Much has changed since Jan. 19, 2008.
Bruce Almighty, Man on the Moon, Major League – gone.
Complete rooms decorated with sports memorabilia – gone.
More than a dozen trips to catch baseball in Arlington – gone.
It was a very cold day on Saturday, January 19 in the year 2008. In fact, it had snowed just the day before.
Like many important moments in life, that date is frozen in my mind as a day everything changed. A day where I no longer live for myself, a day I received more than I could have ever asked for.
You see, that day I got my rib back.
Thats right, my rib that was ripped out of me while I was being formed in my mother’s womb.
“But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man,” Genesis 2:20-22, NIV.
My rib, better known as Lacie Mae Royal, was given to me but it included so much more.
It came fresh with a new point of view, feelings and a personality of its own.
While I entered marriage with a Biblical perspective on things, it has not always been easy trying to work the rib back into my body, my way of life.
I was a big fan of movies. I spent hundreds of dollars on sports memorabilia and I was a regular at that big stadium where professional baseball is played in Arlington.
However, little by little those things have disappeared over the last six years.
It has not been easy, you could say I have lost another part of myself, but the reward is far greater than the sacrifice.
Lacie is not a fan of Rated R movies, no matter the reason. In fact, she does not like a lot of PG-13 titles that seem okay to most.
I had a big collection of movies when we first married. Some, I understood her point and went ahead and trashed upon first request. Others, like the three mentioned above, well, there were a lot of tough discussions held.
My point of view was off. I still wanted my way, my movies and the way I used to go about my business.
While I understood sacrifice in some areas, I did not fully grasp what God was teaching me.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body,” Ephesians 5:25-30.
Simply put – Christ died for the church.
I loved myself, my movies and my sports but I didn’t understand that somethings have to be removed for something else – my rib – to be put in place.
My no means is my sacrifice complete. Daily there are areas in life I must die to in order to “feed and care for” this new piece of my body.
Men, how have you viewed your relationship with your wife?
Are you like me? Have you held on to items that your wife would rather you do without?
It is not about giving up, giving in or being “whipped” - it is about doing what is best for your body as the two of you are now one.
Through various sacrifices, I have gained so much more.
The relationship Lacie and I have today is far better than it was when we were dating or in the honeymoon phase of our marriage.
The year we dated, we attended more than 20 baseball games together. Since, we have attended less than eight.
Instead of baseball games, I have someone who has taught me to feel instead of think, to listen instead of speaking, to give and to compromise.
Men, I encourage you to take a step back and think about all that your wife has brought to your marriage. You might be surprised by the results.
The next time she asks you to turn off the game, put down the phone or avoid a certain movie - just do it. You have already received your rib back, it is time to take care of your body.
Chad is the Editor of the Athens Daily Review. Reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.