We make the commitment to God to love our spouse when we get married on our wedding day but that commitment to love another is strengthened or weakened by the daily choices we make. The marriage vow is a vow to God and He is the One whom we love when we keep our vows. Our spouse is the recipient of our love for God in keeping our vow or our lack of love for God by not keeping our vow. Your love for your spouse is an expression of your love for God.
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. Matthew 6:24
No man can serve two masters, either he will love one or hate the other. If you love God then you will follow Him and obey Him. He says that if you love Him then you must deny yourself. You can not serve God and self.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. Luke 9:23
If you want to follow the Lord then you must deny yourself. This is lived out more in marriage than anywhere else. The question most often is not “do I love my spouse more than any other?”. Most people would probably be able to say “yes”. However, the question after we are married is more like, “do I love my spouse more than myself?”.
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24
Our lives are like a grain of wheat. It must die before it will bear fruit. If it refuses to die then it will remain alone. That is how love in a relationship is. If you refuse to die to yourself then you will remain alone but if you will die to yourself, your dreams, your expectations, your desires, etc. then you will bear much fruit and your marriage will bear much fruit. You will not be alone but your life will be filled with love. It sounds like a paradox but it is true. You must die to bear fruit.
He who loves his life loses it, John 12:25a
If you love your live then you will lose it. However, if you allow yourself to die with Christ on the cross, die to yourself, then you will live.
And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. Mark 8:34
When you come after Jesus Christ then you must deny yourself and take up your cross, die to yourself and follow Him. However, in doing so, you will find life. You will be set free from the things that bind you and frustrate you, which often are your own pursuits after your own desires. The Lord Jesus Christ will give you His life and desires in place of your life and desires.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20
When Christ lives in you then He will love through you. He will love your spouse with His love. It will be an unselfish love that will build up and establish your marriage. It will be a love that will encourage and cause trust to grow in your life and in the life of your spouse. It will be a love that will thrive and grow.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24
Many a person has lost their marriage because they refused to die to their self with its passions and desires. You can only die to yourself if you have another who will give His life to you. In death you receive life and in dying you learn to live.
But the desire of the righteous will be granted. Proverbs 10:24
The Lord wants to give you your desires that are His desires for you. However, when He gives them to you, the desires will be free of the sorrows that you would have received had you pursued them according to your ways.
It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, And He adds no sorrow to it. Proverbs 10:22
Follow the Lord with all of your heart and He will teach you His ways. He wants to give you a great marriage that is filled with love, joy, peace, patience and all of the other wonderful fruit of His Spirit. However, you must come to Him empty and let Him fill you. When you die to yourself then you become empty of yourself so that He can fill you with Himself, and He will live and love through you in the power of His Spirit. You will be able to say with all of the saints through the ages.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21