Last week I wrote about studying God because the first thing you need in a relationship is knowledge of your partner. And your relationship can only be as great as your knowledge of them. If you only spent one hour a week learning about your spouse, you wouldn’t have a strong marriage.

The next thing you need in a relationship is love. I’m not talking about butterflies in the stomach, I mean an unselfish focus on the other person and wanting what’s best for them. Too often, we cultivate a relationship because we want something from the other person: status, pleasure, security, material possessions, there’s a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with building the other person up.

We even do this with God. People often ask “How can I get to Heaven?” or “How can I be saved?” These are not bad questions, but they aren’t focused on honoring God, they’re focused on concern for yourself.

It’s been a while since I said my marriage vows, but I don’t remember them having stipulations. “I promise to love and honor you because you will make bacon for me in the mornings. And I will cherish and obey you if you will do my laundry.” No, my vows were about giving regardless of if I received anything or not. Aren’t our marriages supposed to be a reflection of our relationship with God?

Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego modeled this when they said “God is able to deliver us from the fire. But even if we don’t get what we want, we’re still going to worship only Him” (Daniel 3:17-18 paraphrased). Their love for God was not dependent on their receiving something.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” No ifs, ands, or buts. Because it’s not about you, it’s about God.

Today, practice saying “I give you honor and glory, God, no matter what, simply because you are God.”
(And maybe do something for your spouse simply because you love them)