A Life with Love Must Be Preserved

Love is destroyed through doing wrong. Doing wrong brings pain and doing right brings happiness. We reap what we sow. Sometimes we reap immediately but more often we reap later, however, we always reap what we sow.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. Galatians 6:7

When we reap what we sow then that is called judgment. Our actions are judged by their consequences and the consequence of our actions is the judgment that we bring on ourselves.

For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality. Colossians 3:25

The actions that we do, whether right or wrong, come from our heart. It is also out of the heart that our words come. It is our own deeds and our own words that will judge us and the judgment that we receive will be without partiality.

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37

The Lord gave each one of us a conscience which tells us what we should do and lets us know when we do wrong. We have within us the “knowledge of good and evil”. If we do wrong then our conscience becomes hardened and if we do right then our conscience becomes more sensitive. The word “violate” means to change and when we violate our conscience and do wrong then we are changed. When our conscience becomes hardened then we are changed and can no longer give or receive love like we once did. Love is the food for the soul and nourishes the soul and keeps it healthy. We need love. The Lord made us to thrive when we are loved.

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17

When we go against our conscience and do wrong, and not do the right thing, then we have sinned. The sting of death is sin.

The sting of death is sin, I Corinthians 15:56

Where there is sin, there is not only death to the soul, but there is death to the love which feeds the soul. In place of love there is guilt.

But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Matthew 5:22

Sin brings guilt and death. Death to our soul and death to our relationships. Instead of love, with sin, we have guilt and death. Instead of oneness we have separation, first of the souls and then physical separation.

For the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23

Love must be preserved or it will not remain. Love is the sweet fragrance in the relationship. Love is the salt that preserves the relationship and keeps it from rotting and keeps it fresh. Love is what covers the multitude of sins that each of us commit, whether it is the words spoken, or the deeds done in frustration or the neglect that is easy to come into a love relationship.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. I John 4:7

The only way that we can love one another is if we have been born of God, or, in other words, if we have been born again into God’s family as His child.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12.13

All of have sinned and are guilty and separated not only from each other, but from God.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23

When we give our hearts to Him then He gives us His heart, which is filled with His love and He loves through us. He takes our hardened evil heart which has brought, not only ourselves much grief, but pain to others through our words and our wrong actions. His heart is pure and good and He will love through us.

Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

It is His love that restores our relationship with Him and with everyone else. When we believe in Jesus Christ then we become born again, our sins are forgiven, our guilt is removed and we become God’s child and a part of His family. We will not be judged or punished for our wrongs, for Jesus Christ took our judgment and our punishment on the cross. We receive eternal life and eternal love through Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16,17

God did not send Jesus Christ into the world to judge the world but that the world might be saved through Him. The Lord is coming again to judge all of those who did not believe in Jesus and receive Him but chose instead to go on in their own ways and continue in the anger and stubbornness of their hearts.

I, the Lord, have spoken; it is coming and I will act. I will not relent, and I will not pity and I will not be sorry; according to your ways and according to your deeds I will judge you,” declares the Lord God.’” Ezekiel 24:14

Come to Him, if you have not done so, while you can and before it is too late. He will restore you and He will allow you to find and keep love. He will preserve the love in your life and in your relationships. Your wrongs will be forgiven, your guilt will be removed and you will be clean on the inside. You will thrive and your heart will be happy.

A Life with Love Honors Another

Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. Genesis 9:20-24

Noah drank wine and became drunk. Drinking wine is mentioned in the Bible as not being wise.

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise. Proverbs 20:1

If you want to be mocked then drink wine and if you want fighting in your life and marriage then drink alcohol. Alcohol has destroyed more families and more lives than we will ever know. It is wisdom to stay away from it. The Bible also says that drinking wine is not loving.

It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. Romans 14:21

The word “good” means the highest form of love. Therefore, the highest form of love towards anyone is to not cause them to stumble. Wine is a stumbling block to many and you have no idea who it is a stumbling block until they have stumbled over it. The Lord has one of the biggest warnings towards those who are stumbling blocks.

but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes! Matthew 18:6,7

Noah lived a life of wisdom and honor and only did a little foolishness. However, it is his foolishness that is much remembered.

Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor. Ecclesiastes 10:1

His foolishness brought much pain and sorrow to one of his sons and one of his grandsons. Ham saw his father naked and went and told his brothers.

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

Rather than covering his father’s shame, Ham made it known. Love covers a multitude of sins and love covers shame. Ham did not honor his father.

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the Lord your God gives you. Deuteronomy 5:16

It did not go well with Ham because he did not honor his father. As a result, it did not go well with one of Ham’s sons. As a parent it is more painful to see your children suffer than it would be to bear the suffering yourself and especially if you are the cause of the grief. Love acts wisely and love honors. How important it is for parents to not allow their children to ever see them naked. When a parent allows this to happen then that parent is setting their child up for failure and making it more difficult for the child to fulfill God’s commandment to honor their mother and father.

All who honored her despise her
Because they have seen her nakedness; Lamentations 1:8b

Also, it is neither good or wise for a young lady to allow any man to see her nakedness before marriage. It will cause the man to not have as much respect for her after marriage and many a man will not marry a woman once he has seen her nakedness. A woman needs to keep her mystique and a man needs for a woman to keep her purity. If a man wants a female to unclothe herself then he does not love her. A man who will abuse his wife is also a man who can not wait until marriage for the physical. If a woman will have high standards for herself and not compromise physically then the man will rise to those standards and honor her and treat her with love and respect.

Woe to you who make your neighbors drink, Who mix in your venom even to make them drunk So as to look on their nakedness!“You will be filled with disgrace rather than honor. Now you yourself drink and expose your own nakedness. The cup in the Lord’s right hand will come around to you, And utter disgrace will come upon your glory. Habakkuk 2:15,16

The glory of a young man is his strength, whether it is his physical strength or the strength of his character. It is to his shame and disgrace to give his date or “friend” anything to intoxicate her in hopes of seeing her nakedness. A young lady’s glory is her purity and her beauty. It is a disgrace and shame for her to give to someone else what is reserved only for her husband and in marriage.

And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, Matthew 1:19

When Mary, the mother of Jesus, became pregnant with Jesus and was “with child” before marriage, Joseph, who was engaged to her and being “a righteous man”, did not want to disgrace her. Joseph did not understand that it was the Lord, through His Holy Spirit, who had appointed this to happen. It was not until the angel came to him in a dream and let him know that the Messiah was coming into the world through Mary, did Joseph understand that Mary was still a virgin and had remained faithful and pure. Joseph had to have felt hurt and betrayed, however, righteousness is doing what is right in God’s eyes, and Joseph knew that the “right thing to do” was to not make known any shame and disgrace. Joseph not only loved Mary but he loved the Lord and wanted to do what was right. If someone wants a good marriage then they must have a godly marriage and a godly marriage is doing what is right in God’s eyes. Doing what is right is God’s eye is doing life, love, and relationships according to God’s design.

A Life with a Love that Can Be Restored

Love can be restored. All of us have failed at loving perfectly and when we do not love then our love relationships are hurt and damaged. When our relationships are hurt then people are hurt and when hurt continues then it breaks relationships and when relationships are broken then hearts and people are broken.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and He alone can give us hope when all seems hopeless. He saves those who are crushed in spirit. When our hearts are broken we must look to Him. He can heal. There must be healing for relationships and love to be restored. If we close off our heart because of hurt then we also close off our hearts to give and receive love. When we close off our heart and do not allow God to heal it then we also become bitter. Bitterness is unresolved hurt that feels like it just happened yesterday, when in fact, it occurred sometime in the past. When we are bitter then we relive the hurt over and over again. Bitterness destroys a person and also hurts those who are close to the one who is bitter. Bitterness creates loneliness.

