The Bible tells us to “love our neighbor.” Who’s our neighbor? Can I tell you about my neighbors? We love the family who lives next to us. When one of their chickens somehow got under the fence and into our backyard, our cocker spaniel had a heyday. I am talking a HEYDAY! The kind with music and dancing and cookies and pie. We didn’t notice anything until she brought us a dead and chewed up chicken. I’ll spare you the details, it wasn’t a pretty sight to say the least.
When my husband told our neighbor, his reply was, “Don’t tell my daughter.” And get this: he still brought us eggs. Our neighbors on the other side of us, directly behind us, are equally as wonderful. Through the years, they’ve helped us with all sorts of kindnesses from watching our dog to watching our kids. We really couldn’t ask for better neighbors.
We all have neighbors all around us, but let’s talk about the “neighbor” living in our home. If you are married who’s your closest neighbor? Your spouse. As we follow God’s command to love our neighbor we must start with our closest neighbor and love our spouse all out. Don’t you agree?
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other command greater than these.”
-Mark 12:30-31 KJV
Ah, the King James Version, I just had to use it for this passage. “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,” (did you notice the KJV adds a “u” in neighbor?) it just sounds so much more reverent with the Kind James Version. Thou shalt, in other words, Don’t mess around.
It’s like God is saying, “Don’t mess around with this command.” He’s not saying love your neighbor when you feel like it. He’s not saying love your neighbor when they love you back. He’s not saying love your neighbor when they bring you fresh eggs. No, he’s saying Love your neighbor as you would love yourself.
Love your spouse like you would love yourself.
Our closest neighbor is our spouse. The one we promised to love and adore until death—until death.
What a blessing it is to be able to love those around us. We can sometimes take for granted this wonderful gift God has given us to be able to love and cherish.
Practice this gift and love others today.
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