Loving Like God Is Actually Good for You
by Harold and Bette Gillogly
It’s outrageous how much God loves us! And even more outrageous that He expects us to love like He loves!
WHAT? Love like God loves? Impossible, you say. But it can’t be impossible if that’s what He expects, can it?
Maybe we should take a close look at 1 John 4:10-12, and see how God loves. “This is real love—not that we loved God [like that], but that he loved us [like that] and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much [like that], we surely ought to love each other [like that]. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other [like that], God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” (NLT)
OK, so the first thing we notice is that God loved us before we even wanted His love, before we loved Him. That’s unconditional. Is that how you love your wife? Your husband? Whether he or she loves you back the way you want to be loved?
We also notice that love means sacrifice…willingly giving up something simply because we love someone. How are you at being selfless? Have you given up your expectations of what you want your spouse to be? Or do you stubbornly hold on to your ideal of them and refuse to be satisfied with anything less?
Finally, we see that although we can’t see God, we can certainly see His love for us. And if we love like He loves us, then we start to look like Him. Who do you look like to your spouse? Do you resemble Jesus?
And this scripture states it plain as day – If God loved us like that, then surely we ought to love each other like that. Is that how you love your spouse? Outrageously? Even though he or she will never live up to your expectations or your ideal? Even though they may never love you all the ways you want them to?
Here’s the good news. Research shows that our ability to love like this in our relationships – like our marriage – is THE defining evidence of human happiness. That’s because when we love like this, we use higher-level brain functions that trigger neurochemical reactions in our brains. And these result in a flood of positive emotions…happiness. So…want to be happy? Choosing to love your spouse like God loves you – outrageously – is the place to start!