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; Hebrews 12:15

Bitterness comes from not drawing near to the Lord in your pain and allowing His grace to transform you in your pain. Pain does change us and pain can make us more loving, sensitive and compassionate or it can make us bitter. God’s grace takes what could be bad and makes it good for those who love Him.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Once you are healed then your relationships can be restored. Sometimes pain comes from looking to someone to give you what only God can give you. Only God can give you eternal security, perfect love and total protection. Expectations destroy relationships. Even though a husband promises and makes a vow to God to love, protect and provide, a wife must still look to the Lord to be her Lover, Protector and Provider. The Lord will never disappoint her. We will always be disappointed if we look to anyone other than the Lord. He is the only One who can make the promise never to disappoint. Give your expectations to the Lord and allow Him to fulfill them His way.

For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” Romans 10:11

In the same way, a husband must look to the Lord. He must not have expectations of his wife, for he too, will be disappointed. The temptation is even greater for the husband to become bitter, otherwise, the Lord would not have given him a specific command to not be bitter.

Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. Colossians 3:19

For love to be restored those who have been hurt must experience God’s healing. For healing to occur they must look to the Lord. Expectations must be given to God. Confession to God and each other must occur. Cleansing of wounds must happen. In a relationship between two humans both people are at fault in some way. Both must humble themselves before God and before each other. Forgiveness must be given and received. We can and do forgive because God has forgiven us. Relationships and love can be restored in Jesus Christ because He forgives and He restores.

But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away, yet I will not.” And Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, that this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times.” But Peter kept saying insistently, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” Mark 14:29-31a

Peter failed in his love for Jesus. Peter denied that he even knew him when the test of his love for Jesus came. However, Peter was broken and allowed the Lord to restore him in his relationship with Jesus and Peter went on and became a faithful and great leader for the Lord. He ended up dying for Jesus out of his love for Christ and Peter was faithful to the Lord until the end of his life. His love and his relationship with Jesus was restored. The Lord can reconcile any broken relationship and restore the love in the relationship.

‘Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You, Jeremiah 32:17

Your past failures do not define your life nor do your past failures determine your future.

A Life with Love Lives By Faith

Enoch walked with God. He did not just walk before God but he walked with God. Enoch loved God and God loved Enoch.

Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. Genesis 5:21-24

The Bible says that after Enoch had his first child then Enoch walked with God. There is something very humbling about having a child. We realize our desperate need for God. When a baby is born we see the marvelous and magnificent hand of God and we want to worship and praise Him. Our heart is filled with much gratitude. We don’t know much about Enoch before his first child was born but we do know that he had a uniquely close walk with God after his first child.

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. Hebrews 11:5

Enoch was a man of faith and he was pleasing to God. He was so pleasing to God that the Lord did not allow Enoch to see death. Enoch walked with God by faith. Faith is what pleases the Lord. Faith is believing and trusting in what God has said and acting on it. Faith is not one of many options but it is the only option for the one who wants to please God and walk with Him.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

Faith comes from hearing the word of God.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. Mark 13:30

Faith is not what saves a person. Jesus Christ is who saves a person and faith is believing in His Word and coming to Jesus Christ for salvation. You can have faith in other religions but they can not forgive you and save you. Saving faith is putting your hope and trust in Him and what He did for all of us on the cross and coming to Him through His promises. Faith is acknowledging that there is not anything that you can do to deserve or work for salvation. It is God’s grace that invites us and allows us to come to Jesus Christ by faith.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8,9

Faith is believing what we can not see. By faith Enoch saw the Lord.

It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Jude 14,15

Enoch did not have any Scripture nor did he have the Law. However, Enoch had the knowledge of good and evil within him and Enoch chose to do good. All of us have the knowledge of good and evil. We do not need someone to tell us what is good and what is evil. Our conscience tells us what is right and wrong. When we listen to our conscience and do what is right then we become more sensitive to right and wrong. When we ignore our conscience and do what we know is wrong then our conscience becomes hardened and we no longer recognize good and evil. Good brings us happiness and evil brings us pain. We have to at first consciously block God out to do wrong but then the wrong starts to seem okay and then the wrong seems to be right. After awhile God does not even seem to exist or He may seem cruel and twisted. When we start to see wrong as right and right as wrong then we no longer can see God for who He really is, a loving and good God.

