We love because God first loved us.
1 John 4:19
As a kid we are first shown love by our parents. When you cried, they comforted. If you were hungry, they fed you. During the chilly winter months, they made sure you were clothed in warmth. All of these were examples of love shown to you by your parents. More than likely you show your children love in these same ways because you love as you have been loved.
We cannot see God’s love with our eyes though, we can only feel it within our hearts and spirits. Yes, we can see others loving as God has instructed us to love. We physically cannot see our Father standing next to us with a comforting touch though. So how do we show love to others as God has shown to us? How has God loved us and how has that made it possible for us to love others, especially our spouse?
How to love as God loves
In order to understand how God loves you need to pull out your bible and read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. I talk about this verse a lot I know. It just so perfectly lays out the instructions from our Lord on how to love others and describes how God loves us as well. Gods love is patient and kind; it is not envious, conceited or proud; it is not ill-mannered, selfish or irritable; it does not keep a record of wrongs; his love is not happy with evil, but rejoices in truth; his love never gives up; and its faith, hope and patience never fail.
This is exactly how our Father wants us to love others. If you really look deep inside of yourself are you loving your husband as God has instructed you to? It is entirely possible to love just as he has instructed us because of one simple fact, HE LOVED US FIRST. Just as you were shown and told how to love from your parents and you are able to replicate that love. Well, you were also told and shown how to love from God and can replicate that also.
Jesus’ example of love
How he loved his enemies
Do you ever feel like your spouse is doing things just to push your buttons or upset you? Maybe you feel like every time your spouse has a rough day it is taken out on you. Perhaps you are in a hard season of marriage right now and cannot even look past the wrongs of your husband. Jesus walked this Earth as a human and he had people going out of their way daily to upset him. Everyday people were taking their frustrations out on him. He had many enemies, who it would be hard to look past a wrong doing from. He did see past these things though.
In Matthew 5:44 we are told to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute you. We are not told to hold on to that wrong doing until they can apologize. You have to start seeing your spouse or any of your “enemies” really, through the eyes of Jesus. He loved us all the same and tells us to do just that. Because he has loved us first we are capable of this kind of love. With God you can have the strength to forgive and show your spouse the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
Hard seasons in marriage are not easy. I know how it can feel as though your husband is your enemy during these difficult times. Instead of following your own emotions, I ask that you turn to our God and pray to love as you have been shown.
How he loved his friends
John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” I think this verse alone perfectly describes how Jesus loved his friends. He gave up his life so that we could live. His love was whole and pure. There was no flaw in his love for any of us and he chose us to love. He chose to love YOU. You know what else he chose? He chose your spouse for you to love as he has loved you.
Jesus gave his life for us and you may never be asked to physically give your life for you spouse. Daily though, you are called to love you spouse before yourself, which in a way is giving up your life. You are giving up your selfishness and putting your spouse before you in all things.
Let go of your selfishness
When something feels uncomfortable for you or you do not want to do it saying no is a typical response. In marriage though, you need to put your own desires aside. You need to remember what God’s love has shown you about selflessness. Again I say that we are fully capable of loving without selfish desires and loving our spouses as God has called us to because he has already shown us and told us exactly how to do this.
If you find yourself struggling to love as God has instructed us, then add 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 to your daily prayer for your marriage. It is easy to incorporate this in your daily prayer. You will see a change if you are meditating and praying on this daily. Putting the work into your relationship with God will have such an impact on the relationship with your husband.
31 Day Marriage Challenge
Okay so I am going to be honest, I had a stomach bug the second half of the first week of 31 Day Marriage Challenge and I slacked off terribly. I am getting back on track now, but I have been struggling. Maybe it is just pregnancy hormones (fingers crossed it is lol), or what, but I have just been so irritated with my husband. I love him dearly and have been blessed with his patience during my hormonal fluctuations throughout pregnancy.
I have been asking God to take this irritation from me, especially since my husband is not even doing anything to warrant the irritation. Trying to be led by the spirit and not my emotions is not as difficult as it used to be though, but your prayers are always welcome!
I hope that this challenge is going well for you and you aren’t having any hang ups like I have. If you are struggling in any way please do not hesitate to email me! I am always here to listen and offer some hope to those wives struggling. We are all in the same fight to keep our marriage christ-centered and happy so please do not hesitate to reach out if you just need some encouragement or hope today! God bless and I hope you find loving your spouse easier since Christ made it possible by loving us first!