How to Avoid a Life Empty of Love

Love is a basic human need for a healthy development and happy relationships yet it seems illusive at times and often the ones that we “hate” the most are those closest to us or that we have been close to at some time. How do we love others on a long term basis and keep loving, happy, healthy relationships? Love is the greatest commandment and if we fulfill this commandment then we will fulfill them all.

Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Just as moral excellence is the root of love so love is the foundation of the Law and Prophets. The Law was to teach us how to love God with all of our heart and soul and mind and our neighbor as ourselves. The prophets were continually calling the people back to loving the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind and their neighbor as well. There is no peace, love or joy apart from love. There is no love apart from God, for God is love. Remove God from society, families and all relationships and you will eventually remove love.

I John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

The opposite of loving God and others is selfishness. Selfishness is loving ourselves at the expense of someone else. It is taking and not giving. It is me and not you. No one can serve two masters. He will either love the one and hate the other or vice versa.

Matthew 6:24a No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.

You can not love yourself first and love God second. You must love God first and that will include loving others and then you love yourself next. If you love God first then He will watch out for your interests and He will be your security and defense. If you love yourself first then you will not be loving others the way you should. All of your “love” for others will be selfcentered and not love for them at all. There will always be a conflict of interests. For this reason, the Lord says that if we are to follow Him and love Him then we must die to ourselves.

Luke 9:23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

This is what it means to take up your cross daily, it is to die to yourself. The cross represents death. You can not truly love others if you do not learn to die to yourself. When you get married, the question is not, “Do I love this person more than everyone else?”. No rather, the question should be, “Do I love this person more than myself?”. If you truly love your mate more than yourself then you will truly love that person the way the Lord wants you to love them and there will never be another person that you will ever love in the same way (while you both shall live) because all marital unfaithfulness is all about loving yourself. Most marriages that fail began with selfishness and ended with selfishness in one or both spouses. Selfishness is loving or not wanting someone else for what they have or don’t have to offer to you.

I John 4:7-9 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

Jesus Christ is the ultimate expression and manifestation of love. If you want to know love then you must know Jesus Christ. He came into the world to love and He loves everyone and the gift of His love is offered to everyone. Whoever will receive Jesus Christ will receive His love. We can not love others with a Godlike love without Jesus Christ.

I John 4:10-12 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

Jesus loved us and took our sins that we might receive and live in His love. He came that we might be able to love God and love others as He has loved us. If you know Jesus Christ then you will know true love and His love will be perfected in you. When you live in His love then His love will overflow into the lives of others. The life of love, joy and peace will truly overflow within you and you will begin to experience heaven on earth and what it means to live in His kingdom.

I John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Hate comes from unresolved anger and unresolved anger comes from unforgiveness from being hurt. If you have been hurt and still struggling to forgive then take that hurt to the Lord and ask Him to help you forgive. He went to the cross to forgive us and because He has forgiven us then we can forgive others. He is the source of all love and because He loves us then we too can love others even those who previously seemed unlovable. You will also find that as you love others then your life will be filled with the love of others. Through Him we can love the world and everyone in it but apart from Him we can love no one.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

 

 

 

A Life that is Filled with True Love

A life that is filled with love will overflow with love. The only way that one can live a life that is filed with love is to live in the love of the One who so loved that He gave us His Son. His love is perfect, sacrificial and eternal. He loves because He is love. When we love because of His love through us then we will have His love for others. It is unconditional and iy is true. Our love is conditional, imperfect and selfish.

I John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.

How does one experience His love? It begins by receiving His love for you. How is this done? It is by keeping His commandments.

John 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and disclose Myself to him.

His first commandment is to come to Him. When we come to Him then we turn our back on our sin. We can not continue to sin and come to Him. All of us some time or other turned our back on Him and came to sin. Now, He is calling us to turn our back on our sin and come to Him. He will meet us the moment we turn to Him. Then He will let us know the next thing He wants us to do. It will be in accordance with His Word. It may be that He wants us to change friends, or ask forgiveness or forgive someone else.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

If you belong to Him then you will hear His voice. If you do not obey when you hear His voice then you may not hear it again. He waits until you obey. He wants obedience so that you can learn to live in His love. Is there something that you know that you should be doing and have not done it? You need to obey Him.

