For our Savior, Jesus Christ, love and charity went hand in hand. He not only served those he was close to, but served all those who came in contact with him. As we look at Jesus Christ’s ministry on the Earth we realize that there was not a single person that he was not charitable to. On one occasion the Pharisees brought a woman to him who had committed adultery. The law in Jesus’ time was for her to be stoned and they asked him what he thought they should do to her. There he knelt in the dirt and said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7) The accusers began to leave and Jesus asked the woman if any accusers remain. She said that there were not. Jesus then warned her not to sin again. This in my opinion is such a powerful example of charity and the pure love of Christ. He saved this woman from humiliation and death.
The story of the love that Christ has for us does not stop with this example of Charity. In Christ’s final days upon the Earth we learn of his greatest act of love and Charity when he took upon all of our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and suffered for each and every mistake we will ever make. He lived a perfect life, but yet suffered more pain than we will ever suffer on this earth. Because of his love for us, we can live with him and our Father in Heaven again.
Do we demonstrate this same Christ like love in our lives especially in our marriages?
When our spouses are moody and had a bad day do we forgive them? If our spouse comes to us with a problem that could potentially break our marriage are we like Jesus and tell them to sin no more and help them through it or are we running for the hills? Are we like Jesus and say, “I forgive you of mistakes, shortcomings, and humanness.”? Or “do we continue to not forgive because we do not understand why they possibly could have done this!” (Goddard)
It was 6:30 pm. It had been a long day! There were 3 loads of laundry that needed to be folded sitting on the couch in the living room, the dishes were piled high in the sink, and I had nothing made for dinner. In fact I hadn’t even thought about dinner yet. The baby was crying because she was recovering from a cold and I had spit up down my yoga pants that I pulled out of the dirty clothes that morning. I couldn’t recall the last time I had taken a shower that week and my hair was starting to look crunchy. The door chimed, my husband was home. I thought to myself, “Oh great, look at this mess! What is he going to say?”
He came in, kissed me and said, “Let me take you out to dinner tonight and when we get home I’m going to fold the laundry.” Tears flowed down my cheeks because he could have said so much, but he didn’t, he demonstrated charity at that moment, the pure love of Christ. H. Wallace Goddard said, “At every critical juncture we can choose compassion. We can choose understanding, patience, and personal growth.” My husband understood without even speaking that my day was probably pretty rough; he could have become upset, frustrated, and judged me, but he didn’t, he showed compassion. Do we do this with our spouses? Marvin J. Ashton has said, “Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else.” My husband demonstrated Christ like love when I needed him most. As we follow the Savior’s example we can demonstrate this same love.
Charity does not flow automatically from having an extraordinary spouse. It is primarily the result of the way we choose to see each other.” Said H. Wallace Goddard. We must choose to see the good in our spouses. Let us go forward from this point on looking toward our spouse with charity and a Christ like love.