Title: "Do you love your spouse; but you don't like your spouse?" Author: Unknown
Most of us would say we love our mate.
How many of us argue often with our spouse? If we argue with our spouse it shows we don't like them because love covers a multitude of sins and love bears all things.
We are all emotional; we all have emotions. Even though in our mind we logically love our spouse, in practice our emotions many times control how we act.
But yet God wants us to let His Holy Spirit control us. God wants us to overlook the shortcomings of our spouse. How can we do this?
First we need to understand our mission here on earth. Our mission is to glorify God and be used by God. We are each on a mission from God. And our first goal is to minister to our spouse and immediate family.
Mathew 5:44,45a,46 says, But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
God wants us to love our enemies and even more, love our spouse. In the sermon on the mount Jesus said, You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.
So if we get angry with our spouse or think in our heart that they are a fool, we are guilty of murder. I think if we were all honest we would admit that we usually end up being guilty of murder by the definition Jesus gave when we have a heated argument with our spouse.
And some folks would say, and the penalty for murder is death and so my spouse should be dead and so I am free to divorce and remarry. This is similar to the logic that if my spouse commits adultery I am free to remarry since the penalty for adultery was also death. Neither one of these arguments are valid. Jesus said the only reason for divorce was if your spouse to be commits fornication during your engagement period. But that is another study for another time.
So back to our study on loving and liking our spouse. We see from the Bible that if we are often arguing with our spouse we are guilty of murder.
So how do we begin liking our spouse again? How do we stop arguing and begin enjoying our spouse?
There are several things we can do. First we need to have a strong relationship with God through our Savior Jesus Christ. Next we need to make a list of the things we don't like about our spouse. Next we need to pray to God and give each thing up to God and pray and ask God to help us accept and like our spouse, even if they do not want to change.
Next I would give the list to my spouse. And say, Here is my wish list of things I wish you would or could change. I've given it over to God. Would you prayerfully consider whether you would be willing to make these changes for me? And by the way I am willing to make changes to please you too. Could you make me a list of things you wish I would change? I want to please you. Once a week, could we read our lists together and pray over each item together?
Eventually the list will dwindle as you each work on things to please the other. It takes two people who are willing to try to please each other. If one is selfish and does not want to work towards pleasing the other, it is much more difficult. But that's where God's forgiveness kicks in. That's when we are supposed to love our spouse just like Jesus said to love our enemies. To do this we have to give up our expectations, our wish list, we have to give it up to God. We have to decide we are going to like our spouse just the way they are.
But even in your spouse doesn't want to change, here is a tool a married couple can use that will change the way they think of each other.
If the couple is willing to listen together to stories from MarriageRomance.com God can restore their passion and love for each other. We as humans, are like sheep and we tend to follow the herd. By listening to the positive, role model marriage experiences of others, our emotions will be stirred to love our spouse as those in the stories love their spouse. The stories will stimulate conversation and romance ideas and will help the couple have a stronger and deeper love for each other.
I used to not like my spouse. There were several things I did not like about her. But after my spouse and I read and listened to many stories on MarriageRomance.com, they influenced us to be more understanding of each other and now we like each other. My spouse is now the person I wished I would marry; sweet and kind and loving and helpful and beautiful and charming and I just love and like her so much!
A great marriage resource is www.marriagebuilders.com. I suggest all married couples go through the free online Basic Concepts at MarriageBuilders.com.