II Peter 1:5-8 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge, and in knowledge, self-control, and in self-control, perseverance, and in perseverance, godliness,  and in godliness, brotherly kindness, and in brotherly kindness, love.

Moral excellence is obeying the Lord in what His Word says and keeping His commandments. That is the beginning of love. This is why many marriages fail…it is because the couple sowed seeds of a lack of moral excellence before they were married and then they reaped the bad fruit later. Nearly all marriages fail because of the seeds that were sown before marriage. It is the same in all of your relationships. There must be moral excellence for relationships to have the right foundation.

James 3:13-18 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

There are two kinds of wisdom just as there are two kinds of relationships. One of jealousy and selfish ambition or one that is pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering and without hypocrisy. How sweet life is when it is done God’s way.

A Life that is Morally Upright

Morality and immorality are opposites. Immorality is exchanging eternal values for  temporal values. Esau was immoral by trading his birthright for a meal. His birthright was his so why was his action immoral? His birthright was what had eternal value and the meal had temporal value.

Hebrews 12:16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.

If we do not wait for God’s timing then we are also godless. Esau would have gotten some food but he could not wait.

Isaiah 64:4 For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.

The Lord has far more for you than what you can see or have heard of if you will only wait for Him.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

He can even do more than what you can think of if you will only trust Him and wait for Him.

James 1:16,17 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Do not be deceived and listen to the lies of the devil that come out of the world or that even come into your thoughts. The Lord wants to give you good things and perfect gifts.

Isaiah 55:8,9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Learn to think His thoughts and learn His ways. His thoughts are revealed to us in His Word and that is also how we learn His ways. He has given His Word to us. It is His revelation of who He is. It is the only way that we know the only true God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us through Jesus Christ.

Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

He wants to teach us His ways and He wants us to observe His Words, by observing He means to study, know and obey them.

Psalm 25:4 Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.

Are you thinking His thoughts and learning His ways. It is a lifelong process and the more we know His ways then the more we will know Him and experience His good gifts. That is why the Lord says over and over again in His Word that the ones who keep His commandments and follow His ways are blessed. Morality is keeping His ways and being obedient to His Words, which are eternal values. Immorality is doing what you want to do and satisfying your flesh, which are temporal values. You can be morally pure today if you will turn to the Jesus Christ with all of your heart. It is the state of your heart today and has nothing to do with your past. If you have blown it morally then confess your sins to Him and He will cleanse you and give you a new start and make you a new person. The old things pass away and all things become new.

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

 

A Life with Love Fills the Heart

When a person experiences love, really great love, then love will fill their heart. When love fills the heart then love will fill the life, the marriage and the home. When the heart is empty of love then the life, marriage and home will be empty of love.

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; Luke 6:45a

A good person is one whose heart is filled with the Lord. There is no one good but God. God is good and His love is what changes lives, marriages, homes and the world. However, there is no such thing as a vacuum and if the Lord does not fill your heart with His love then your heart will be filled with what is not good. The opposite of love is selfishness and evil and if our hearts are not filled with God’s love then our hearts will be filled with selfish ambitions and what is evil.

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. James 3:14-16

Where there is jealousy and selfish ambition there will be confusion and every evil thing. Whether we want to or not, when we are not filled with God’s love and His truth then we will inadvertently do evil to those whom we should love and will bring them grief through our selfishness, our neglect, our attitudes, our actions or our words.

and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. Luke 6:45b

The devil uses only one weapon to cause us to bring grief to others and that is the lie. He whispers into our heart thoughts that are not good and we start responding to them and before we know it we are believing these lies.

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

The lies of the devil stir up our imagination and put doubts into our hearts about our spouse, children, coworkers, bosses, friends and neighbors. It is when we act or speak on these doubts that stir up strife in our lives, our marriages, our homes and our world.