With the kind You show Yourself kind;
With the blameless You show Yourself blameless;
With the pure You show Yourself pure,
And with the crooked You show Yourself twisted. Psalm 18:25.26

Your view of God is not an indication of who God is but is more of an indication of the perversion of your heart.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8

Enoch had a pure heart and he saw the Lord by faith. Enoch saw the kindness and love of God and so Enoch experienced God’s love.

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

It is man who ruins his own life and his own marriage. Man chooses to go his own way and then in the wickedness of his own heart, man blames God. First, he ignored his conscience and then his heart became hardened and he could no longer see God. Then, to man, God becomes twisted in his mind and he does not want to believe that there is a God. However, God has made man to know in his heart that there is a God but man in his foolishness chooses to live as if there is no God and then he becomes even more foolish and blames God in his heart. He cries out, “why would you do this to me, God?”.

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

But God, reached down to man in His great love and loved man when man had turned his back on God. Two of the most powerful words in the Bible are the words “but God”. All of us have foolish hearts. Each of us has gone our own way. But God, did not leave us in our desperate need for Him. He came to us.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

If you have gone your own way and turned your back on God and His great love. It is not too late to come back to Him. He came for you and me. He has demonstrated His love for us when we did not love Him. Jesus Christ came and died and rose again in order that we might be reconciled to God and see Him and His great love for us.

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, I Peter 3:18a

Just as the Lord took Enoch so that He might not see death so the Lord took the death that we deserved so that we might have life. Enoch lived by faith and trusted in a loving God and he experienced God’s love. We too, when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, will see God in His great love and come to know Him. Then, one day, He will also take us home to live with Him for all eternity.

A Life with Love Means Becoming One

When two people agree then they can walk together through life without constant contentions and conflicts. When two agree then they have sweet fellowship together. It does not mean that they both don’t have different opinions on nonessentials or different tastes, but they do agree on the major tenants of life.

Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? Amos 3:3

God’s design for a love relationship is diversity but unity.

implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1b-3

Marriage is meant to be a long lasting love relationship of a man and a woman that is characterized also by peace and joy. It is crucial that a couple who plans to spend their lives together in a loving marriage be united in Spirit.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, I Thessalonians 5:23a

There are three aspects of humans and they are the spirit, soul and body. Union of the spirit brings lasting satisfaction, union of the soul brings continual satisfaction and union in the body brings momentary satisfaction in marriage. To have unity in the marriage it must be a union of the spirit, soul and body.

Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 3:14

There must be love in the spirit. If someone has different spiritual values than you, then you will not have unity in the spirit. They will not love what you love nor will they value what you value. There will be a continual conflict of the spirit.

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? II Corinthians 6:14

The most important aspect of a relationship is to have the same spiritual values. Our spiritual values is at the core of our being. Your spiritual values define who you are. What you do in life comes out of who you are. Look at the product of a person’s life to see what their spiritual values are. Look at where they spend their time and their money to know what they value. Also, do not allow the other aspects of a relationship to get in the way or go before the spiritual. The physical attraction can blind a person to the spiritual values. Do not allow yourself to become physically involved with someone until marriage. Who you marry is one of the most important decisions in life. You need to see clearly and hear clearly.

being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Philippians 2:2b

Not only is it important to be united in spirit but it is also important to be of the same mind in order to maintain the same unity of love. Being of one mind is the oneness of soul and will allow you and your spouse to become true soulmates. Oneness of soul will bring oneness of purpose in life. When you both have the same purpose in life then you will work together rather than work against each other. Your burdens will be lighter because you have someone who shares them with you. Your troubles will seem smaller and your joys will be much greater when you both are of the same mind and intent on the same purpose.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3,4

Life becomes much sweeter when you and your marriage partner do nothing from selfishness or conceit but each of you consider the other more important than yourself. In a loving marriage someone always has your back. You don’t have to live in a continual me first, survival mode. Each one of you will complement the other in strengths and gifts. A great marriage is like a lifelong dance with each partner learning to live in harmony with the other rather than stepping on each other and hurting one another. A great marriage is when each partner feels like they are the blessed one and that their spouse is the better half. When both people feel this way in a marriage then there is not only a great marriage but there will be great love. Just as two people must learn to dance together in harmony so two people in a marriage must learn to live together in love and unity. It begins, continues and ends with each one honoring the other as more important than themselves.

