“…that they admonish the young women to love their husbands…” Titus 2.4a
Our ability to freely love our husbands begins with a true love for God. Without first loving Him we cannot love our husband. We do not have the capability to love apart from Him.
We often dismiss the call to love our neighbor when that neighbor is a member of our household. Siblings fail to love one another, wives fall short of loving their husbands. Somehow family is exempt from “neighborly” treatment. It should not be so. Family, as well as neighbors, are to be loved as we love ourselves. Forget looking out for #1 with this exception: let it determine the standard of treatment toward your husband, family, and neighbor.
We deceive ourselves if we think we love God but do not love our husbands. It is hogwash, actually. Now that is brutal; honest, but brutally so. But such litmus tests are good for us. They keep us on course, and they keep us in need of Him.
How many times have I thought, and have I heard other wives lament, “But I just want to be loved!” Do our husbands fall short in loving us? Most assuredly, even the most perfect husband fails to love continuously. Are we to wait for his success before we give love? Is this meant to be tit for tat? Must it be a “love in return” situation? Absolutely not!
“We love Him because He first loved us.” The first thing we learn from this verse is that love begins with Him. We are not the originator of love. In order to have love ministered through us, we must first receive love from Him. That provision was made through His Son, Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. We must accept and know His love for us, then we must draw regularly from that source.
There’s also a principle revealed here: love given reaps love in return. You cannot out-give God — what you sow you shall also reap. Sow His love and you will have love poured into your life. This is not magic; it is simply a spiritual principle.
Is this a guarantee that your husband will become everything you ever dreamed he would be? No! This is not a manipulative tactic. This is to be sincere love. Check out 1 Cor. 13 again.
We find that love is not self-seeking. When you set yourself to serving your husband and looking out for his interests, your heart is transformed as well. Will he be touched and changed? Absolutely, but that is not the goal. Love from a pure heart is what God is wanting. Pretense does not produce fruit, genuine love does.
At the same time we do know that love is powerful; it has transforming potential. God is love. God is all-powerful. We can know that love lavished upon an individual yields change in that person’s life. It is undeniably true. But that is in God’s hands. Our part is to love Him and to love others.
So begin afresh today — determine to love your husband. Love him as God has loved you and as you love yourself, and do so freely.