I know that many times we do not consider our spouses as neighbours. Our neighbour is usually the person who lives next door.
There are two foundational laws, loving God with all your heart, soul and mind and might and loving your neighbour as yourselves.
This is where everything stands or falls and this is where we have fallen short of and hence, the challenges we face.
There would be less crime and violence if we truly regarded each other as neighbours and loved them as ourselves.
Today I want you to consider your spouse as your first and foremost neighbour. Indeed your spouse is your neighbour with whom you share everything.
It is amazing how we can live in animosity with our spouses and claim to live in peace with others outside. Is that not ridiculous?
You hate, hurt, despise, treat like rubbish and beat the person you share your bed, your nakedness and food with but you have the guts to affirm, spoil and do anything good with the other people out there.
I think if you want to find hypocrites these days you must visit most marriages. Beloved how much you love yourself can be truly measured by how much you love your spouse. Love is not just words but an action.
Love is practical and is more than a mere marriage certificate. Both the husband and the wife must love each other as they love themselves. What do I mean here?
Do to your spouse what you want them do to you
In reality, how do you want your spouse to treat you? You cannot force them to do it but you have to do it yourself first.
I have seen and heard many spouses complain about their spouse, that they do not show love them, serve them, respect them, remember their birthday or anniversary.
First of have you loved them yourselves? Have you served them? Have you respected them? Have you celebrated or reminded them of the anniversary.
I think it is logical and fair to get the ball rolling yourself. Do not wait on the other person to do those things you desire.
The moment you do them, they get imparted on them and they are flowing freely. Our biggest challenge is sitting back and complaining and grumbling about this and that.
Did you know that what you grumble about, you actually empower and it grows and causes conflict? Look at the things that are haunting you in marriage. It is the same thing that you complain and grumble about every day. You wonder why they are not going away.
They are staying on the power of your words. You are feeding them everyday and they have become so strong and now are choking your relationship.
Get up and do what you want your spouse to do to you. Lead by example and live what you desire. A tough call but doable.
Loving your spouse as yourself releases respect and genuineness
One of the biggest challenges in today’s generation is lack of self-leadership and self-respect. How do you expect to lead your spouse when you cannot lead yourself?
As a spouse and individual, where are you going? People who are in charge of themselves will respect themselves and others.
A man who respects himself will not abuse his wife and so is a woman who respects herself.
Self-respecting people love themselves and will pass on that love and respect to others.
If you really decide to love your spouse and treat them neighbourly you will begin to release the respect and the genuineness that true love feeds on.
To create this neighbourly atmosphere in the home I suggest that you learn to talk with each other and not necessarily to each other.
Engage and discuss things and think together. Sometimes we struggle with things when our spouses have the solutions, but because we do not engage and share, we lose out.
Learn to do things together and support each other as a couple. Praise each other and highlight each others strengths than the weaknesses. Do everything possible to stay loving to your spouse. Love your neighbour.
Kilton Moyo is a pastor, guidance and counselling consultant and author of The Church at War. Call or WhatsApp on +263 775 337 207 or +263 712 384 841.