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4

The last aspect of a loving marriage with unity is where there is the union of the two bodies. When a person is sexually intimate with another they become one with that person. It is most important that you are only one in body with your spouse. There will be difficulty in becoming one in body if there is not oneness in spirit and soul. There will be difficulty in marriage if one or both have been immoral before marriage and there will also be struggles if one of the partners has looked at pornography. Anything that is evil in God’s sight will be a thief and rob you of the good gift that He wants to give to you. The Lord says no to what will bring harm to you now and later on in life.

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. II Corinthians 6:14-16

If you want to have a great marriage and walk through life with the sweet companionship and loyalty of another who will love you for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer and in sickness and in health then you must become one in spirit, soul and body. It begins with becoming a Christian and then learning what it means to walk with the Lord in the light of His Word. He will teach you how to love and what it means to become one with another.

I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. John 17:23

When a person becomes a Christian then Jesus Christ comes and lives within them and lives through them. He teaches us to first walk with Him so that we can walk in unity with others. He perfects us in unity as we get to know Him and His great love for us. He came to love us and to teach us how to love others with His perfect love. We can not love with the kind of love that our spouse needs apart from Him. We can’t love, He never said we could, but He can love through us and He always said He would. Marriage makes us aware of our selfishness and our conceit but Jesus makes us aware of His love and His power to live and love through us.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16

A Life with Love Makes a Promise

Love makes promises and lives by the promise. It is not loving for a man to live with a woman outside of marriage. A woman needs, desires and longs for security. If a man loves a woman then he will give her that security. He does so through a promise. A marriage proposal is a promise to love her and to provide for her and protect her. When he marries her then he begins to fulfill the promise that he has made to her.

I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.” God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.” Genesis 9:11-17

The Lord loved Noah and all of mankind and made a promise to Noah and his descendants that He would never destroy mankind through a flood again. This promise was God’s love to give mankind security so that man would not be fearful when the rain would come again. The rainbow was the sign of God’s promise never to flood the earth again. The wedding ring that a man gives to a woman when he marries her is a sign of his love for her that he will be faithful to her and love her. She need not be fearful when the storms of life come because of her husband’s promise to her to love her for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, and in sickness and in health. He will love her all the days of their lives as long as the two of them shall live.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13

We can only do what God has called us to do and be who God has called us to be by His strength and grace. Marriage humbles the husband and the wife because they both must look to Him and rely on His strength for the marriage to grow strong and loving.

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Marriage is one of God’s provisions for productivity and also from discouragement. Two are better than one and will have a good return for their labor. When one falls the other can lift the other one up. It is a comfort to sleep together with your spouse and especially on cold nights. However, when the Lord is the center of your marriage then your marriage will grow stronger and stronger and even more loving. There is grace that gives forgiveness and there will be reconciliation when one fails and a love that is restored and grows.

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:9a

The Lord will give His grace to the husband and the wife to fulfill the vows they made to God and the promises they made to each other on their wedding day. Marriage takes a lot of humility and grace but it is worth it. It is our pride that destroys our relationships and marriages.

and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. I Peter 5:5b

A Life with Love Must Be Tested

If love is not tested then we will never know the depth and strength of our love. It is not until our love is tested will we know if it is genuine. We all want to say that we will be faithful in our love for another. That is the intent of our heart but what is the strength of our character? Love is a choice and it is a choice that we must make many times in order to stay faithful. We make the commitment to love another but we live out that commitment every day afterwards. Love is not a matter of words only but a matter of faithfulness in living out the words that we have made to another. That commitment that we make to love another will be tested. It is not a matter of “if” but “when” it will be tested.

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

Love begins with experiencing God’s love. We love the Lord because He first loved us. When we experience His love then we can love others with an unconditional love, which is the way that we all want to be loved.

