In John 14:15 Jesus says, "If you love me, keep my commandments." Love can be evaluated by looking at our behavior. I always tell my clients to believe their behavior. Behavior always tells the truth.
As a Lover-Spouse we can evaluate our verb "love" by how we behave toward the love of our life, our spouse. This simple assessment always gives me an honest evaluation of how I'm loving my wife, Lisa.
Jesus gave us a final commandment in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another." I was really tempted to underline that word "must" because it jumps out at me every time I read it. That I must love is huge for me, especially as it relates to loving Lisa.
This new command comes right after Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. He had then agreed He was the teacher and since He could serve with excellence, they could do the same. He then tells the disciples in verse 16, "Truly, truly I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them" (John 13:16-17).
Jesus shows an act of serving, which was well below his social status. He did this as an illustration in essence to say, "Here is love, to value each other, move toward, to meet the needs of the other, sacrifice, and do so with all humility as you see me do."
I can think of no clearer way to illustrate what Jesus lived and taught about love than this story. As a lover-spouse we get the privilege to value, move toward, sacrifice and invest in our spouse over a lifetime and to do so with a spirit of humility, almost as if unconsciously loving is our privilege.
You and I have this amazing privilege and opportunity to serve with excellence (love) our spouse daily. This calling to love them practically is a blessing. How you respond to this opportunity can expose the pride or humility of heart you're currently manifesting.
Jesus was God incarnate, washing the feet of the men He created. Regardless of your number of degrees, successes, income or importance to a group of people, you and I will never be more valuable than Christ Himself. If you're "too good, smart or beautiful" to serve and love, this misjudgment of yourself and the pride and arrogance that goes with it will definitely hurt your marriage.
Marriage is a place to proactively love and serve in humility. If we're not practicing in this, we're missing the whole teaching of Jesus on love. Here again you want to look at your behavior, not what you might wish or believe you're doing, but what you're actually doing with excellence with your spouse. This will help you to see if you're more on the lover-spouse side of that continuum.
Here again, it doesn't matter where you are at the moment other than for honesty's sake. Be very honest with yourself. It isn't too late for you to move toward being an awesome lover-spouse.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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