"Any man can treat a woman food for a night, but it takes a real man to treat her good for all her life.", or something to that affect.
It was something posted online. How true.
In the background, behind the words, was a subdued image of two very old people. The old woman was at the edge of a single step getting ready to step down. The old man was standing at the base of the step just to the side and facing her. He clasped her extended hand in his and both were focused on one another and that next step. You could sense her hesitancy. But he was standing there, feet apart, steadied by a can in his other hand looking at her as if to say "Ok. I've got you. Come along." And to me his posture, the way he stood, his arm out, it was for the purpose of support but it gave me the sense he was presenting her to the day, to the walk, to the world outside their door. "This is my wife. Isn't she beautiful!"
There was another posting sometime back, an account of a ninety-seven year old man who every day would walk two miles from his home to a facility where his wife was. She had sever dementia of a sort and had no idea who this man was. But he knew who she was. Twenty years, everyday, he walked to be with his wife.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 AKJV
There is more than one way to lay down your life. A man may give his life in a single act, in a moment of intense passion, the ultimate sacrifice, proof of great love. But how common is that?
There is an ongoing, "living giving" of life that is offered over periods of minutes and hours, months, and years, over a lifetime together. This is another way of "laying down our live" for that consummate earthly friend, the one with whom our heart and body is intertwined, labor and love, bitter and sweet.
Our Redeemer does both.
Patiently, long sufferingly, He remains faithful to His created ones, when we are faithful, when we are not, when we forget who He is, when we are young and on fire, when we grow old and need help with every step.
And, in a day, a grief moment, in His passion, He Gave His life that way as well.
"No greater love...."
And we - men - husbands - are called to be like Him. With the one hand holding His and the other clasping hers, a man can be a real man.
Oh to be like You.
Oh to lay down our lives in a moment, for a lifetime.
To know Your love Father and to lavish the other with it.
In Yeshua's name we pray.
May God's love be in us all.