Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… in this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (Eph. 5:25, 28)
Today is a very special day for me. Sixteen years ago Amber and I were married. It’s been a thrilling adventure, and I know what you’re thinking: How did he end up with her?! Don’t worry. I’m still asking the same question. There is something I’ve learned over the years; something I occasionally need to be reminded of. It’s the truth that is found in this passage of scripture.
I don’t think many of us would argue that it is difficult to love ourselves. We do what makes us happy. We eat our favorite foods. We pick the most comfortable spot to watch our favorite shows. Loving ourselves is easy. We say we love our spouses and other people, but if we aren’t careful, an all-about-me mindset can creep in and take over.
What if we put just as much energy and effort into loving our spouses? The love we’re called to extend gives up the comfortable chair and the remote. True love gives preference to the other’s favorites—their food, their shows, their happiness. This kind of love says, “You are the most important thing in the world to me—even more important than me.
Something special happens when this kind of love is central in a marriage. Love that is given away returns in a greater portion, wrapped in respect from a spouse who feels loved and valued.
I can’t claim to be an expert at this. I still need to be reminded of it regularly. So today, let me challenge you with the words of Jesus, “love, as you love yourself.”
Notes from the Staff @The Woods