My girlfriend thinks I’m sweet, and she thinks I’m attractive. I’m not sure what’s wrong with her – but the best compliment she has ever given me is that I’m a good spiritual leader. Funny thing is that all I’ve done is prayed over her a few times.
But I’ve been reflecting on this tonight, and I’m starting to see how spiritual leadership is the best calling card a man can have. It’s better than being sweet, and better than being attractive, because it has much less to do with you.
I’m starting to see that to love your wife/fiancée/girlfriend (the latter two with the intent of becoming the former) as Christ loved the church means to strive for their spiritual well-being, and hope to be a priest for them the way Jesus went to the cross for our spiritual well-being and a restored relationship with God the Father.
It also releases the pressure off of you to love Jesus more than you love her. This has been perhaps the biggest challenge for me – realizing that my joy in Christ and the joy I have from a relationship are not entirely exclusive, but they can be connected. In other words, if I love Jesus and seek Him with all my heart, then it becomes my joy – not a point of jealousy or insecurity – to see my girlfriend/wife/spouse loving Him too. A man who doesn’t love the Lord above all will feel threatened by God – because he can’t be God and he can’t meet her needs the way God can. But a man who loves Jesus and His gospel will take extreme joy in the spiritual well-being and growth of the woman he walks with.