… Put on the new self … Christ is all, and in all … put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other … and beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
As you grow in your understanding of Christ’s love for you, His words and His ways will become evident in you. This is God’s plan for your marriage – stay rooted and grounded in the love of Christ, so you may be able to give His love to Ryan. Remember, God’s love is the “perfect bond of unity.” Daily seek Him, so you can daily love your husband.
I want to recommend a book called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, which has been a wonderful asset to me in understanding how I can best “daily love” Mac. The book describes the ﬁve languages in detail: physical touch, acts of service, gift-giving, words of aﬃrmation, and quality time. Showing all these languages is essential in your marriage, but realize some are more prominent in speaking love to Ryan. Knowing his love languages will help you direct your energy and focus. For example, in our marriage, Mac appreciates a home-cooked meal (drats), which is acts of service. But of course, I appreciate a date with him alone, which is quality time. So, we have learned to give to each other – I work in the kitchen; he takes me out (bless him). Also, words of aﬃrmation are important to both of us. I have realized I need to be intentional on building him up as a husband, as a daddy, and as a doctor. And he has realized well-thought through, uplifting words are like a bouquet of ﬂowers for me. Find out each others’ love languages and speak them intentionally.
Realize this too, Molly: sometimes loving is easy and sometimes it’s not. That’s why Scripture says to “put on love”. We, because of sin, are not able to love others more than we love ourselves. But if we take oﬀ the old self, and put on the new, which is Christ in us, we can love in this self-sacriﬁcing way!
To illustrate, sometimes making a home-cooked meal after a long stressful day is the absolute last thing I want to do! But for the sake of the unity of the family, I need to provide dinners at home for Mac and the children a reasonable amount of nights each week. Thankfully, Mac is not overly picky concerning the food set before him (bless him again)!
I encourage you, Molly, to call on Christ in time of need, and His strength will help you love Ryan in spite of your temporary emotions, your occasional fatigue, or your possible stressful circumstances. “Christ is all, and in all” … and through His strength, you can “put on love.”
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ.