Sometimes loving your spouse is easy and sometimes it’s not!
In this episode Christina and I have an honest and open discussion about why it’s often hard to love each other and we also share with you some tips on how we get through those times.
We also share a story we’ve never shared before about something that happened exactly 19 years ago today!
Prayer Requests from Christina
- Pray for wise time management and sanity while homeschooling five children.
- Pray for the completion of the translation project for the pro-life pregnancy care center here in Odessa
- Pray for Christina while Caleb is in the States from February 26th through March 15th
In the News
I will be in the US February 26th – March 14th. I’ll be in Western, Washington and in Los Angeles, California during this trip. I would love to see you if you are in those areas. I’ll send out my schedule soon.
7 Reasons Why it’s Hard to Love Your Spouse
Sometimes loving your spouse is the easiest thing in the world, especially on those beautiful sunny mornings when your spouse makes you a full breakfast while you’re still fast asleep and then serves it to you bed.
You know, that’s the same day when you just paid off your bills and completed all the projects you started ages ago, your health is in perfect order, and the kids decided to spend the morning weeding the flowerbeds.
It’s pretty easy to love your spouse on days like that.
But what about those in-between days?
What about those days when the clouds of discontentment close off the sky and disagreements rain down?
Those weren’t the days you imagined when surrounded by the smiling eyes of family and friends you made your promise to love till the bitter end.
Love, it turns out, is sometimes hardest with those nearest.
Ironically that person you should love the most can be one of the most difficult to love at times.
Let’s look at a few reasons why it can be such a challenge to love your spouse.
1. Your spouse doesn’t always live up to your dreams.
It can be frustrating when your beloved doesn’t live up to your dreamed up suppositions about marriage and life.
Don’t worry I know this knife cuts both ways. The problem is that you and I are also pretty good at spoiling our spouses’ dream.
2. Your spouse can be cranky.
I might not know your spouse but I’m willing to wager that there are times when your spouse gets a bit cranky. There are times when your spouse is short with his/her words. Sometimes it’s not even words, it may just be eyes that threaten to burn your scalp right off.
Whatever it is, there are times when your spouse’s mood isn’t very fetching and loving her in those moments is about as comfortable as snuggling up with a pair of ticked off porcupines.
3. You compare your spouse with other people.
Comparison is one of the quickest ways to bring discontent into a marriage. However, unless you actually have multiple spouses all comparison does is bring a fictional character into your marriage.
A character that will always be more desirable because he/she has never done any of the stupid and/or hurtful things your spouse has done.
4. Your spouse may have hurt you in the past.
If you’ve been married more than a few months it’s likely that your spouse has hurt you in one way or another. They may not have had an affair or anything of that gravity, but they’ve said things, failed to do things, and made mistakes that have brought you real pain.
Hurts of the past, especially unforgiven, unresolved hurts make it hard to love your spouse.
5. Your spouse requires your time and effort.
Why is it easier to love those far from us?
Primarily because they never ask us to get off the couch and help with the dishes just minutes after we sat down exhausted from a long day of work.
Maybe marriage would be easier if we didn’t actually have to live with each other, if we just got together a couple of times a week and did fun things. Then everyone would be happy and no one would have to give it that much effort.
Wait! Don’t they already have a name for that?
That’s right, it’s called “dating” and it’s for people who aren’t ready for marriage.
6. You see your spouse’s imperfections.
These last two bring us down to the core of the issue.
The problem with marriage is that it gives you little if no place to hide. It’s likely that no one knows your spouse’s flaws better than you!
I’m not talking about the flaws hidden behind a layer of Maybelline and L’Oreal.
I’m talking about flaws hidden in the heart. Quiet and nearly invisible flaws, which in public can easily hide behind a friendly smile and neighborly chit-chat. Things like jealousy, pride, bitterness, anger, apathy, and lust.
How you react when you see these things in your spouse will in a great way determine your ability to love your spouse regardless of their flaws.
7. Your spouse sees your imperfections.
So, everything I said about reason #6 goes the other way too! That means no one knows your flaws better than your spouse and if they still love you despite how messed up you are in the inside then that’s cause for humility!
4 Truths that Can Help You Love Your Spouse When They’re not Very Lovable.
I’m sure you could add a few personal reasons of why it’s hard for you to love your spouse but I think you get the point. We live in a fallen world and neither you nor your spouse are perfect. Ultimately it’s our sin problem that makes it difficult to love and to be loved.
Now let’s look at a few truths that can help us love our spouses no matter the circumstance.
Truth #1 God loved you on your worst day.
I can’t give you a better example of loving an unlovable person than God’s love for you. When you married you most likely did it because you were “in love” That means, the beauty of your spouse’s physical appearance as well as his/her character attracted you and brought you great pleasure.
Most couples don’t learn to love in the difficult times until after the honeymoon.
God, on the other hand, loved you when you were the most unlovable, when you were still in your sin and there was nothing attractive about you.
But God demonstrates his love for us by the fact that the Messiah died for us while we were still sinners.
The humbling truth of God’s love toward you on your worst day should change your perspective about loving your spouse when they’re not so lovable.
Truth #2 There is nothing you can do to change God’s love for you. His love is constant because his character is consistent.
God’s unchanging character means that His promises are sure and His love for you is faithful.
James reminds us:
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)
Your unfaithfulness at times doesn’t changes God’s goodness and love for you. Understanding God’s faithful, unchanging love towards you ought to motivate you to love your spouse in the same consistent and unchanging way that God loves you.
Truth #3 To love another when life is good is nothing extraordinary, but to love in hardship, trials, and suffering, that is divine.
Love untempered by the trials of life doesn’t say much about your ability to love another. It’s easy to love your spouse on your honeymoon when you’re both young and beautiful and no tragedies have yet struck your lives.
However, how you respond to your spouse in the face of real hardship will either deepen your love for each other or destroy it.
Again we must look at the quality of love that God poured out on us through Jesus Christ.
Who will separate us from the Messiah’s love? Can trouble, distress, persecution, hunger, nakedness, danger, or a violent death do this?
To love your spouse in trouble, distress, persecution, hunger, nakedness, danger and even death is to follow the example of divine love given to us in Jesus Christ.
Truth #4 In the end selfless love changes the lover and the beloved.
Too often we waste our time trying to change our spouse. We do our best to iron out those little things in their personality that bug us but often we just make things worse.
If you really want to see change then I suggest you focus on selflessly loving your spouse with no strings attached.
Think about how God’s love changes all who believe.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (I John 3:1)
God’s love changes us in many ways but most importantly it brings us into right relationship with Him so that we can be called “children of God.”
Unconditional, undemanding, and unselfish love of your spouse has the greatest possibility for producing change in their lives. At the same time it will change your life. You will come to see God’s love for you more clearly and you will find your relationship with God deeper and more precious to you than ever before.
Yes, sometimes it is difficult to love your spouse, but when you realize God’s love for you and seek to mirror that love in your marriage, it will change your perspective and empower you to love your spouse in a divine way no matter the circumstance.