As believers we know this biblical truth intuitively in our spirit: Above all, we are to love God and love others. I think we can easily suggest that loving or being a lover is very important to God. I believe placing a priority on love in general is necessary. However, I also believe this truth of being a lover to God and others also applies specifically to being a lover to your spouse.
How can we truly say we love God whom we cannot see and not love our spouse whom we get to see every day? When I say love, I mean all-in love. I don't mean "I told you I love you years ago, and I haven't changed my mind" kind of love.
Love, by definition, is expressing. Not expressing is not loving well. As Christians, we learn early in John 3:16a: "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son." To love is to give, not to withhold giving.
Lover-spouses know this at a very intuitive level, but anyone can learn to be a lover-spouse. It's in all of us to a be lover-spouse.
We're called to be a lover-spouse, not managing partners of a family enterprise. We're not following some code or law to love our spouse. We're lovers. We're commanded to love because it's who we are and it's about being the best of who we are.
I've trained thousands of couples to become better lovers of their spouses. When they're in love with their spouse, not only can the marriage change—they change! The one thing I absolutely know, both personally and professionally, is love changes us. If I allow love to flow through me toward someone, they become a soul of value. I immediately give them the respect or honor of being God's child regardless of their beliefs or behaviors.
I've seen countless times when a man or woman reopens their heart to love their spouse. This love changes not only the person giving it but the person receiving it. Imagine if the real plan was a proactive loving of our spouse. In this process, we would daily change to be more Christlike and probably more fun to be around.
When men and women are intentionally lovers toward their spouse, they feel better about themselves. When we're responsible with the blessings God has given us, because all good gifts are from God, we feel better.
If I maintain my car, my house and my toys of any kind, I feel responsible and respectful to God. Upholding our spouses by being their lovers is one of the greatest feelings you can have.
When you love well, you feel well. When we love our spouse as unto the Father, we're saying from our heart, "Thank you for putting this amazing person in my life. I'm happy to bless, encourage and strengthen them."
I have adult children. When they marry, my biggest hope is they're loved well. When you're loved well and loving well, life is just better because you're walking with your best friend who loves you with all their heart.
I feel great when I buy Lisa a card, plan a getaway, give her flowers or just spend quality time giving her a well-deserved foot rub. Being a lover is fun and brings out your creativity so that you feel great about being a lover-spouse.
A spouse who gives the minimum tolerates instead of celebrates their spouse, doesn't feel good about themselves and quite frankly shouldn't. Failing at something or not being responsible at something doesn't feel good. Failing at marriage really doesn't feel good. When we stand before all our friends and family and promise to love and fulfill that promise, we feel greater. Keeping our word makes us feel a lot better than not keeping our word.
When we don't keep our word to be a lover for a lifetime to our spouse, we know it. We know we're not all-in, we're not trying, we gave up, and we now have to live with the fact that we are both doing and being less than we promised.
We can be honest and take responsibility for our lack of love, which would be healthy. However, such honesty would most likely spur us to change. If we're not honest, we need to blame someone or something, so we feel less guilty for our lack of love.
If you're an all-in lover-spouse toward your spouse, this makes God happy with you. If, however, you're just functioning, tolerating or even worse, withholding, He's not happy with you as a son- or daughter-in-law.
Take a moment and really think about God as your Father-in-law. Close your eyes and guess at what He feels about you. What would He say to you as your in-law? Would He be proud, hurt, disgusted?
I've conducted many men's and marriage conferences. Every time I share that God isn't just your Father but your Father-in-law, light bulbs go on. When I pray, "Father-in-law God," I feel the honest accountability as a lover-spouse to my wife.
God is her Creator and her designer. Her God is huge. Her being a daughter of the Most High elevates Lisa to where she should be in my heart, because that's where she is in His heart.
Our spouse is worthy of us being an all-in lover. This isn't based on their performance toward us. They're worthy because our Savior Christ Jesus made them worthy through His death and resurrection. They're worth His blood because He says so. So, they're worthy of us being awesome lover-spouses.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books, including his newest title, Lover Spouse. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com, or on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at [email protected].
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