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By His Side - Crosswalk Couples Devotional - December 21

By His Side
By Heather Riggleman

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” - John 15:5

Sweat trickled down my back. I took another sip of iced tea and went back to filing my nails as my husband worked on the truck. Every once in awhile, he would poke his head out from under the hood and I would flash him a bright smile. His grin grew wider and he went back to work. This would continue for almost three hours before he finished what he was working on. 

After that project, Chris moved on to yard work in the backyard. Once again, I would find a place to lounge and do my nails or read a book. Every time Chris looked over at me, I would once again be sure to flash him a grin. Suddenly there was more pep in his step. 

This has been one of the many secrets to our 20 years of marriage. I learned a long time ago, Chris thrived on me gracing him with my presence. I didn’t have to work with him, I didn’t have to be dressed up, I didn’t have to talk, I didn’t have to know what he was doing; I merely needed to just show up. 

Love also always shows up. Love always hangs around. Love is always by our side and Love will keep showing up for us in the name of Christ. John 15:5 outlines Christ clearly: “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

Abide means to bear patiently, to tolerate, to endure without yielding, to accept without objection, to remain stable and to continue in a place. Upon accepting Christ as our savior, we are invited to abide in him. As we learn to abide in Christ daily, we are better equipped to handle life’s stressors and the enemy. This is why it’s so important to stay connected in our relationship with Christ and each other. 

When two people choose to each abide in Christ, they form an abiding marriage. This marriage produces the fruit of their efforts in the form of joy, contentment, and companionship. Just like the words of Christ, when we abide in him, we bear much fruit. One of the top five needs of married men is “recreational companionship,” or shared activity. Men experience a sense of closeness during shared activity more than they do during a conversation.

When I asked my husband why he likes it when I’m by his side, he replied, “It’s a boost to my ego. It makes me feel like time with me is valuable and it encourages me.” 

Life doesn’t always give us control over how much time we get to spend with our significant other. Yet, Christ gave us the example to abide in the big things and in the little things. What does abiding look like in your marriage? Does your spouse feel loved by your presence? 

Question for reflection: How am I communicating my love for my spouse with my presence?

Heather Riggleman calls Nebraska home (Hey, it’s not for everyone) with her three kids and husband of 20 years. She writes to bring bold truths to marriage, career, mental health, faith, relationships, celebration and heartache. Heather is a former national award-winning journalist and is the author of Mama Needs a Time Out and Let’s Talk About Prayer. Her work has been featured on Proverbs 31 Ministries, MOPS, Today's Christian Woman and Focus On the Family. You can find her at www.heatherriggleman.com.

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