He who loves transgression loves strife; He who raises his door seeks destruction. Proverbs 17:19

Strife is the beginning of destruction. Strife will bring destruction to our marriage and our home and everything else that is precious to us. Love believes the best and seeks to know the truth so that the lies will be recognized and dismissed. The devil is an accuser but the one who loves God and the person who has His truth and His love in their heart will recognize these accusations and not respond to them. Love believes the best in others. If we respond to a lie then our response will always be wrong and bring grief to another.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. Revelation 12:10

Jesus Christ has the power and authority over the devil and when Jesus Christ is in our lives then the devil has no power to deceive us into believing his lies. As we learn to respond to Jesus Christ, who is the truth and who loves us with His own life, then we will bring life and love to others.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6

When Jesus Christ fills us with Himself then we will be filled with His love, His truth and His life. Our hearts will be filled with what is good and our homes and lives will be filled with love.

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. James 3:13

Good thoughts, attitudes and actions can only come from one who is wise and understanding. The Bible says that knowing God gives understanding and revering Him is the beginning of wisdom. Good will be expressed through the gentleness of God’s wisdom and the outcome will build up and not tear down.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. James 3:17

This will characterize the one whose heart is filled with love.

How to Avoid The Life of a Failure

If you want to be miserable in life then just be a failure. Failure brings with it depression, discouragement, disappointment, defeat and despair. However, the choice is ours, if we want to be a failure or a success in life. No one else is responsible for whether we are a success or a failure. The choice is ours. You may think that circumstances would have something to do with it but not so, it is you who determines your success or failure in life. You have no one to blame but yourself.

Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

It is pride that goes before a fall. Pride is not needing God. Satan had all the best of circumstances. He was beautiful and experienced great wealth. He had many gifts and the highest position of all of the angels. Yet, he was not satisfied. He wanted to be equal to God. He wanted more than what the Lord had given to him. He was not satisfied and became prideful. It was his pride that led to his failure and he lost everything.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.

Pride is the opposite of humility. When pride comes then comes dishonor. Dishonor goes hand and hand with failure. Those who are successful experience honor. Pride is basically saying, “I can do it on my own and that it is all about me”.

I John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

Humility acknowledges that we can do nothing apart from the Lord. Pride is not from the Lord but is from the devil. We are most like the devil when we are prideful.

John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

Pride says that it does not need the Lord. It is manifested by not turning to Him with all of our heart. It is also made known by us neglecting reading and meditating on His Word. When we don’t spend time in His Word then we are relying on ourselves and not on Him. We forget what He has to say and when we forget then we do not act on His Word.

Hosea 7:10 Though the pride of Israel testifies against him, Yet they have not returned to the Lord their God, Nor have they sought Him, for all this.

It is our pride that brings us low and leads to failure. It is the Lord who wants us to be successful and has shown us the way to succeed. There is no success apart from Him. However, you may say that you know people who are successful and who do not seek the Lord. If you will look closely at their successes you will see that they paid a heavy price and it was too great of a price for their temporary success. They lost something else even more precious than their success, whether it is a marriage, family, integrity or even their fellowship with the Lord. For it is the Lord alone who gives success with no sorrow with it.

Proverbs 10:22 It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
And He adds no sorrow to it.

Only the Lord can bless us richly in every area and He adds no sorrow to it. However, we must look to Him and follow His instructions on life. He leads us in the good way.

Jeremiah 6:16a Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.

The Lord wants us to look to Him and He will be our Shepherd and lead us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. He will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. There are no regrets in following the Lord and obeying His voice. He will never disappoint you. Have you failed? Then it is to show you how desperately we all need the Lord and how desperately we need to know His Word so that we can do exactly as He says. Turn to Him with all your heart. He does promise success to the one who will trust Him and obey Him completely.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

He says it again what you need to do to be successful. You have nothing to lose, but your pride, and you have everything to gain.

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

How to Have A Life that is Successful

Everyone longs to be successful. We don’t want to fail in school, in relationships, on our job, at home or when and if we get married and have children. These next few promises are some of the most amazing promises in the Bible. It shows the heart of the Lord. He wants you to be successful in every area of your life. Incredible that we have a God who not only loves us perfectly but desires our best!

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

Some people may not believe this promise but don’t let someone else’s unbelief pull you down because this verse is very true. The Bible says that it is impossible for God to lie. However, He makes it very clear what you must do to be successful. You must meditate on God’s Word day and night to that you may be careful to follow it exactly as He says. Sometimes it may not make sense to you but do it anyway. Meditate means that you think about His Word. We meditate all of the time. Worry is meditating on your problems and the outcome. If you will replace those thoughts with His Word then you will receive insight that you never saw before and He will show you what to do to avoid failure and to succeed.