This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. I John 3:23

Our love for the Lord will be expressed in our love for our spouse, our family members and others.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Deuteronomy 6:5

When we learn to love God with all of our heart, soul and might then we can love another. Loving God means loving others. We learn of love from God and we learn what it means to be faithful from Him also. Adam and Eve were tested in the garden of Eden. They failed the test and chose to not love God by loving themselves. The Lord continued to love them in spite of their lack of love for God and the rest of the Bible is the story of God’s love for Adam and Eve and all of their descendants and His faithfulness to show them that love.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16,17

Adam and Eve were more concerned about “what was in it for them” than in being faithful to their Creator and God.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6,7

Eve was tested when she was tempted to eat of the tree which the Lord had said not to eat. She was tempted because of how she looked at the fruit of the tree. What Eve saw was “good” and “delightful” and “desirable”. However, it was not good but bad, it would not bring her delight but pain and it only seemed desirable but in the end she would regret it. That is how the test will be. It will seem appealing and tempting but will only destroy. If we fail the test then it will bring not only death to the love relationship but it will bring death to the soul.

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. Hebrews 10:36

Every love relationship has a lot of promise. If we enter into a marriage covenant then it has the promise of a loving and trusting union between a man and a woman that will bring great joy, satisfaction and love that will grow as the two grow old together. The marriage relationship is the sweetest, warmest, most trusting and loving relationship on earth when it is done God’s way.

Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
Whoever is discerning, let him know them.
For the ways of the Lord are right,
And the righteous will walk in them,
But transgressors will stumble in them. Hosea 14:9

God’s ways are right. Those who are wise will learn the ways of God and walk in them. Their marriage will be blessed. Those who are faithful in their relationship with God and in their marriage when they are tested will grow even stronger in their love. Testing brings trials and trials produce endurance. Endurance is what strengthens and perfects us. It is the relationships that endure the tests and trials of life that bring the lasting joy and satisfaction in life as they are made perfect and complete.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

When you are tested through trials then persevere in doing what is right. Stay faithful. Walk by faith and not by feelings. Love can grow and be restored in relationships. Relationships are not easy but they are worth it. Do what is right. Don’t give up.

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12

All love relationships will be tested. Your relationship and love for the Lord will be tested. Your marriage will be tested. Love is faithfulness and perseverance and those who are faithful and persevere to the end will be glad. Those who are faithful to the Lord will be faithful in their marriage.

For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come, and will not delay.
But My righteous one shall live by faith;
And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. Hebrews 10:37-39

A Life with Love Must Grow

Love is a choice and love abides in relationships. When loving choices are made in a relationship where love is then the love will grow in that relationship. Love is a flame that can be kindled by good choices and warm the hearts of the two people in the love relationship or the love can be quenched by bad choices and allow the hearts of the two people to grow cold toward each other.

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; I Peter 3:8

The summing up of how a relationship should be is that it is to be harmonious. The two people are to be sympathetic towards each other and brotherly, kindhearted and humble in spirit.

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? II Corinthians 6:14

The first requirement for a harmonious marriage is that the union must be of two believers in Christ. If you are a believer and you are considering marriage to an unbeliever then you are going against the Lord and His counsel. His blessing will not be on your marriage.

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; I Peter 3:8

The word sympathy means “a feeling of sorrow for someone else’s misfortune” or “a common feeling or understanding between people”. The place that someone should always be able to receive sympathy is in the marriage. A loving marriage doubles the joys and cuts the sorrows in half. Two people who love each other will share one another’s sorrows.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

We are not only to be sympathetic towards one another but we are to be tender hearted with each other. It is one thing to be sympathetic towards another when they suffer with struggles outside of the marriage but when someone does what is wrong within the marriage then that becomes much more difficult.

not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. I Peter 3:9

One of the secrets to a great marriage is forgiveness. It is crucial to be kindhearted to one another by forgiving each other. No one is perfect and we all sin. When and if you marry then you will marry a sinner. They will mess up and you will mess up. The temptation is to return evil for evil or insult for insult, or in other words, “You did this so I will do that or I will withhold from you!” No, absolutely not, if you want a loving relationship all the days of your lives together, until death do you part, then you must learn to forgive. You must learn to give a blessing instead.

