Love your enemies – and your bride – Redux

Had some comments both on-line and via e-mail about my Love your enemies – and your bride post last week.  I realise that the passages I used are about an enemy, not a spouse – but shouldn’t our spouse be treated even better than we are told to treat those who don’t like us? Scriptural commands such “love your neighbour as yourself”, “prefer one another” and “do unto others” take it even further – and pretty much wipe out any excuse for selfishness or putting our bride’s wants/needs/dreams below our own.

All that said, I do realise that there are women who will no doubt take advantage of a man who does these things. Give more, and she will ask for more. Put up with something, and she will get even worse. Certainly, we are not to be doormats, and certainly we are not called to endlessly put up with sinful behaviour aimed at us. I don’t know where to draw that line, but based on what I see in the scriptures I would think we do well to err on the side of being the one wronged.

Finally, I don’t see this as being a headship issue – except that those who lead are supposed to set an example, and are supposed to server, not rule.

Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:

Valentine’s Day is Over. Now What? Stu had some good thoughts on Love as a lifestyle

Money Help: Just in time for Valentine’s Day – This post by Lori Lowe points out that financial problems hurt marriages
Money Help: Become a Financially Free Couple
– Follow up to the post above, with some great help links

The Nice Guy Syndrome – Cory covers a growing problem – men who are ‘too nice”.  Good stuff.

Thirty Ways to Love Your Lover – Excellent article by Dennis Rainey

4 Comments on “Love your enemies – and your bride – Redux

  1. Most of us think that the opposite of love is hate when in truth the opposite of love is selfishness. The amount we love is in direct proportion to the amount of selfishness that we have removed from our relationship. God tells us to love Him with all our hearts which means we cannot have any selfishness. If we do, then we are not loving God with all our hearts. Same goes with our love for our wives. We cannot have any selfishness and love them as Christ loves the church.

  2. Since this post seems to be generally pointed at my comment last time, I figured I should reiterate what I meant.

    I understand that it is quite obvious we should be loving our wives much more than our enemies, but this comment isn’t even worth a blog post. My 4 year old son could tell us all that. I hear constant chatter about loving our wives like Christ and loving our enemies but I don’t think people have a clue how this works. Shouldn’t we find examples of this in Bible instead of making up our own and assuming we know what we are talking about?

    If you actually look in the Bible (most of the OT and some of the NT) you’ll find a God that declares his love for his people and then kills a group of them off. I’ve actually found many atheists who don’t believe in God, since they can’t understand a God who does this. I actually think it is just the fact the church doesn’t particularly understand God’d love or how it works with his other attributes (mercy, justice, holiness, etc).

    I’m actually pretty convinced that God’s love for us has next to nothing to do with today’s version of Romantic Love. At least I can’t find it anywhere in the actual Bible. God’s love for us is sincere but mostly leeds to dicipline, sacrifice, tough circumstances, and even pain. Of course there is much blessing, but that takes real effort to get there. I see nothing of the flowery parade of roses or quasi-servatude that Christian men like to show off to other men to prove they are the best husband.

    From what I see most men have given up their role as a husband to be subservient to their wives to act pious. They spend most of their times trying to make wives “happy” and appoligizing for leaving the toilet seat up, while groveling about how they aren’t perfect. It all sounds good to a society that can’t stand submission of any sort, but is it right? We’ve given up the duty of directing the spiritual path’s of wives to act like a dog with it’s tail between it legs.

    So why don’t we have a real conversation about those that Jesus loved. The ones that accepted or rejected him. The ones that were obediant and the ones who were not. The one’s who are rewarded and the one’s punished. Let’s stop giving preferences to blessings and read the curses as well. This would be some insight I could really get into.

  3. @hopingforbetter – Sorry for the slow reply. Yes, most of what I said did reply to things you said, but I had several private e-mails that expressed similar thoughts.

    Yes, we should love our spouse more than our enemies is obvious, but three are men who don’t treat their wife as well as Jesus tells us to treat our enemies – seems to me that makes it a valid point to bring up.

    I understand your view of our relationship with God, but it is not my personal experience. The difficulty in applying the marriage relationship is that a human couple generally have a similar maturity level, something not true of man and God. Perhaps the child and farther relationship is easier for us to use with God. I see the love and total acceptance from God, while feeling the desire to please Him because of my love for him.

    Are a lot of men wimpy? Yes. I recently linked to a post about “Nice guys” that covers this.

    As to blessings and curses, Peter warns us that men who don’t live well should not expect God to hear their prayers!

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