Psalm 1:1-3 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Again, this is amazing. The Lord says that if you will meditate on His Word day and night then your life will be fruitful, you will not wither up during the dry seasons of life and in whatever you do…you will prosper. We spend so much time trying to be successful in our own efforts and even reading books on how to be successful in different areas but IF we will only do this one thing then the Lord promises us success. This shows how much He longs for you to spend time with Him. Just like parents want to reward their children big when they do something really big in their eyes even more does the Lord want to reward you IF you will take His Word, meditate on it and then do what He says to do in His Word. However, one of the instructions for learning to meditate on His Word is that you must stop listening to the many voices in the world…voices of the wicked, scoffers and sinners. Do not walk with them nor stand with them not sit with them.

James 1:25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

Again, in the New Testament our Lord repeats this truth. Blessing and success are closely related just as curses and failure. The Lord wants to bless you and He wants you to be successful. If you do not follow His instructions then you will experience curses and failure.

Hebrews 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

The only part of God’s Word that will profit you is what you believe enough to do. Begin by taking a verse and memorizing it and then thinking about every way that verse can apply to your life and then do it. After you have done this then take another verse. You will see as time goes on that your life is being transformed into a beautiful Christlike life.

How to Avoid The Life of a Fool

Sometimes it is easier to understand a truth when we see the opposite. The opposite of wisdom is foolishness and so the opposite of being a wise person is being a fool. What is the life of a fool like and what is its end? The Bible says that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. In other words, we come into life with foolishness being a part of our heart.

Proverbs 22:15a Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;

The foolish person engages in folly. The word folly literally means stupidity. We clearly see it in others but it is not so clear in ourselves, that is, until it is too late.

Proverbs 14:24 The crown of the wise is their riches, But the folly of fools is foolishness.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes. The Bible also says that the fool is deceived. When we refuse to listen to the truth then we become deceived and deception only leads to more deception.

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

A fool begins being a fool by setting themselves up as their own authority and letting themselves be the judge of what is right and what is wrong. Everyone has a standard of right and wrong even if the standard is not correct. The fool usually will keep changing the standard so that they will not have to deal with guilt. However, a fool becomes this way, by living as if there is no God.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.

The fool does his best to live as if there is no God. However, this “philosophy” only brings more pain and the fool will ultimately be mad at God. Typical of a fool are the words, “If there is a God, then why would He…”. The fool is completely without understanding and will never understand the ways of God. God will seem unfair to him, that is, when he is finally honest enough to admit there is a God.

Proverbs 19:3 The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the Lord.

The fool destroys his own life and then he gets mad at God.

Proverbs 10:14 Wise men store up knowledge, But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.

The fool messes his life up by his own mouth. Also, the Bible says that the fool multiplies words and is quick to show their anger. The fool will also display dishonor. Not only does the fool hurt themselves but they also hurt the people around them.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

If you choose to be with a fool then plan to be hurt and dishonored.

Proverbs 3:35 The wise will inherit honor, But fools display dishonor.

An entire book could be written on the fool. However, we can sum up the life of a fool by saying that it will be a life of pain, regret, shame, anger, rage, ignorance, destruction to themselves and others, despising knowledge and lacking in understanding. Unfortunately, the foolishness of man began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve decided to live without the Lord by going their own way and doing their own thing. They did not submit to the Lord but chose to “make their own decisions”, in other words, “to be their own lord”. That tendency is within all of us.

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.

If you will learn to seek out the Lord Jesus Christ, rather than many other ways to God, and to allow Him to be your Lord then you can be saved from being a fool. He will give you wisdom and understanding. The Bible says that the meaning of understanding is to know the Lord.

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Wisdom is everything that is the opposite being a fool. A wise person is slow to anger and considers their words. Rather than destroy they build their life, marriage and family. They are a joy to be around because they are a blessing to their friends and not only that, but just by being with a wise person you will see and hear wisdom. The wise person’s life will be filled with peace, love and great joy as they seek to follow the One who gave His life for a world of fools, who wanted nothing to do with Him. All we have to do is come to Him and surrender our life and will to Him and He truly takes the foolish things of the world and does something great and glorious. Jesus Christ is amazing Savior and Lord who came to redeem man from all of the destruction that he brought on himself. It is no wonder that those who know Him will spend all eternity praising Him. Will you choose to be wise and come to Him or will you continue on in your foolish ways?

