Romantically Challenged Devotional

Read This: Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.” God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)

Think: One of the first games I learned to play as a kid was tag. Boys against girls—always. Those are the first distinct groups we divide ourselves into even as children. Even by three and four years of age we already begin separating ourselves by our natural interests and temperaments. The girls are coloring and dressing up, while the boys are wrestling on the floor or meticulously planning an extravagant matchbox car crash.

There is no doubt men and women are very different and at times it might seem like we are truly from different planets. But the truth is both genders were created in God’s image and we are made for each other (see Gen. 2:18). We’re gifted differently, but all of those gifts were given by God and ultimately reflect God. The beauty of God’s plan is when we are able to use those different gifts to complement one another, help one another, and bring God glory in our marriages and in the church.

At the heart of Ephesians 5:22-33 is how to truly love one another bearing in mind that men and women have unique needs and struggles. Husbands are to love their wives sacrificially, to lead with her best interest in mind. Wives are to respect their husbands. This isn’t just marital advice, these are God’s commands for husbands and wives. You’ll notice there are no contingencies here—this is not a “if wives respect their husbands, then husbands love their wives” or vice versa. Regardless of how obedient our spouse is, we must be obedient to God.

All marriages take work and some may need more than others. Don’t allow the differences between men and women, you and your spouse, to bring down what God created to be beautiful. Embrace your differences knowing that you each reflect aspects of the image of God.

Ask: How can you actively love your spouse better today?

Pray: Spend some time praying for your marriage. Specifically ask God to show you ways you personally can reflect him better and be more obedient in your relationship with your spouse.

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