Romans 13:8–10Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.  For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Love is always defined by God’s law. Not Hollywood or Nicholas Sparks or your own preferences. The commandments are a good place to begin when it comes to serious marriage counseling.
The law is how you love. The law puts handles on the big nebulous idea of love. The first four commandments all deal with our treatment of God. If we don’t obey these we will not love anyone at all. Loving God is the beginning of our ethics. Love God orients us.
You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3). Every man must love his wife less than he love God. Loving God as we ought enables us to love others as we should. Making idols of our wives is dangerous for both us and them. First, if your wife is an idol and you pray that God would destroy your idols? Dangerous. Next, oddly enough, when a wife is an idol she will often find herself mistreated because her man has separated himself from the true God who is love; the true source of real grace charity and all the other fruit of the spirit.
Luke 14:26“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.
A man will not become a disciple of Christ unless he hates his wife and he will never learn to love his wife unless he becomes a disciple of Christ.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image (Ex. 20:4) …but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments (Exodus 20:6). This commandment actually pertains to your progeny. A sure-fire way to visit iniquity on your children and even those descendants yet unborn, is to accept any man-made conceptions or images of the Triune God or any pious standard in the home other than Christ.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain (Exodus 20:7). We bear the name of Christ upon our person at all times. In whatever we do, we do it as Christians. Our work is Christian work. Our homes our Christian homes. Our marriages, are Christian marriages. But modern marriage is a corrupt lie most of the time – Christian or no. The church leads the world – divorce, rampant love-cult pop culture mentality, focusing on felt needs, sexual juvenilia, etc. We bear the name Christ upon us in vain because we don’t really know what it means to be Christian.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant (Exodus 20:8–10). Our lives are predicated on busyness, distraction, noise and pace, pace, pace. Husbands hardly know their responsibility to give their household sabbath rest; what that rest entails and doesn’t. Husbands must provide every member of their household with sabbath rest in the presence of God. Anyone with authority who does not know what sabbath rest is, does not know what love is.
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you (Exodus 20:12). Parents love to receive respect from children, but it is amazing how little respect to their parents as children. Most children learn how to disrespect their parents from their parent’s disrespect towards their own parents. Around the dinner table and in the car, they get all the example they need in passing conversation.
You shall not murder (Exodus 20:13). The converse of the cruelty that leads to malice aforethought and bloodshed is an attitude of warmth and kindness. The husband who loves his wife as Christ loves the church is exhibiting hatred for all lawless bloodshed.
You shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14). Obviously, a husband fulfills this by running from adultery in all forms and manifestations; guarding his eyes, heart, mind, imagination, hands, etc. – at all times.
You shall not steal (Exodus 20:15). The husband who does provide for his wife’s physical needs is robbing her. Food, clothing, housing, etc. He must never begrudge what she needs.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (Exodus 20:16). Your wife is your closest neighbor. Honest is crucial. Even sin. Especially sexual sin. A husband who keeps things from his wife is a liar, no matter the self-justification. Truthfulness in all things at all times. The man who will lie to or withhold truth from his wife will lie to anyone. Husbands and wives should be able to discuss anything.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s (Exodus 20:17). A happily married man will never waste his time staring over the fence longingly. Not the house, lawnmower, wife, children, BBQ, boat, or anything else over there.
Do these things and you will love God and your wife well.