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The Essence of Unfailing Love: Knowing Jesus

 

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud. It is not self-seeking. It is not irritable, and keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” – 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7.

 

 

So many of us long so much to find the “love of our life” to the point that we neglect the one who loved us first. We neglect to seek love from the one who loves us infinitely and more abundantly than any anyone else. We neglect to seek love from the one whose love never runs out. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The one who laid down His own life for us so that we can be set free and so that we could be made new. He had every reason to leave us and had everything in His power to call legions of angels to set Him free from the cross, but His love for us was so enduring and so powerful that He remained on the cross to pay the ultimate sacrifice for us. THIS is the kind of love that we should have for our spouse- a love so strong that it would lead us to lay down our life for him/her. THIS is the kind of love that was given to our hearts when we accepted Christ as our Savior and the kind of love that we pour out into other people’s hearts. God IS love. He is the source of love. It only makes sense that it is impossible to love our spouse (or anyone) properly until we have accepted God’s love for us first.

 

 

Last year, I prayed to God to prepare me to love my future husband. I prayed that He would give me the strength to die to my flesh and prune my heart of everything that is not of Him. I confessed that I had spent too much time on dating sites and going out with different guys in hopes to find “the One”, when I should have invested that time growing deeper in my intimate relationship with Him; so that I would experience His love first, which would help me recognize what love should feel like when I meet my husband.  Later that summer, I read one of Nicholas Spark’s new books. (I’m an avid book reader and Nicholas Sparks has always been one of my favorite authors. I’m also a hopeless romantic.) As I dug deeper into the story, I was getting more and more perplexed. My heart was not filled with butterflies and I wasn’t floating on a fantasy cloud like I usually was. The love between the protagonists just seemed so dull. So temporal, so fleeting. So shallow. Everything that the protagonists had described as “love” for each other was based on sex and euphoria, not based on sacrifice and selflessness of Jesus Christ. I simply was not impressed with the love story. It did not live up the perspective of love that God had recently given me. At first I had thought Nicholas Sparks had lost his touch. I thought that it was the author of these love stories that had changed. But then I realized it was me that had changed. God changed me. He had opened my eyes to see what true love really was- HIM- and the distortions that chick flicks and fairy tales have on our reality. Worldly love is what you read about in fairy tales and Nicholas Sparks novels, but Godly love is TRUE LOVE.

 

 

Wordly love 

 

Wordly Love is Driven by Emotions 

If your love is only inspired by the butterflies in your stomach or the electric shock you feel when y’all hold hands, this is not true love- it is worldy love. The world tells you that your love for someone is based on solely how you feel about them. Do they make you happy? Are they charming? Do they make your stomach do back-flips? While these things are not bad feelings to have towards your partner; in fact, it is natural to feel these types of things toward someone we are very attracted to. However, how you feel about a person CANNOT be the foundation of your love for them. Feelings are temporal, they are fleeting, they can change in a moment. They might be extremely beautiful or handsome now, but if that is what your love is based on, then your love will likely change 30 years from now when they won’t look like they do now. They might put butterflies in your stomach and make you feel giddy now, but what happens when your marriage is faced with trials and tribulations? (It undoubtedly will be!) There will surely be times when you can’t even stand looking at your spouse and they don’t make you feel the way they did when you first fell in love. Does that mean that you love for them will go away? Not as long as your love for that person is based on the love of Jesus- something that is rock solid, powerful, steadfast, and will NEVER change. They might be easy to love now, but there will be times when loving them is not so easy. And you will need the strength from above to help you continue loving them, regardless on how they are making you feel that moment.

 

 

Another reason why it is dangerous to trust your feelings when falling in love is that your feelings do not always reflect what is reality or what God’s will is. Your feelings can lie to you! They can cloud your vision and muffle what the Holy Spirit is telling you. As Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and is exceedingly corrupt; who can understand it?”

 

 

Wordly Love Leads to Sin 

Wordly love is permeated with sin. And I’m not only referring to premarital sex and lust. A relationship that is not resting firmly on Jesus, is resting in something broken. And a broken foundation will surely birth a broken relationship. We all know that sin separates us from the Lord, but it also separates us from those we love on earth, particularly our spouses. Jesus Christ empowers us to love each other well and do good for each other. It empowers us with the strength to forgive each other and show compassion for one another. Love, forgiveness, and compassion are essential to making a marriage work and to remain united with our spouse. And we need the strength from Jesus to do that. Any relationship in which Jesus is absent in breeds selfishness, unforgiveness, and unresolving quarrels. God spoke in Genesis that He would create hostility between a man and his wife. This was a result of the sin that entered into Adam and Eve and led to the fallen world we still live in. Because of sin, there is a natural existing barrier that separates us from our spouse. Which is why we need Jesus to be our proper foundation to overcome that sinful barrier produced by our forefathers. When Jesus comes into our hearts, we are spotless and blameless, white as snow. There is no sin in us. When we invite Jesus in our marriage by each of us being deeply rooted in Him, we see each other the way Jesus sees us. And there is no sin in our union.

 

 

Godly Love

 

True Love is Driven by Holy Spirit

Because true love is driven by the Holy Spirit, true love makes sense. Perfect sense. Contrary to what we have been exposed to in teen movies, true love is not irrational. It does not cloud your judgement to prompt you to act on impulse. True love makes sense because it will lead you closer to truth. True love leads you closer to God. And God is not a God of confusion. He is not a God of impulse or irrational feelings or behavior. He is a God of clarity, order, and reasonableness. True love makes sense. If your love for something drives you crazy and nothing about it makes sense to you, it’s not true love.

 

 

True Love is PURE

True love is not self-seeking and does not demand its own way. Love is selfless and sacrificial. When you make your vows, you are dedicating your life to actively prefer your spouse over yourself. You seek not what they can do for you, but what you can do for them. You would do literally ANYTHING for them. You would be willing to give up your life for them- just as Jesus laid down His life for you. Doesn’t this give you chills? You know that you truly love someone when your desire to serve them and be there for them is stronger than your desire to want to be with them. So don’t marry the person who you don’t think you can live without; marry the person who you would do literally anything for.

 

 

True love is enduring. Love conquers all. You never give up on each other, no matter what. It endures through every circumstance, every obstacle, every hardship that was created by the enemy to tear you apart and destroy your union. And that endurance comes from Christ Jesus within each partner. We live in fallen world, so while marriage is one of the greatest blessings and the closest to Heaven on earth that you could possibly get, it does not mean that it will be free of difficulties, tests, and trials. There will be times you have to literally fight for your marriage and scream at Satan to get behind y’all when he tries to destroy your marriage. That is why you need the strength from above to help you endure those difficulties and ultimately, grow stronger as a union.

 

 

This blog just gives you a glimpse of what love truly is. If you do not know the Gospel of Jesus, I highly plead you to get to know Jesus and accept Him as your Lord and Savior if you want to experience true love. Develop a relationship with Him, serve Him, love Him and let Him love you. The love that the world presents to you in fictional stories and movies will never ever compare to the Heavenly love that God has for us and wants to pour out into you right now. And when you meet the spouse that the Lord has for you, you will not have to question, “Is he/she ‘the One’?” Because you will know. You will see a reflection of God’s love in that person because you know God.

 



 

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