Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love Defined - Part Two

This "Love Defined" blog is geared more towards married couples. In my blogs I reiterate often what the media feeds us about love and relationships is so wrong only because I am so passionate about it. I hope you can feel my passion burning as I write this.

I want to see marriages succeed, in love, happy, growing, learning, and seeking God. That's so important to me and I know it's important to the Lord as well.

In Matthew 19:5 it says "'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." (i.e. Divorce)

God hates divorce. If you don't believe me look up Malachi 2:16. Divorce is such a normal part of life in the U.S. that now we're in shock or in awe when we see couples that have lasted 25+ years and are happy. Is that not true?

If Jesus Christ is not the foundation of your marriage, it will fail. He should be your rock, your strength. My husband and I include the Lord in every decision we make, large or small, because we understand it takes three to make our marriage work. While we were dating, we laid the foundation of our relationship. We prayed together and allowed the Lord to guide our steps if we were intended to step into the sanctity of marriage together. It wasn't a decision taken lightly.

Who you marry is who you will spend the REST of your life with, who you'll grow old with, who, Lord permitting, you have children with, who will know you better than anyone else on this earth. If you go into marriage thinking about divorce, or without the thought of permanence or bailing out when things get hard, it will fail.

Like I said in Part One, this is not going to be without its difficulties. In 2 Corinthians 6:4-5 Paul talks about how we are to commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance, in troubles, hardships and distresses. It's a natural part of life...not a cop out to get out of a union as powerful as marriage.

When you become married, two become one. That's not just a Spice Girl song, it's Biblical. So when you divorce, you are tearing a piece of you that will forever be gone. The Lord does heal wounds and does restore lives, but I don't know one person who has forgotten their previous marriage or how they felt when they were married. Although it may feel like another life, it's never completely forgotten, why? It was a part of them that has been torn and left behind.

I can only compare marriage to two colors of Play-doh combined and made into one large dough. No one, no matter how meticulous you are, can pull those two pieces together and make them look the exact same they did before becoming one. That's exactly what marriage is.

There are several things you can do to help boost your marriage. First off, go on dates. If you're on a budget, be creative. There's plenty of good ideas that don't cost money. A friend of mine made a huge tent in the family room and watched movies in there with her sweetheart for Valentine's day. I saw a picture of it and it was so cute and romantic and cost $0. Secondly, don't forget to say "I love you". Thirdly, communicate, even about the small things.

Don't slack off in marriage. Don't give up. Love perseveres. It hopes. It NEVER FAILS. When it gets hard, pray harder. Love deeply!!! 1 Peter 4:8 says "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."

Love with a love that is constant. There should be no room for separation or divorce, only for unity. When in doubt of what true love is...go back to the basics: 1 Corinthians 13:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

Love Defined - Part One

The past two weeks there has been a series called "Love Defined" at church in light of Valentine's Day. I thought it not only appropriate, but necessary to discuss what REAL love is.

With society always telling us their opinion on what love is, movies telling you what it looks like, the judicial system agreeing that it's over through divorce, it's no wonder we're a disaster!!! Divorce is at it's highest ever! Why? Because people "fall out of love" or due to "irreconcilable differences" or "we're just not the same anymore, we've changed".

What a bunch a crap!!! Excuse my lack of propriety, but that is absolutely true. Why would you expect to be the same??? The great thing about marriage is the fact that you get to GROW and mature together through this wonderful thing called life. Is it always perfect? Absolutely not...but it's fun, especially when you're both working on it daily.

I've only been married three years, but it's been an amazing journey that has only just begun. Most importantly though, we communicate....EVERY DAY. Even when I'm not in the mood. Why? Because when communication dwindles, it ultimately can disappear and so can the relationship.

Back to this thing called LOVE. "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice got out sins" 1 John 4:10. Breaking it down: we only love because God loved us first (1 John 4:19)!!! WOW! Please soak that in a bit.

God and love go hand in hand. He created love. If you don't know God, then you can't love others.

I imagine that's why so many people are confused and "fall out of love". They were never in love to begin with. I'll take it a little further...they probably don't know what love is.

We hear love mentioned in 95% of songs (I made up that stat), we watch it in the same amount of movies...but in all that, I've only seen true love portrayed a handful of times. Very sad, but it makes sense. They don't know what love is...

Love is more than a feeling (despite what movies tell you - P.S. DON'T FOLLOW YOUR HEART....that's the worst advice ever. The heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9))

What is love: God. God is love. Plain and simple...know him and you'll know love. (1 John 4:8)
Love is: patient, kind, does not boast, does not envy, is not proud, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps NO record of wrong, does not delight in evil, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perserveres, NEVER FAILS.

So if love never fails, why are there so many failed marriages? Because there is no knowledge of what true love. That's a long list of what love is, and none of which I see society promote. We are a rude, self-seeking, pleasure abiding, vengeful society. We look out for number one whenever possible. None of that resembles love according to the Word of God, which is inspired by God, the Creator of love.

Pray for love. It is more important than ALL else. Our first commandment involves love..."Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind." Then it goes on to say "Love your neighbor as yourself."