Love must start between you and Jesus before it can really start between you and others.
I admit. I’m selfish. I didn’t love Jesus enough to truly love other people well for a long time. Amy, my amazing bride, told me this and then modeled the opposite so I could emulate her.
She has an unwavering devotion to God and His desires that grows from her gratitude for personal forgiveness. She truly understands the depth of her sinful nature, and the huge burden that Jesus died, and spilled his blood for so she could have communion with God the father. This depth of love for Jesus allows her to be patient, kind, not envious, boastful or conceited. She is selfless, and keeps a limited record of wrongs. People sees this in her, and love her for her complete acceptance of them. However, she is steadfast in her unwillingness to just let people sit in their messiness, and always points others toward becoming and being more like Jesus. She is a gift to me and blessing to others. She is worth following and admiring.
Love for other people is what strengthens your love for your spouse
In my wife’s relentless love of all people we have found ourselves in interesting and what many would consider inconvenient circumstances. While I more often than not begrudgingly go along with her desire to love others I am thankful because it has stretched me and grown me into understanding the compassionate nature of Jesus.
He was moved by our plight, and so is my wife. Her hospitality and generosity with her finances, time, and talents are unparralelled. I love seeing my wife be Jesus to people, and as I serve her and support her she falls deeper in love with me for being encouraging, engaging, and challenging on how we walk out her compassionate heart to our community.
Loving your spouse as Christ loved the church is profoundly satisfying
Paul says in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
I have never been more in love with my then when I can sacrifice to help her live out her calling as a mom, neighbor, friend, McdDnolad’s drive thru worker, ESL teacher, and occasional champion of the disenfranchised. The more personal sacrifice I make for her, the deeper I fall in love with her. I see how my small incovnient sacrafices help her know and love Jesus more. Ecclesiastes 9:9, “Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.” My wife is my reward. undeserved, but totally welcomed.
I hope to one day emulate Jesus as well as she does.