For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14–19)
Marriage can be a wonderful, beautiful thing. It can also be trying and difficult. One thing it does for sure is show us our need for inner strength. On our good days, we pray that God will help us love our husbands. But let’s take a moment and reflect on Paul’s prayer. His prayer is for us to know that the power to do life and marriage only comes from the Holy Spirit. Our love for one another won’t be powerful enough, our desire to be good wives won’t be powerful enough, our desire to make him a good husband won’t be powerful enough.
Paul’s prayer is that we will have strength, but strength for what? Strength to understand how amazing His love is for you. Understand that His love is all encompassing. His love is the biggest, the strongest, the fullest love you will ever know. His prayer tells us that in and of ourselves, there is no way for us to understand how incredible God’s love is. His love surpasses what our feeble minds can understand.
What gives you the strength to live every day with another sinner? Knowing and being full of His love for you, a sinner; you, a former enemy but now a friend; a hater of God but now a beloved daughter; you who unfaithfully looks to other things to satisfy your longing to be loved—but even still one, who is loved and accepted completely.
As you soak yourself in these truths and fall deeply in love with your Savior, you will love your husband more. You will be able to love freely without expectation because you have been loved. When he fails you or sins against you, you will be able, with unclenched fists, to forgive him because of how you have been shown such great mercy. When you sin against him you will be able to seek forgiveness without feeling like you are losing, because you will see that the hope you have been called to is so much bigger than your disagreement. The ways you sin against God are so much more grievous than the ways your husband sins against you, yet you are completely forgiven.
You can remember the truth about God’s amazing power, and it will enable you to give up trying to control or manipulate situations for your benefit. You will be able to rest in the truth that He fills all in all and you don’t have to. You can push your husband toward being full of Christ’s love and not try to be the only one he thinks about. Christ has lavished his love on you; don’t hoard your love or make your husband earn it. Love your spouse boldly as you remember God’s fierce love for you. When you fail at loving him the way you should, remember that you have the righteousness of Jesus Christ, that you are loved despite your performance, and rest in the breadth, length, height and depth of Christ’s love and know the fullness of God.