Zachary Elliott, Special to Valley News
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher hold the record for the longest marriage in history. They were married for a whopping 86 years and 290 days. Now that’s something to be proud of.
Everyone knows that marriage can be hard, especially for 86 years. But sadly, people often make it harder than it should be.
They get stubborn, angry, emotional, irrational, opinionated, arrogant, selfish and even lazy in their marriage. They are flawed people, and those flaws show through in the way they treat each other.
But, I believe, actually, I know, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful marriage. With almost 25 years of marriage under my belt, my wife and I have experienced just about every emotion.
And here’s what we’ve learned. You can have an excellent marriage. But you need God at the center to do it.
He truly teaches you to love your spouse his way, not yours.
Here are three simple steps on how to love your spouse right now.
Please read them carefully, because they are God’s way, not mine. You need these, whether your marriage is going great or is on the rocks. They will begin to move your marriage in the right direction.
Love your spouse as an act of worship.
When talking about marriage in Ephesians 5:21 it says that we are to love “one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Think of it this way – when you love, honor and respect your spouse, it’s an act of worship. You’re doing it, not just for them or your marriage; you’re doing it for the Lord.
You are actually loving Jesus, your savior, when you love your spouse, especially when they seem unlovable.
Love them with godly wisdom.
I want you to take a minute and evaluate your marriage in light of James 3:17-18.
It said, “Wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”
Now ask yourself, what kind of wisdom are you using in your marriage? Does it manifest the character qualities of this verse? If not, you’re probably not using godly wisdom.
I love the last sentence in this verse, “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”
It’s the law of sowing and reaping. What you put into your marriage, you’ll get out of your marriage.
If you sow yelling, swearing, belittling and disrespect in your marriage, guess what you’ll get?
You need to sow proper love into your spouse, which brings me to the next point.
Love them with God’s kind of love.
Thankfully God doesn’t leave us guessing, He defines his kind of love for people in 1 Corinthian 13:4-7.
It said, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
If you compare your definition of love to God’s definition of love, would they be the same? People often try to redefine love and the actions of it based on our feelings or personal preferences. That move gets them into marital trouble.
I believe you can wrap God’s definition of love into one word: selfless. That’s how God wants you to love your spouse.
Zachary Elliott is the lead pastor of Fusion Christian Church in Temecula. For more information, visit https://www.fusionchristianchurch.com, https://fourminutefaithbuilder.com or find them on Instagram.