Valentine’s Day may be a distant memory of love in action for a lot of couples. The dinner, dessert and/or chocolate is digested. The flowers are either faded or properly disposed of, and the cards are put aside or disposed of, as well. But the sentiment should carry on.
God doesn’t show us love and grace just one day of the year. If we are truly “imitators of God” we will show love everyday. And if we “live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us,” as we’re told to do in Ephesians 5:1, then we need to keep persevering in finding ways to show our love to each other.
Love: A Distant Memory?
If we truly love God then it will show in the way we live with our spouse.
I totally agree with the point that Mike and Debbie Breaux make. It is featured in their Todayschristianwoman.com article, The Real Thing:
“Love is a byproduct of our intimacy with God. It’s the same supernatural power that blew a rock off a tomb. This love gave life to a dead man is in us, guiding, stretching, and prompting us to do the right thing, convicting us when we do the wrong thing.
“As we intentionally imitate Jesus throughout our day, there’s this unexplainable surge of power and energy that enables us to love in ways we’re incapable of on our own.”
I’ve sensed that power over and over again. It’s something I sense when I surrender my selfism. I then know I must embrace the grace that God helps me to extend to my husband. A loving marriage requires a process of daily “dying to self.” This is something God calls us to do. There are times when I want to grab onto what I consider my “rights.” I want to run with them as a selfish child. But then the Lord reminds me that love is not “self-seeking.” This inspires me to work the situation out with Steve, in a godly way.
Sadly, I confess that I don’t always release my self-seeking ways immediately. But with the Lord’s help and nudging, I eventually come around. Thank you Lord and Steve, for your patience with me!
I also agree with something else Mike and Debbie write in their article. They give as a “Love lesson” as they point out:
“If you really fall in love with God, you’ll notice a difference in your love toward your spouse.”
(You can read more about this and other important points, as well, in their article.)
I hope and pray for you and for me. I pray we will continually show love towards our spouse in a way that others will “notice a difference.” The love we show each other should draw others to want to know more about the love of Christ.
I’m struck by something Susan Graham Mathis observed in her Canada Focus on the Family article, Marriage on Display.
“I watch them as they walk into church as though they’re on their honeymoon, even though I know they’ve been married for decades. They are kind and tender toward one another, hand in hand, interacting sweetly.
“A glance their way warms my heart. I just know they are in love and they enjoy being married.
“Another couple —the man who walked into church five paces ahead of his wife —sits in the pew several inches apart. They snip at each other throughout the service.
“All too often I hear people say, ‘Why would I want to get married when all I’ve seen is how unhappy couples seem when they’re married?’”
Sadly, that is what is happening all over the world. People, who NEED to know Christ’s love, and those who NEED to know the difference between God’s love and worldly love, are turned off by what they are witnessing in Christ “followers.”
PLEASE take this article as a wake-up call, if it’s needed. Please don’t allow yourself to continue to be like this last couple. The “love” that is shown is cold and a distant memory of what it was. It’s a shadow of what God wants to energize and show in and through you.
Take to heart the message given to us in James 1:22-26.
In it we are told:
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it —not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it —they will be blessed in what they do.
“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.“
Make sure you communicate the gospel with and without words. You do this by what you say and how you live “a life of love” with your spouse.
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.
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