A good relationship with our sweetheart, which produces a lasting marriage, is a holy vocation of sacramental union. It is the receiving and giving of the gift of God’s radical love. It is the living out of the two greatest commandments (Mark 12:30-31): love God with all you’ve got and love your sweetheart the way you love yourself, including when you don’t feel like doing it.
But oops! We often don’t love ourselves very well, do we? Low self-esteem undermines the life of being who God created us to be and doing what he called us to do. Conversely, thinking too highly of ourselves is prideful, self-centered, and often uncaring to others.
What is the holy way to love ourselves? This has to come first, within our personal relationship with God, or else we will never fully love our beloved. If we don’t, we either become too needy of our spouse or too controlling.
We have to spend time learning who we are as a valuable person created by God: our true self, made in his image, baptized into freedom from sin, a royal child of the King of the Universe.
Humble acceptance of this image is union with our Father who created us, with Jesus who delivered us into our true calling as saints, and with the Holy Spirit who empowers us to act saintly.
Then we are able to love our spouse well.
- Do I have a wrong self-image based on low self-esteem or pride?
- What in my sweetheart is an image of God?
Strengthen your relationship:
Tell each other what you see in him, in her, which is the wonderful masterpiece that God designed. Then pray together: Ask the Father to help you see what he sees in you and in your beloved. Ask Jesus to help you love yourself the way he loves you. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you love each other with the radical love that comes from God.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries
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