Jesus said ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. Mark 12:31
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
I have been unwell this week but my husband gets full marks for sympathy and practical caring. He sits and talks to me, gives me paracetamol, tea and interesting reading material. He cooks and reassures me about things I have to cancel. But when this lovely man is ill himself he wants none of that! ‘Leave me in peace, don’t keep asking how I am and trust me to take my own medication. Please don’t fuss!’ So after almost 40 years we are still learning to treat each other not as we wish they would treat us, but how they like it! This applies throughout our relationship.
Jesus’ command to love your neighbour as yourself goes beyond ‘do as you would be done by’ and involves understanding of what that person really needs, not just dispensing what we want to give. This requires God’s wisdom and help – and may take years to perfect!
What situations do you each like to be treated differently in? Take some time to understand each other better. Perhaps start with talking about when you’re not well?
Prayer (as a couple)
Dear Father, We are so grateful for the way You love us and we want to increasingly care for each other in the way You care for us. May we understand each others’ needs in stressful times and be humble and servant-hearted in the ways we offer our love and support. Amen.
Prayer (for others)
Loving and compassionate God, we lift to You in prayer _______ and ________ going through this period of great testing through the illness (or whatever problem is) they are experiencing at this time. Strengthen them both and draw them close together in empathy, patience and love. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Love always protects… always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:7