Love, what it is and is not.
Here is some great wisdom on love from the Bible:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends.
Love is not a feeling that leads to an action. It is an action which leads to a feeling. Love is a decision.
I like to call this the definition of love and it is part of an explanation of the standard of love that we find in the bible. If you would like to know what each of these “is” and “is nots”, “does” and “does nots” mean. I have the definitions linked here.
Forgiveness, your secret power.
Forgiveness is necessary to close relationships, especially marriage. Because of how close we are to one another, we get real familiar with each other’s dirt. Forgiveness is your secret power that allows your spouse freedom to learn, keeping in mind that you need that same freedom from them as well!
bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Why love and forgiveness is foundational to marriage.
In our vows we promised to love one another. In our humanity we have messed up our love. Forgiveness pardons our spouses imperfections, freeing them to fully love me and freeing myself to fully love them.
The source of love and forgiveness is Jesus Christ. Both of these attributes are identified in the familiar scripture, John 3:16.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:17 goes on to say:
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Romans 5:8 shows us the extent of His love and forgiveness:
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Let’s put these two thoughts together and add them to a third:
- When we look at the example of Jesus Christ we see love and forgiveness working hand in hand so that we may be brought into connection with God.
- Ephesians 5:32 directly relates the marriage relationship of husband and wife to that of Christ and the Church.
- Love is from God. 1 John 4:7 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
When we join all three of these thoughts we can conclude that marriage, as God intends it, supplies us with resources that guarantee a connection between husband and wife. That connection is ever growing, is ever deepening and ever challenged by our human imperfections and life.
Take it Home
I want to encourage you to practice love and forgiveness today.
Love your spouse from a renewed understanding of what love is. Love, in it’s simplest explanation, seeks to love someone more than it seeks to be loved by that someone. When two people in marriage do this, you have what I like to call the harmony of love. It is not a feeling that leads to an action. It is an action which leads to a feeling.
When your spouse doesn’t match up to the standard of love, use your power of forgiveness to give them room to grow. By simply saying to yourself, I forgive my spouse, you will find new levels of freedom between the two of you. If you need an example of forgiveness, look to Jesus Christ and read Romans 5:8. In our worst, and through His love, God is ready to forgive us when we ask. He teaches us through the Lord’s prayer to also be ready to forgive one another before we are asked to.