What happens with your relationship with God if you love your spouse more than God the Father? Can you still be saved?
God designed men and women to be strongly attracted to each other. That is God’s design. As a side comment, we should add that God considers homosexual attraction to be a sin. That is a spiritual problem. God designed men and women to be both emotionally, sexually, and intellectually attracted to each other. Sometimes it can be easy to confuse this kind of attraction with a love for God.
Love For Others
So what does it mean to love God? God tells us that our love for others demonstrates that we love Him. Our love for others is a mark of our love for God. In fact if we do not love others, we do not love God.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love . . . Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another . . . If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. (NASB) 1 John 4:7-8, 11, 20
We are to love and care for widows, orphans, prisoners and strangers. Hospitality means “stranger love.”
This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (NASB) James 1:27
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them . . . (NASB) Heb. 13:2-3
Our love for others shows how much we love Him.
Love For God
In the gospels, Jesus must have surprised many people when He said the following:
He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. (NASB) Matt. 10:37
If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. (NASB) Luke 14:26
Jesus made a strong statement. How should we understand His comments in light of the above passages? How should we understand Jesus’ own comments in this passage?
And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ (NASB) Matt. 22:37-39
He also calls us to love our wives (Eph. 5:28) or our husband (Titus 2:4). Jesus is not saying that we should hate other people, including our family, in Luke 14:26 or in Matt. 10:37. He is emphasizing a point by making a strong statement. God must be first in our life above our children, mother, father, and spouse.
How To Love God
Jesus’ concept of love is illustrated for us in John 21 when Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him.
So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” (NASB) John 21:15
Jesus tells Peter to prove his love for Him by being obedient – by placing Jesus first. Here is a great statement to help us understand how much we love Him.
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. (NASB) 1 John 5:3
Jesus demands that we love Him more than anyone else. This does not necessarily mean emotional love. But it does mean obedience. It means being faithful to Him. We show God that we love Him more by being willing to sacrifice our desires, accept insults and abuse from others, and give up our lives for Him. Our spouse should never cause us to sacrifice our relationship – our obedience to Him! If we consistently place God second in our lives to our spouses, children, and friends, then we should start asking ourselves, “Am I really a Christian?’ The answer to that question is given at this site “Am I a Christian?”