“Here’s what I love more than you.”
Said no smart husband or wife ever.
But what if you could love your spouse more by loving him or her less?
It’s been more than 20 years since pastor and author John Piper penned a poem for his son’s wedding: “Love Her More and Love Her Less.”
Love your wife more than wealth, Piper tells his son. More than ease. More than your friends, or sex or art or fame. Or breath.
But, he writes, The greatest gift you give your wife / Is loving God above her life.
Personally, I find that when I don’t do this, don’t love my husband more than God? It’s hard to love my husband well at all. When I’m not satisfied in God, that dissatisfaction tends to suck in my husband (and the rest of my world) like a black hole. My “affections” can be motivated by my own gaping holes.
That God-shaped vacuum demands to be filled.
Truth: My attempts to fill my soul’s own holes—like my clawing for others’ approval, my insatiable appetite to be significant and to achieve and be loved or adored—have been some of the most destructive forces to myself and my marriage.
When I’m not seeking my worth in God, not loving Him first? I leave a churning, ravenous wake.
To love your mate better?
Love Him more.
It is not wise or kind to call
An idol by sweet names, and fall,
As in humility, before
A likeness of your God. Adore
Above your best beloved on earth
It’s important to understand and remember God’s intended agenda for our marriage.
The good stuff: My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:13)
Action points: Be keenly aware of times your soul feels “hungry” for comfort. Approval. Security. Power. Before seeking validation from your spouse or elsewhere, take time to tell yourself the truth, and let it settle into your soul.
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