December 23, Sunday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional is written by Joshua Chzen who serves at Kairos Christian Church, San Diego.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Imperfect Love”

Ephesians 5:28-33

In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.

After a few months into my marriage, my wife pointed out a bad habit of mine that I hadn’t really paid attention to before: I love eating junk food, and I love eating it late at night. (In reality, there were quite a few more things to be pointed out.)  When we moved to our new apartment, there were two Jack-in-the-Box restaurants within a mile of us. So after a long day of work or a late meeting, I didn’t think it was harmful to treat myself to something satisfying—it was my way of “loving myself,” even if a little bit indulgent. Of course, this sort of habit would be detrimental to my health, both in the short and long term, which is why my wife took issue with it in the first place.

In reality, my imperfect way of loving myself affects not only myself, but my wife as well. Paul directs husbands to love their wives as their own bodies, and he’s talking about complete selflessness in love and attitude. But even as I look at how my heart is shaped through something like indulging myself, I can see that same heart reflected in how I love and care for my wife—that is, if my desire is to grow in and prioritize holiness, then I will love and care for my wife in a way that reflects that for her. The way I “feed and care for my body” will be the same as how I “feed and care for” my wife.

This makes it all the more important to pursue a life of love in Christ. We understand how Jesus “feeds and cares for” His body, the Church: He sacrifices Himself for it, builds it up and equips it, casts out its fears and covers its weaknesses, and brings it to holiness, righteousness, and purity. As members of His body, we can personally experience this perfect love. And we understand that as Jesus calls us to love others as we love ourselves, He’s not referring to an imperfect love that’s been shaped and affected by worldly understanding or fleshly desire; rather, He’s calling on all of us to reflect that same perfect love that we experience as Christ Himself loves His Body.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for loving me and caring for me as part of Your Body. Show me how to love like You do—and if it seems unnatural, difficult, or in conflict with where I am, I pray that You would reorient my heart back to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 26

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