Biblical Marriage: Love God and Love Your Spouse
By Rick Warren
— May 14, 2009
“‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus answered, ‘‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and the most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself’’” (Matthew 22:36-39 TEV). Any successful marriage is built upon the biblical truth that God designed each of us with five purposes in mind: worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and missions.
I suppose you’d expect a man who’s been married over thirty years to a beautiful, intelligent woman to be able to share with you the intimate secrets to having a perfect marriage.
But I’m going to disappoint you! That’s because Kay and I don’t have a perfect marriage. She is without a doubt my best friend, and we have a wonderful relationship, but as far as a perfect marriage, well, there’s no such thing.
What Kay and I do have is a marriage centered on Christ, specifically focused on glorifying God. We remain committed to each other because we remain committed to Christ and his work within us.
Jesus said the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Then he added, “The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your [spouse] as you love yourself’” (Matthew 22:37,39 TEV).
In this sense, you worship God when you love and sacrifice for your spouse. That brings pleasure to God, and any time you give pleasure to God, you’re worshiping him. Read through Romans 12 with a view of what its applications would mean to your marriage: “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:10 NLT).