James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

This is a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ because in Him does all the fullness of wisdom dwell.

Colossians 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

This is God’s will for you…that your heart may be encouraged, having been knit together in love and filled with the wealth that comes from knowing Jesus Christ, who is the true knowledge of God and in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

 

A Life with Love Does Not Grow Weary

Love is not a fifty yard dash but it is a marathon. It is a long run in the right direction that brings incredibly great rewards if we stay the path. Do not grow weary. It is worth the struggle, the perseverance, the endurance, the pain and the growth that will occur in you.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. Galatians 6:9,10

We will not always have opportunity to do good to others. The word good means the highest form of love. When we love we are doing good to others. First, we are to love and do good to our spouses. Then we are to love and do good to our children. Next we are to love and do good to our extended family, friends, neighbors and those whom we work with or engage in business. This is the order of the requirements in responsibility that the Lord has for leaders.

An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. I Timothy 3:2-7

The Lord says that we will know others by their fruit. No one knows what another’s relationship with the Lord is like but if his relationship with the Lord is not right then it will show up in his marriage. No one really knows what a person’s marriage is like but the fruit of the marriage will be made known in the children. If the children are not being brought up right then there will be problems with those outside of the home. The Lord would not make these requirements in leadership if it was random how a marriage or children end up.

Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man? Proverbs 20:6

A person’s relationships and family are the fruits of a trustworthy man. They are indications of a person’s relationship with the Lord. The most important relationship is a leader’s relationship with the Lord but no one knows what is done in secret but the Lord. The Lord tells us to look at the fruit.

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15-20

If there are issues in your marriage, family or outside of your family then the temptation is to focus on the marriage partner, children or others but the need is to focus first on your relationship with the Lord. Are you being faithful? Are you seeking Him with all of your heart? Are you spending time with the Lord in His Word and prayer daily and especially in the morning? Or are you secretly feeding your flesh? Do you have bitter jealousy or selfish ambition in your heart? The good fruit or the corruption in our own relationship with the Lord, in our marriage and our family will be evident.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7,8

Do not be deceived by the deceptiveness of sin and the flesh, God is not mocked. If you are feeding your flesh secretly it will be seen openly in the fruit in your relationships. If you are feeding your spirit then you will see life and experience life and peace in your life and in your relationships.

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:6-8

A Life with Love is Not Easily Angered

Anger is an emotion that can easily destroy love. Only a fool will allow anger to control him and it is best to not be angry at all.

Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9

A person who is slow to get angry is greater than the mighty. He who rules his spirit shows more power than he who captures a city.

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. Proverbs 16:32

Love is not easily angered because love and understanding sees the need in the other person rather than the desire in one’s own self to get angry.

He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly. Proverbs 14:29

The angry person does not realize that once they are over their anger the damage has been done in the spirit of the other ones who have seen it. Anger destroys intimacy in a marriage and a family because it puts fear in the one who is vulnerable. A wife is vulnerable to her husband and children are vulnerable to parents. Fear keeps the vulnerable one from opening up.

A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression. Proverbs 19:11

It is a wise and discreet person who is slow to anger. It is a loving person who overlooks mistakes and shortcomings in others. It is love that covers a multitude of sins.

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8

A wise person is slow to anger and a prudent person conceals dishonor. A loving person is one who conceals dishonor in someone else. They will not seek to exalt themselves at the expense of someone else.

A fool’s anger is known at once, But a prudent man conceals dishonor. Proverbs 12:16

Anger pours gas on a potentially explosive situation whereas love pours water on a fire. A wise and loving person will learn to turn away from anger.

Scorners set a city aflame, But wise men turn away anger. Proverbs 29:8

Anger and wrath are related and so is fretting. Fretting is another word for being anxious and when we are anxious then it leads to evildoing. Doing evil is usually taking things into our own hands to deal with a situation and the outcome will not be good.

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.
Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more;
And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.
But the humble will inherit the land
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity. Psalm 37:7-11

The opposite of anger is to trust in the Lord, rest in Him and wait for Him. We can only do that if we know Him and know His love. If you do get angry with someone and say or do something that is not right then go to the person and ask their forgiveness for what you have done.

