I just did Day 3 of the incredible bible study I won’t stop mentioning until you all sign up…seriously, the ladies who put this together are so wise. This is the third time I’ve done one of their studies and every time changes me. The first was an Advent study, next they did one for Lent, and now the focus is our marriage vows. Whether you are married or discerning marriage, I truly believe you would find this fruitful. They do write a reflection each week, but the study is based on the ancient practice of Lectio Divina and the simple instructions to do this are clearly outlined and easy to follow. Really a beautiful experience. It’s still not too late to join up…
Anyway, today’s verses were 1 Peter 4:8-10. In my Ignatius Study Bible they look like this:
“Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Practice hospitality ungrudgingly to one another. As each as received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
Everybody’s experience with these verses is going to be different, and one of the things I love most about Lectio Divina is that your prayer becomes based on what, you might say, jumps out at you. I read these verses several times, but right away one verse had popped.
And not only did it pop, it practically jumped up into my face.
It immediately made me think of one of the sweetest women I have ever known – my Aunt Herlinda. She died suddenly just a few months before my Adeline was born, and one of the things that stood out at the Rosary vigil we had for her was a story about how every day when her husband, my Uncle Mark, arrived home, she would go and meet him. She would drop whatever she was doing to greet him. She treated him with ungrudging hospitality, as her honored guest, every day.
I think about that all the time.
I’m not the only one. Last time I talked with my Grandmama, she repeated the story: every day when Aunt Herlinda heard the garage door opening, she would go to the door to welcome him home.
I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds like holiness. Aren’t we supposed to treat our spouses as we would Christ? Wouldn’t I like to think that if Christ walked through the door, I would drop everything to run over and welcome Him?
Isn’t Christ walking through my door every day?
I learned fairly early in my marriage that what you do to love on your spouse is not always what makes your spouse feel loved. For example: as a feverishly enthusiastic newlywed, I kept our little nest obsessively clean. Many days my sweet husband would arrive and I would be so tired from the combination of cleaning and pregnancy that I was, shall we see, a less than amiable companion. I was convinced I was being a good wife because our home was spotless and our dinner was on time.
Don’t worry, we figured that one out.
Alex is not bothered by some toys on the floor or waiting a little while on dinner – he IS bothered when I don’t make time to spend time reconnecting with him after a day apart. I realized what I wanted was not just to express love, but to make him feel loved.
That will look different for everybody. It will look different for the same person at different times. I won’t always automatically know what it is that works best, but I do know I want to learn the hospitality that makes my husband feel at home. Not only at home, but as the person who is honored there.