Jesus proposes a way of loving that applies to everything in life. He teaches us the new commandment and gives us the coordinates so that our affective relationships may land on safe shore. Marriage is no a stranger to this kind of love nor these instructions that The Lord constantly gives us. Loving God is the most important commandment and the one from which follows, by pure logic, the love for our neighbor.
Loving our spouse like ourselves is a tremendous path of love, but the truth is it allows great margin for error. We don’t love right, we give way to incorrect actions, we are selfish, impatient and we don’t always take care of one another the way we should. It’s clear that nobody wants to act this way with their spouse, but it happens. Jesus knows very well the human fragility we all suffer from: our self-centeredness and pride. He understands about our inconsistent love and wants to help us by being Himself the model. He knows that our charity is not worth imitating. It always is and will be better when we love the way He has loved us (Jn 13,34). His love surpasses and exceeds ours in every aspect, because its main characteristic is that it comes from God.
We want to give you some ideas for you to meditate on which are the priorities of your heart. If God occupies the primary place, all your other relationships (especially marriage) will be ruled by this great love and, better yet, if your spouse loves God more than he loves you, you can be sure to receive that infinite love.
There’s no better source of love than knowing and feeling God’s love. This is a great certainty in our lives and does not only mean knowing that you are accepted and valued; it means that your life makes sense as a whole. He who is filled with this love, who lives from this love and is able to share it, will love better.
Pope Francis, while referring to married life, says: “You can’t base a marriage on feelings that come and go. Bur rather on the rock of true love, the love that comes from God.” Only the ones who build their lives solidly and are not frequently changing, who are able to build relationships that last through time and who responsibly construct and plan their lives will achieve a firm marriage that resists everything. He who puts his heart in God is a trustworthy person and has an affective behavior that’s more predictable, which is exactly what we look for when we plan on building our lives next to someone.
We can look for substitutes everywhere: wealth, emotions, people, etc., things that can apparently make us happy, fulfill us, give us sense and motivate us… but there is only One that gives us something that won’t fade through time: God. Pope Francis teaches us that just as “when we pray the ‘Our Father’ we say: Give us this day our daily Bread. When it comes to marriage, we can say: Give us this day, our daily love.”
Whoever loves God with all his heart, puts the gifts he’s received in His hands and tries to make of his life an act that pleases Him. If that person falls in love and builds a family, he will be able to fulfill the vocation of being a domestic church, collaborating with the plan of God in the upbringing of children through a testimony of faithfulness and mutual service. Saint Josemaría Escrivá explained this very well:
“Christian couples should be aware that they are called to sanctity themselves and to sanctify others, that they are called to be apostles and that their first apostolate is in the home. They should understand that founding a family, educating their children, and exercising a Christian influence in society, are supernatural tasks. The effectiveness and the success of their life – their happiness – depends to a great extent on their awareness of their specific mission.”
Those who love God have had to make peace with Him more than once. Our condition of fragility and sin takes us to see our mistakes with honesty and ask forgiveness sincerely. This exercise of humility and reconciliation is the support that enables us to forgive and ask forgiveness when our spouse doesn’t do what’s right or when we ourselves make mistakes in the journey. Pope Francis refers to this with good humor:
“Jesus, who knows us well, teaches us a secret: don’t let a day end without asking forgiveness, without peace returning to our home, to our family. It is normal for husband and wife to quarrel, but there is always something, we had quarreled… Perhaps you were mad, perhaps plates flew, but please remember this: never let the sun go down without making peace! Never, never, never!”
We hope that you’re convinced of how important it is for your couple to be more in love with God than with you. Careful! That doesn’t mean your spouse loves you less!
This post was translated into English by María Isabel Giraldo. You can find the original Spanish here.
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