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. Proverbs 28:13

Don’t try to conceal your angry response by excusing or justifying what you have done or blaming someone else by saying they caused your anger. Maybe what they did was wrong but it does not excuse our response if it is not right. If we confess our sins to one another and forsake them then we will find compassion. Ask for prayer from another who has struggled and seen victory. All of us can relate to being angry but it does not justify us being that way.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. James 5:16

My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. James 5:19,20

It is the soul of the angry person who dies when they get angry and say and do things that they regret. We need each other to help us in our struggles when we stray from the truth of God’s ways. Ask the Lord to help you find an older Christian who will pray for you and who you can talk with and confess your sins to so that they can turn you back to the Lord and His truth.

A Life with Love is Wise

True love will always act with wisdom. Love seeks only the best for the other and wisdom are the practical steps of action of what we need to do to get where we want to go. If we want a loving marriage then we need wisdom to know what we need to do so that our marriage will be filled with love. Most people know what they want but they do not know how to get there. Most people get married wanting for their marriage to be filled with love but too often the love fades and then the marriage dies.

A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, Proverbs 1:5

A wise person will always be learning in the ways of love. Wisdom and understanding often go together and the wise and understanding person will acquire as much wisdom and counsel that they can get. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Lord is understanding. The Lord is love and wisdom and He is the One who created man and woman and so He understands what each of us needs far more than we do. The more we know Him then the more we will understand how to love. Only a fool will try to do relationships on their own and especially marriage and family.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

Much of the grief in relationships begins with the tongue and what we say. Wisdom will teach you what to say and what not to say. You can never take back your words and much of our regrets have to do with what we said in the emotion of the moment.

The heart of the wise instructs his mouth Proverbs 16:23a

Your tongue can also bring much healing to your spouse. All of us have been hurt and disappointed in life and we bring that baggage into our marriages. There is nothing sweeter than for a spouse to know our hurts and pains and to love us through the difficult times.

…the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18b

A home is meant to be a refuge from the storms of life. It is a taste of heaven to come home to a loving spouse. When you give love then you will receive love. Often where you are weak your spouse is strong and both of you will learn wisdom from each other on how to love. Loving is a learning process and we need to love in actions and words. Wisdom will teach us how to love in word and deed.

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. I John 3:18

If you feel a need for wisdom or you don’t know what to do in your marriage then ask God for wisdom. He promises that He will give wisdom to all who ask Him. God is the source of all wisdom and He will give you wisdom for what you need to do.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

With the Lord is wisdom and counsel. There is no counsel apart from Him. The person who seeks the Lord will find Him when they seek Him with all their heart. They will also discover wisdom and their life will be sweet and good. They will soar in life and their marriage and children will be blessed. If you miss the Lord you will have missed it for all eternity and there will be no end to their misery.

With Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding. Job 12:13

There is much counsel contrary to the ways of God. You will not recognize the lies that permeate our world unless you know God’s ways and His truth. Good counsel will never go against what the Lord has said in His Word.

There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the Lord. Proverbs 21:30

Wisdom is more important than money and yet how much time is spent seeking wealth over wisdom. The most important things in life money can not buy and we lose them through a lack of wisdom. Once they are gone it is never the same. We value the love in our marriage, our families, our friends and the well being of our health, our emotions and minds, and yet money can not buy any of these but wisdom tells us what we need to discover and preserve them.

How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver. Proverbs 16:16

He who gets wisdom loves his own soul.

He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good. Proverbs 19:8

There is nothing that compares to wisdom. Wisdom is different from knowledge. Wisdom is the right application of knowledge. The Lord stores up wisdom for those who love Him. If you are wise then you are wise for yourself. If you neglect wisdom or do not seek it then you will be the one who suffers from the lack of wisdom.

If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, And if you scoff, you alone will bear it. Proverbs 9:12

When you find wisdom then you will be blessed and those who live under your influence will be blessed. Wisdom is more precious than jewels and all desirable things can not compare with wisdom. You will also discover knowledge, prudence, discernment, understanding and discretion.

“For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her. “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge and discretion. Proverbs 8:11,12