Daily Devotionals

Mix Tape Week 4 Thursday

In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. Ephesians 5:28

In a world that teaches us to look out for ourselves, our needs, and our happiness above anyone else’s needs and happiness, Scripture teaches us something different. Scripture calls us to Christ-like love, and this Christ-like love is not self-focused at all. Instead, it focuses on others and treats them as we would want to be treated. This kind of love means loving others the same way that we love ourselves.  

Ephesians chapter 5 is full of instructions for husbands and wives, and one of these parts of Scripture is a call to love. The apostle Paul wrote in this chapter of Ephesians, “In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually loves himself” (verse 28). Paul’s words found in this verse remind us to love people the same way we love ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I am pretty good at treating myself with love. I am always looking out for my preferences. I am concerned about myself. I make decisions based on how those decisions may affect me. You probably do, too. It is only natural for us to love ourselves and want what is best for us. While this is natural, Scripture teaches us to fight against this natural tendency by loving others, particularly our spouses, in the same way that we love ourselves.  

Loving people the same way that we love ourselves is a game-changer. Because of this, Jesus stated in Mark chapter 12 that the second greatest command was “Love your neighbor as yourself” (verse 31). You see, when this happens, we start thinking of others before ourselves. We start thinking about others’ wants and needs instead of our own. We start thinking about how decisions may affect them rather than how they will affect us. We start asking questions and paying attention to them rather than just ourselves. Loving others the same way we love ourselves ultimately provides a picture of Christ’s love for the Church, because He loved us so much that He put aside His feelings and comforts so that we might be made right with Christ. Therefore, let’s be people who love those around us with the same love that we have for ourselves. 

Moving Toward Action

Take a few moments to think about someone you know who models the command to love their neighbor as they love themselves. What stands out to you in the way they love people? Then, as you think about their example, what is one thing you can do this week to love people as they do?

Going Deeper

Mark 12:1-24 (NLT)

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.