During a recent study on Loving God and Loving Others I began to understand in a much deeper way how I am to love others. We talked about loving our neighbors, our enemies and the brethren.
Jokingly someone asked so who is our husband? Is he our neighbor, enemy or brethren? Is there a different love reserved for our husbands?
I pray he is not your enemy, but regardless scripture is pretty clear on how we are to treat one another. However, if you do feel, at times, as if your husband is your enemy how are you to treat him? Do you still have to love him?
In Luke 10:30-37 Jesus tells of man who is beaten and robbed. Who is the one who helps him? The one least likely to help, his enemy. In fact the Samaritan goes out of his way to help, and provides for his well being. Jesus then asks which of these were a true neighbor? Of course it was the Samaritan, and we are to do the same.
In Matthew 5:43-44 Jesus tells us that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Luke 6:27-28 goes even further when it says that we are to “do good to those who hate you” and “bless those who curse you”. Again we are told to “pray for those who mistreat you.” If he does mistreat you or hurts you, you are to forgive him. (Matthew 6)
If your husband is your enemy you are called to forgive, bless him, pray for him and love him.
Our husbands are included in the “love your neighbors” and “love the brethren”. So many times as we study these verses we forget that they need to be applied to them.
Just how are we to treat one another? (Including our husbands?)
We are to love as Christ loves. (John 13:34) We are to be devoted to one another in love, giving preference to one another. Be of the same mind toward one another. ( Romans 12:10-16) In other words we are to give preference to their needs over our own. And how did Christ love us? He gave His life.
We are to encourage one another and build one another up, not tear each other up. Our words should be words of love not destruction. (1 Thessalonians 5:11) We are to share our burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
And of course there is 1 Corinthians 13 where we are told that love is patient, kind, not jealous and it does not brag and is not arrogant. Love does not act unbecomingly or seek it’s own desires. It does not provoke or keep records of wrong doing. Love does not rejoice when the other is hurt. Love bears, believes, hopes, endures in all things.
So does it matter that on any given day it could feel as if our husband is our enemy, neighbor, friends, or lover? No, we are still called to love him. If he is not your brother in Christ you are still to love him as Christ loves. If your husband seems like your enemy? Scripture is clear, you are to love him.
Too often it’s easy to forget to apply the “do unto others” to our husbands but real love will treat him better than you treat yourself.
I don’t know about you but there are times this proves quite difficult! And in my flesh, it’s impossible! So it is then that we must make an intentional choice to love our husbands as Christ would want us to. We must go to God and pray for the help of the Spirit to give us the desire and obedience to love, not just our husband but all the “others” also.
What about you? Do you struggle to love your husband as Christ commands? Do you treat your husband like an enemy? Why not spend some time praying before God asking Him to show you those areas where you might be able to show more of a Christ like love. Maybe there are area’s that you need to seek forgiveness, from God and your husband?
(This is an updated post originally posted in 2009 on www.Quiet-Reflections.com)
Photo courtesy of nuttakit, @ www.freedigitalphotos.net