AUGUST 29

Love at Sublevel

Love one another, even as I have loved you. JOHN 13:34

Danny Akin, a seminary president with the bold audacity to write a book on sexual intimacy, shares this true, touching story:

A woman had been diagnosed with breast cancer so severe that the doctors had no choice but to do a radical mastectomy. And like most any woman who awakes from this unsettling surgery, the blow to her self-esteem was deep and profound. Not only was she dealing with the loss of her breast, but she could see in the mirror how her hair was matted and her face swollen from reaction to the antibiotics. One day during her hospital stay, when her husband entered the room, she burst into tears. "Look at what I look like!" she moaned through her sobs.

Immediately, he left the room and returned soon thereafter with a cart of shampoo, creams, and lotions. He picked her up in his arms, carried her to the sink, and set her down on his lap. Then leaning her head back over the basin, he washed her hair. He combed it out. He blew it dry. Then with unsteady hand, he applied her makeup the best he could—blush, lipstick, mascara.

She looked at herself in the same mirror that had earlier sent her into convulsions of vanity, and saw someone she recognized: herself. She was back again. All because her man had loved her well through those crucial moments when her world had been crumbling around her.

Today, even though this woman's experience with breast cancer qualifies as perhaps the lowest point in her life, one of her favorite moments from all of her marriage has become those few precious moments in her hospital room—when her husband loved her in a way any woman would have understood.

"Husbands . . . , live with your wives in an understanding way" (1 Peter 3:7).

DISCUSS

Tell each other about a time when your spouse's love spoke volumes to you.

PRAY

Pray that God will always keep you sensitive to the exact expressions of love your mate needs from you—at any individual moment.  

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