"You Can't Love Your Spouse Too Much" - God
When I was little, my parents used to fight regularly. My mother always told me, when she was calming me down from these experiences, that I should serve my wife with all my heart when I am older. She told me that I should love her. Being a young boy whose hero was his mother, trusting her completely, I heeded her advice.
I prayed for my wife daily, even though I haven't met her yet. I asked God to touch her, and protect her. I asked Him to heal her and watch over her . . . to guard her, and lead her to me in the proper time. I do believe that God must at all times be number 1. I examined this a little from a scriptural perspective. What does the Bible teach about it?
Love for Self is the "limit" for love for others.
And one of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, "What commandment is the foremost of all?" Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' "The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
(NAS, Mark 12:28-31, italics mine)
Can you love and care for "neighbors" more than yourself? Maybe some can. But Jesus definitely, throughout scripture, indicated His desire for us to love each other fervently (John 13:34-35, Matthew 5:43-48, Matthew 7:12)
Love for your spouse = Love for Self.
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."
(NIV, Genesis 2:24, italics mine)
If you are "one flesh" with your spouse, from a biblical perspective, doesn't it stand to reason that to love your spouse IS to love yourself? And isn't it also true that, as we have previously established, the more you love yourself, your capacity to love others also grows? (Love your neighbor as yourself.)
"In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself."
(NIV, Ephesians 5:28)
"However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself . . ."
(NIV, Ephesians 5:33)
Point Number 3, (you have to wait for the punch line)
I want to take things one step further.
We are told that obedience is better than sacrifice, in God's eyes.
"Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice . . ."
(NKJV, 1 Samuel 15:22)
We are told, by Jesus, that keeping (obeying) His commandments is a way to show Him love.
"If you love Me, keep My commandments."
(NKJV, John 14:15)
Now let me bring it all together for you. :)
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."
(NIV, Ephesians 5:25)
Husbands are commanded to love their wives. It is the will of God for you, as a man, to love your wife.
"But she's evil." Love her.
"But she isn't nice to me." Love her.
"But I don't like her." Too bad -- love her.
Why? Because she's yours! And do you want to be known as a man that doesn't take care of what GOD gave him? God GAVE her to you. He TRUSTED YOU with her, and the heart that beats within her -- the heart that God loves.
Love your wife always, and tell her as often as you can. If necessary (or if requested), use words.
You can't love your spouse too much. To love your spouse IS to love yourself. And when you love yourself, you are able to love others more. But most importantly, to love your spouse (especially for you husbands out there) . . .
. . . to love your spouse . . . is to love God.