...Is like loving your kids. I always knew that marriage was a great analogy of our relationship with God. We are the bride and He is the bridegroom. Our marriages should be a symbol of God with us. I think that's why God hates divorce.
So if our relationship with our husband is a way of looking at our relationship with God. Then naturally our relationship with our kids is a way of looking at our relationship with our neighbor. Lets start with the Bible on this one:
Mark 12: 28-34
"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "Is this 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength' The second is this 'Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."
WOW! What amazing words! Thank you God for your word! These are such great commandments, but as Christians we tend to lean more on the second one of these.
Every marriage book will tell you that your husband needs to come before your kids. Many times when a couple has kids this is what brings the marriage to an end. Well not the kids but the wife changing her focus from her husband to her kids. Now don't get me wrong...giving your kids attention is great. But they should not replace your husband as #1 in your life.
Now lets apply this to God and our neighbors. Jesus said there were two commandments. But the first one we are given is to the the Lord with everything. Then comes love your neighbor. I think many times we assume that if we are Christian we automatically have a great relationship with God. But we never work on that relationship. We barely spend time with Him and we are putting all of our focus on the "kids". Loving our neighbor is important...but how can we love our neighbor with the love of God if we only love God with the bare minimum?
So my suggestion. Take the advice from all the marriage books. Only apply it to your relationship God and his children. Give God your 1st. Give God your time. Talk to Him daily...though out the day. Don't give Him just your crumbs. Encourage the Christians around you to do the same. Be there to challenge them daily. Push each other closer to God. Then once we begin to love God with everything we can love His children around us.