I was exhausted, and quite honestly ready for bed. Yet, my wife was relentless. "Honey, I really want to go out to one nice dinner with you before we leave town. Please, will you get dressed up?" she pleaded.
Never mind that it was already 9:30pm and I just finished working one of the longest and hardest weeks of my life at a conference out of town. Granted, the week went well and I was glad to have Christi with me, but this last task was one I was reluctant to fulfill.
I'm glad I did. It is still one of the most memorable and elegant dinners we’ve shared together, one we won't soon forget. Though I didn't want to go, I did it for Christi. By putting her desires before my own, I died in my marriage that night. And the result was an unforgettable experience together.
I believe that's part of what Jesus meant when he compared our relationship with him to that of a marriage — that his death for you and the new life that resurrects from it apply to our marriages as well.
When we choose to die to ourselves for the sake of our spouse (which never feels good in the moment), the experiences and memories that come from it can breathe new life into our marriage.
In no other circumstance do I relate to this principle more than the middle-of-the-night newborn months of life. When our baby girl, who has her days and nights mixed up right now, starts crying 45 minutes into my night shift — for the third time in the same night — I'm looking at my wife sound asleep thinking, "Really? How do you not hear her?"
Just being real here, death by sleep deprivation would be a miserable way of dying.
Back on point: When I get up begrudgingly through the night to tend to our newborn, I'm usually short and insensitive in how I respond to Christi the next morning. If we don't address the pattern right away, we find ourselves fighting against one another and not for one another.