Monday, April 27, 2015

Love for God and Spouse

The instruction to love God more than your spouse isn't as helpful as people think it is. Love is not easily measured and is in some sense a gift. We love God because he first loved us. We don't know why, since we know we are sinful creatures, that we recognize such beauty in God and are drawn to know him more.

It's more helpful to say "Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and love your spouse with all your heart, mind, and soul." Why do these have to be mutually exclusive? When you love your spouse as much as you can, you are also loving God—God wants us to love our spouse, and love sometimes shows itself when we are doing what the object of our love wants (and in this case it is God).

When I hear people say something like "to have a good marriage, love God," it makes me a little sad. It's missing the other person in the equation—the spouse. It'd be better to say, "to have a good marriage, love God and love your spouse." Sometimes in spiritual matters people forget to include people (but spiritual matters always involve people—it's most often about God and people interacting). Maybe they're afraid we will love people so much that we forget God. But fear often causes trouble and unbiblical rules. We can't forget God if he's truly given us faith.

God cares about people and our relationships. He's not worried about comparing how much we love this or that. He cares that we do love, that we practice and grow in the fruits of the Spirit.

So love God and love your spouse. Don't waste time on trying to measure something that's hard to measure.

Let's be more positive than negative in our statements about marriage. To start, let's say that marriage is something that, when we love our spouses well, can help us understand more our relationship with Christ. The Bible relates our relationship to Christ like a marriage.
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