What is the Golden Rule? – Treat Others The Way You Want to be Treated
The Golden rule: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12, ESV).
We’ve all heard the golden rule.
For some people, it’s the first bible verse they ever learn. To others, it’s just a saying that is tossed around frequently as “guidelines” for morality.
I bet most people would be surprised to know that it was Jesus Himself who said this.
So most of us know the Golden Rule, but do we follow it, especially in marriage?
If I had to guess, most people think of the Golden Rule when they think of friendships and acquaintances. Do we think of the Golden Rule when it comes to our closest loved ones?
This may seem incredibly simple and obvious, but I know that I’m not the only one who doesn’t treat my spouse as nicely as I treat others.
Before We Can Really Live Out The Golden Rule, God Must Be The Center of Our Marriage.
First and Foremost, God must be the center and rock of any marriage.
The Golden Rule requires us to put our thoughts, feelings, and desires on hold so we can truly and fully love on our significant other.
This means we need to die to ourselves and sacrifice our desires for another.
This is not hard… this is impossible (without God). God must be our center in marriage. Only by being filled with the Spirit of God can we really live out the Golden Rule.
So… let’s Apply The Golden Rule To Our Marriages
For us women, if we reword the saying so that we apply it specifically to our husbands, it would say: “Whatever you wish that your husband would do to you, do also to him.”
Ok… so if we want our husbands to be kind to us, we must be kind to them… even if we feel crabby inside, or even when we’re hungry, or tired, or annoyed, or hurt…etc.
If we want our husbands to help around the house, we must be willing to help them when they ask for our assistance.
If we want our husbands to show us love using our love languages, we must do the same. A great book on love languages is (The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts) by Gary Chapman.
If we want our husbands to pursue us the way they did when dating, we must also pursue them.
If we want them to show us love, grace, and forgiveness when we sin…even if it’s for the 4947th in the same struggle, we must be willing to forgive and show grace to them…even if it’s for the 4947th time in the same struggle.
There’s probably a ton more scenarios I could write but I’m sure you understand the point. It isn’t fair for us to wish for our husbands to be a certain way or do certain godly things if we’re not willing to do the same.
But Why Live Out The Golden Rule?
This is important to follow because Jesus commanded it.
However, this isn’t about changing our husbands or doing something for them just so we get what we want in return…because that would be rather selfish and narcissistic. Instead, it’s an evaluation of our hearts, thinking that they probably desire the same things we do so if we want to be a loving wife, we could work on the areas in ourselves and take the log out of our own eye (Matthew 7:3-5).
It can be so easy to become fixated on how our spouse can improve and what we wish out if him. And Satan likes to make us feel like we don’t have to be kind, respectful, or loving to someone when they aren’t to us.
But this Golden Rule serves as a good reminder that it’s not about us, that we’re called to set aside our desires, and love others. But this is absolutely impossible without the daily surrendering of our selfish desires to the Lord. We will live hypocritically unless we ask God to empower us to obey Him and love others the way we want to be.
How do I do it?
Spend alone time with God every single day. Read and Pray his word consistently. Listen for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Then as you feel yourself wishing something from your husband, ask yourself if you are fulfilling that same request for your husband. Evaluate whether it’s an unrealistic desire vs. A godly, biblical desire. Ask God to work in your heart and mind to empower you to treat your husband the way you want to be treated.
And continually fill yourself up with daily bread from the Lord. When both a husband and wife are filling themselves up with the love and joy that can only come from God, the love they pour out to each other will be genuine and sacrificial, rather than selfish or needy.