This may strike you as a radical statement—perhaps even as one that overreaches. Let me explain.
Note: the below can definitely apply to women as well!
As a man, a husband, and a father, I’ve experienced a consistent connection between how well I love my family and how submitted (consumed) I am to the love of God. The further I drift from an active, devoted relationship with my Creator, the further I drift from loving my wife with patience, understanding, compassion, and grace. The same is true for my relationship with our daughters.
In other words, if I’m not consistently disciplined to get into God’s word, talk to him, remind myself of the gospel, and center my day, thoughts, and desires on him, I’m more likely to rely on my own strength to love my family well. The problem with that is that I’m actually a pretty weak person… I grow impatient and selfish quicker than I think I will. I need God’s help—I need his grace.
Maybe you can relate: it’s easy to have a great week with your relationship with God and then try to use that momentum to coast through the next week. But that’s not how we’re built to live.
One reason for this drift (when it happens, which thankfully is becoming less and less frequent) may be because I take the work and presence of the Holy Spirit for granted. It’s amazing—yes, amazing!—how the Holy Spirit supernaturally enables us to love like Christ. It’s otherworldly.
May God be our first and ultimate desire! May we constantly rely on his power to love our families with love and truth that are out of this world.
May God fuel our marriages and make them beacons of Christ’s hope, joy, peace, and love for our families, our communities, and the far reaches of the world.