What would happen to your marriage relationship if you loved your spouse as though he or she was Jesus? Imagine the transformation that could take place with a love like that! (Click on the title to read the complete post.)
In their book, Marriage on the Rock, Jimmy and Karen Evans share a true story of a wife whose marriage was transformed by treating her husband like Jesus. She poured out love for him, even though he was having an affair and not treating her well. It wasn’t long after she started loving him as she would love Jesus, that he broke off the affair, eventually leading to a restored marriage.
Two scriptures passages come to mind that support this approach.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people… (Ephesians 6:7)
Even though these scripture verses aren’t about marriage, what might your marriage look like if you work at your marriage, serve, and love your spouse with your whole heart as if he/she was Jesus?
In another scripture verse Husbands are told to love their wives as Jesus loved the church, which I think applies to wives as well.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… (Ephesians 5:25)
Jesus didn’t travel an easy road when he walked the earth as a human. He poured out love to many who did not return it. (It still happens today!) He was rejected, even by his own family. He suffered and eventually died at the hands of people whom he was sent to redeem.
Now, I’m not suggesting that anyone stays in an unsafe marriage. However, most struggling marriages are not unsafe and yet one or both spouses have pulled back. They’ve stopped loving their spouse because it’s not returned, or bitterness and contempt have taken root. Or, there’s so much past baggage built up that they can’t see the person with whom they fell in love. Or, the spark is gone, and they’ve drifted apart and settled to be housemates.
Whatever the reason, just imagine how loving your spouse as you would Jesus might transform your marriage. The love of Jesus would be flowing through you to your spouse, so it has to have an impact. You’ll need Jesus to give you the strength to do love unconditionally because it won’t be easy and may even get worse before it gets better. And, of course, there’s no guarantee that your spouse will change, but you and your perspective on the circumstances will change in the process.
Remember what Jesus said after he described people who fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, invited strangers in, clothed those who needed it, and visited the sick and those in prison: Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. (See Matthew 25:34-40) What better “least of these” than your spouse!
So, do you want something better for your marriage? Try pouring out your love in the way that you would love Jesus and see what happens!
Note: Scripture verses are from the New International Version, unless otherwise indicated.