Do you love your wife because or anyway? Most of us base love on because, not on anyway. I love you because you’re good to me. I love you because you’re kind, because you’re considerate, because you keep the romance alive.
Check out Luke 6:32-36 (see yesterday’s post), Jesus says we shouldn’t love because. We should love anyway. If we love someone because that person is good to us, or gives back to us, or is kind to us, we’re acting no better than anyone else. In essence, Jesus is saying you don’t need the Holy Spirit to love a wife who lavishes you with sports gifts, who goes out of her way to make you comfortable when you get home from work and who wants sex anytime you do – well, you’re doing what any man would do. There’s no special credit in that!
But if you love a spouse who disappoints you, who can be a little self-absorbed – now you’re loving anyway. In doing that, you’re following the model of the heavenly Father, who loves the ungrateful and the wicked.
Will you love only because? Or are you willing to love anyway? Will you love her if she doesn’t appreciate your sacrifice? Will you love her if she takes you for granted? Will you love your wife if she isn’t nearly as kind as you are to her? Christian marriages are called to anyway love. That’s what makes it different. That’s what gives glory to God. That’s what helps us appreciate God’s love for us, because God loves us anyway. He gives and gives and gives – and we take Him for granted. He is eager to meet with us, and we get too busy to notice Him. He is good to us, and we accuse Him mercilessly when something doesn’t go just the way we planned it.
But God loves us anyway. To love anyway is to love like God – and to learn about God’s love for us. That’s love, the way God intended it.