You love your spouse – right?
Jesus commanded each of us to “love one another as I have loved you” in John 13:34.
Would Jesus say you are loving him/her “as he has loved you”? Well, just how has he loved you? Let’s unpack just a few ways:
1. He acted. He initiated a plan to rescue us (his bride) from God’s wrath and punishment for sin. He loved us so much that he took action to leave the glory of heaven, come to earth as a human and suffer an excruciating death on our behalf.
2. He humbled himself. Ephesians 2:5-8 encourages us –Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Did you catch that? He “emptied himself” and became a “servant”, even to the point of death.
3. He prays for his bride. Hebrews 7:25 reminds us that Jesus “lives to make intercession for us“. Amazing right? He lives to pray for us. Jesus is praying for us. He loves us that much.
So, based on only on these three – let me ask again…. are you loving your spouse “as” Jesus loves you?
Do you show love by your actions or simply by your words? (words are good, actions are better, both are best)
Loving your spouse “like Jesus” means you view love as an action verb, not simply a noun. You initiate love by taking action that shows your spouse how much they are loved and appreciated on a regular basis.
Loving your spouse “like Jesus” means you regularly empty yourself (subordinate your desires, wants, needs and agenda) in order to do what your spouse wants or needs. You humble yourself and become his/her servant in order to bring glory to God through your relationship. You also do all these things irregardless of your spouse’s actions, response or performance….. just like Jesus did for us.
Loving your spouse “like Jesus” means you regularly and consistently pray for your wife’s needs and for her fulfillment and blessing – no matter what it costs you.
By now, you are shouting to yourself (or out loud) – “No frickin’ way!”
While I can relate (as a husband for 40 years), I will remind you that:
1. Jesus commands us to love each other that way, and
2. Just like Jesus, you can’t do this (see John 15:5). Jesus couldn’t love us like this and was desperate for his Father to empower him, and we can’t either. Unless we live a life submitted to (surrendered to) the Spirit (see Eph.5:18-22), we will never be able to love like Christ and never enjoy the marriage we were intended to enjoy.
IF, we decide to surrender our lives daily to His will and His agenda – then we will be filled with His Spirit (See Gal 5) and enjoy the peaceful fruit of living that way. I think we will enjoy the results.
Jesus said it best when it comes to how we can best love our spouse –
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself (your agenda, rights, desires), take up his cross daily (die to my rights and become a servant), and follow me (follow His Word, His direction and leadership).
When it comes to your marriage, actions truly do speak much louder than words.