Seek to Love Your Husband Completely
I want to build my husband up, not break him down.
I want to pursue him, not what I can get from him.
I want to encourage his calling, not question or ignore it.
I want to seek his good, not neglect it.
Such resolutions have been on my mind after a recent sermon.
One of my pastors at Grace Community Church preached on love, on what it looks like practically in marriage. He focused on a verse I’ve never connected with love before—not one from the treasured 1 Corinthians 13, but another in the second letter to the very same church.
“I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls…” 2 Corinthians 12:15
Isn’t that what Jesus did? In descending to earth, performing miracle after miracle, sharing His teaching, willingly offering his life at the cross…He gave His very self for our spiritual welfare.
This heart-giving statement comes from Paul, and it stems from a Gospel-filled heart. The unmarried apostle wasn’t speaking to a wife, but to one equally as dear to him—his brothers and sisters in Christ, the church.
His devotion to them displays Christlike love that can inspire any relationship—from friendship to parenthood—but most powerfully marriage, the union of two souls.
Like my pastor did, we’re going break his declaration down. Before continuing, keep this quote in mind: “Marriage is not about finding your true love, but being true love.”
Just two words, but two words of immense commitment. Not I can, or I think, or I will try, but I will. Paul will love the Corinthians to the very end. Do we have such a deep determination in our marriage?
Many of us said vows on our wedding day, and this phrase kickstarted their lines. Saying you will love your spouse is a promise, and it only comes to fulfillment if it’s a daily goal.
So “I will” is a mindset. It’s a personal, godly ambition to persevere in upholding kindness and selflessness, independent of your husband’s behavior. True love is a heartfelt dedication to his well-being.
Jesus exemplifies this to us by firmly placing His love upon us even when we sin, keeping us as His until we’re united with Him physically in heaven.
Questions to ponder:
What troubles you most about your husband? Keep in your mind: “I WILL love him, even though I cannot change this, even in this hard moment, even in this frustrating moment.”
In difficult and everyday situations pray to God and ask: what does it look like to love him in this moment?
I will forgive…
I will wait…
I will encourage…
I will pray…
Maybe it’s holding your tongue, to give him space to cool down, to wait for a wise time to speak. Maybe it’s giving words of encouragement, or asking questions about his day that would give him joy. Maybe it’s just listening without your phone in hand.
“GLADLY SPEND AND BE SPENT”
Paul passionately desires to provide for the Corinthians – materially and internally. He seeks to invest in them, and not only that, does so with pleasure!
We are to give not only gifts to our husband, but our very self. Everything you are. God gave us not only the gift of salvation, but His very Son.
The world makes love “me-centric”—what can I get from this relationship? Paul, however, clearly shows that biblical love, the love Christ exemplified to us, is “you-centric”—how can I give to you? This goes against the core of our being, but it leads to purer love.
Our heart should be so intertwined with our husband’s that giving to him is a joy to us.
When we seek to love our husband by giving of ourselves, we help another soul grow, another soul thrive, and it fuels us to continue to serve. Sometimes that fruit is not immediately apparent, but God is faithful to use our sacrifice, for it pleases Him. Remember, the eyes cannot perceive the depths of the heart, but our God is mighty to save and sanctify.
Questions to ponder:
What does your husband enjoy? How can you support that hobby or habit, even if it’s not your interest? How can you show your admiration for him in it?
What little surprise could you give him? A love post-it note? A evening away from cleaning or work and spending time together? A thank you?
Spiritually, what can you do to boost his day? Nurture a grateful heart for him to come home to, rather than an anxious or bitter one? Tell him you’re praying for him? Share stories of progress or humor about the kids? Praise him as a father?
Ultimately, we must orient our heart to love. This comes from being in the Word, which prompts us to recall Christ’s redemptive love and reflect it to our husband.
True love is costly, and thus its strength must come from the One whose strength is endless. Our love needs to be “Scripture saturated and Spirit submitted.”
Remember, God gave everything—His very own Son—to love you. He forgave and committed Himself to you forever. Give, because He abundantly gives to you in Christ. I pray to do the very same thing!
**Note: if you are in an abusive relationship, you are to love by seeking help. God does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but in the truth. His plan for marriage does not include enduring harm, but in faithfully honoring the Lord and your husband in the process of correction and healing.**