship at INTI where I “fed” the students with the Word of God. It had been a long time since she heard me preach, so I gave her a full meal that day from Romans 6.
For our one month anniversary, we celebrated over a cup of coffee at Antipodean; flat white for the Mrs. and an affogato for me. We relaxed, did the cheesy thing of gazing into each other’s eyes and chatted.
I realize that the joys and pleasures of marriage are found in the ordinary and mundane things in life. Washing, cooking, driving, eating, bathing, sleeping, hugging, kissing, playing, studying, working – what are these activities but opportunities for shared service on a daily basis? As Robyn and I live every day in each other’s company, we are growing in our love and appreciation of each other. We do disagree on many things but when we do, we see these times as occasions to display the grace and kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ.
My wife has interesting peculiarities…sorry, I mean, particularities. She likes things to be very clean. As her husband, I can’t help but wonder why. I, for one, will not fight my wife over dust particles. I learnt that her slight obsession for cleanliness was due to her sensitive skin. Robyn has eczema and she itches all over if things aren’t kept clean. Scripture says that husbands should love their own wives as their own bodies (Eph 5.28). So I changed. I now share my wife’s enthusiasm for a clean environment because I understand how much it affects her.
Marriage is a gift from God to men and women that they may learn the love He has for His bride, the church (Eph 2.22-33). I still remember my wedding vow. I said to Robyn that I would love her and lead her sacrificially, just as Christ gave Himself for the church, caring for her as I would myself and building her up to maturity in Christ, till death us do part. Such a high calling is meant to be practically applied daily in our ordinary lives.
As I write this post, Robyn is next to me, having her afternoon nap. I look at her and I see God’s grace towards me. I am blessed to have her as my wife. I am blessed to be married. I thank God that I may taste the joys and hardships of marriage with her. God created marriage for one purpose; it is for our holiness, that we may ponder the ultimate realities of His relationship with the Church as we live with our spouses every day. He is ever wise, teaching us in all things the glories of His love. Amen.