The most important verse in the Bible is John 3:16, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”. And the greatest commandment is found in Luke 10:27, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself”. As Christians we are to live lives separated from the world, marked by our love for each other. This is how people will know we are Christ’s followers (John 13:35).
However, what are we to do when the one we love does not give us love in return? Take a few minutes to read the Old Testament story of Hosea. After extending love to the one God chose for him to marry, and after she was unfaithful to him, God instructed Hosea to love her even more. “Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods.” As God’s chosen people, the Israelites on numerous occasions left their devotion to their one true God to follow other gods, idols that they had made. But God remained faithful to them, and still does to this day. He remains faithful to us, His New Testament saints, even when we turn away from Him in sin, and follow our own idols that we have made. (An idol is anything that takes God’s place in our hearts.)
In closing, let’s look at Jesus’ final command to His disciples which is known as The Sermon on the Mount, found in Luke 6:27-28: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you”.
Read also Luke 6:32-33 and Luke 6:35 for more on loving our enemies.
We are able to love our spouse when they are not deserving of our love because God has given us love when we do not deserve it. Ask Him to fill you with the kind of love only He can provide, then purpose to give your spouse love that reflects God’s love for us.
CHALLENGE: Choose to love even if you receive no love in return.