Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday's Quote: Benevolence and our Spouses

If I were to ask you why you love your husband, what would you say?  Gary Thomas tackles this question in his book A Lifelong Love:  What if Marriage is about More Than Just Staying Together?, and here's what he says:
If you love your spouse because she is kind, you love kindness, not your spouse.  If you love your spouse because he is thoughtful, you love thoughtfulness, not your spouse.  True love is found in absolute benevolence, which is a state of the heart that is bent toward loving someone's highest good, regardless of the person's actions or character.  It is a disposition to do what is best for the other, out of the inner compulsion from the Holy Spirit, to serve this person's best interests.... 
You'll remember the verse that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:8).  He didn't love us because we were obedient or kind or thoughtful; He loved us with an absolute benevolence that will sound like a tautology:  He loved us because He loves us.  There is no explanation for this love.... 
As married people, we are invited to adopt an attitude of absolute benevolence toward our spouses--always wanting what is best for them....  Love is always set on the beloved's welfare--so all our actions should be motivated for their good.  All our actions.  Every one.  (p.255-257)
Reading this changed my thoughts on how and why I should love John.  I need to love him because I love him, not for what he does or doesn't do.  And it's intimidating to think that every single thing that I do should be motivated by doing him good.  Wow!  That's a high standard.  I know that I can only come close by God's grace, and I certainly won't be able to achieve it this side of Heaven.

So, why do you love your husband?  :)  After reading this, are you rethinking that like I am?

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