Once there was a man who hired a maid to clean his house. He looked through a dozen resumes and finally found a maid whose skills matched his needs. When he hired her, the two of them signed a contract that explicitly detailed their mutual obligations. He agreed to pay a certain wage in exchange for forty hours of work each week. He gave her a thick employee manual that explained her duties. The maid was required to prepare meals, wash the dishes, dust the living room, sweep the hall, and wash his clothes. The contract specified that if she failed to do her work, she would be fired.
After a time, romance blossomed between the man and the maid. They fell in love and got married. After they said, “I do” at the altar, the girl was no longer a servant and the man was no longer her employer: they were now husband and wife.
As a wife, the former maid is set free from the rules and regulations of the contract. No longer does the employee manual bind her to the performance of set duties. However, because she loves her husband, she continues to do everything she used to, and even more. As a wife, her desire is to please her husband.
When there is love, no rules are required. The husband would be foolish to give her a list of Ten Marriage Commandments.
1. Thou shalt have no other husbands besides me.
2. Thou shalt not have pictures of any other men before you.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of thy husband in vain or ever say anything disrespectful about him.
4. Remember date night and keep thy schedule free so we can go out to eat.
5. Honor thy husband and thy children and take care of them.
6. Thou shalt not forget to sweep the floor, do the laundry, and cook meals.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt kiss thy husband upon waking in the morning and before going to sleep.
9. Thou shalt not lie to thy husband.
10. Thou shalt not spend too much money at the mall.
There is a greater law in force for the wife than any Ten Commandments he could muster up. That law is love. The loving wife continues to work in the house, not because of duty, but because she cares for her husband and she wants him to be happy. Nor does the husband threaten to leave her if she does not perform perfectly. When she was a maid, he could fire her for the tiniest infraction. But once they are bound together by the covenant of marriage, there is a whole new level of commitment. So he continues to love her, even if she burns the toast.
Another name for the law of love is the “law of the Spirit of life.” Romans 8:2 refers to this law: “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).