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13,14

If you have received forgiveness from Jesus Christ for all of your sins then you can give forgiveness to another. Forgiveness is the greatest gift that you can give to another. There is no sin too great that Jesus Christ has not forgiven you. In the same way, there is no sin too great that you can not forgive in another. Forgiveness is forgiving them of their sins against you and forgiveness is the promise to never bring it up again. If you need to bring it up over and over again then it is not forgiveness. The Lord never brings up your sins to you of all that He has forgiven you.

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12

If you give to your spouse the gift of forgiveness then not only will you be giving them a blessing but you will receive a blessing from the Lord. For love to grow then there must be forgiveness. When someone shows love and forgiveness to another then they are like Christ.

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; I Peter 2:21-23

While being reviled, Jesus did not revile in return. He never returned evil for evil or insult for insult nor did he make any threats. Jesus Christ continually kept entrusting Himself to God, the Father. Jesus Christ was our example of what we are to do when we are suffering, and we do suffer when are affected by the sins of someone else. We are to go to the Lord and entrust ourselves to Him.

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. II Peter 1:5-7

You will find that as you apply diligence in your pursuit of love in your marriage and you exercise self control (in your words and actions) and you persevere in it then you will become godly (which is like Christ), and then in your Christlikeness you will show kindness and love. This is truly the picture of marriage that God designed for it to be. Your love for each other will grow and abound. Your hearts will become knit together in love and you will become soulmates of one mind and one heart, as well as becoming one physically. This is the sweetest and most fulfilling of all relationships and is God’s gift to man and woman. It will be honey to your soul and life to your body when it is done God’s way.

A Life with Love is a Mature Choice

Love is a choice and is not just a feeling. Feelings are based on emotions and emotions are fickle and can easily change with circumstances but love is a choice based on the character of the lover. A person is not ready for the responsibility of a love relationship between a man and a woman until their character is mature enough to make choices based on wisdom and not feelings.

Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants, Psalm 144:12a

A young man is not mature until they are as a grown up plant. Maturity should come to a young man in his youth. This is a picture of prosperity. When young men are not mature in their youth then there will be problems in the family and problems in the nation. A grown up plant is one that is strong.

The glory of young men is their strength, Proverbs 20:29

A young man must be strong. He must be strong not only physically but he must be strong spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. I Timothy 4:12

A young man must show himself to be an example of maturity. His speech must be gracious. His conduct must be above reproach. A young man must know how to love with the love of Christ. He must be strong in his faith and have a pure heart.

He who loves purity of heart And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend. Proverbs 22:11

The evidence of a young man’s maturity will be seen in the people who are attracted to him as his friends. When a young lady is considering a relationship with a young man she should look to see who his friends are. A deceitful or charming young man will tell her what she wants to hear but a wise young lady will look at the fruit of his life rather than the fruit of his lips to determine if he is genuine and worthy of her.

And our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace; Psalm 144:12b

A young woman is not mature enough to be in a love relationship with a young man until she is as a corner pillar. A corner pillar must be able to stand alone. If a corner pillar is wobbly or weak then the entire building will fall. A corner pillar must be strong and not dependent on others for its strength.

so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, Titus 2:4

A young woman’s main responsibility when the Lord gives her a family is to love her husband and to love her children. A young woman must have learned what it means to fear the Lord in order to fulfill her God given privilege and responsibility.

Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
“Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:28-30

If a young woman learns to fear the Lord and love Him then she will be ready for a love relationship. The fruit of her life will be such that her children will rise up and bless her and her husband will praise her.

Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. I Peter 3:3,4

She will focus more on her relationship with the Lord and the inner beauty that comes from that relationship rather than on the outward beauty that will fade away with time. She will still seek to be beautiful but the beauty that comes from within will outshine the beauty that is on the outside.

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. I Peter 3:8,9

The union of two mature people in marriage will be a blessing. They will be a blessing to each other, a blessing to their children and a blessing to the world. A great nation is made up of great families and great families are made up of great marriages and great marriages are made up of great Christians who are mature in their relationship with the Lord and mature as individuals.

A Life with Love Must Die to Self

We make the commitment to God to love our spouse when we get married on our wedding day but that commitment to love another is strengthened or weakened by the daily choices we make. The marriage vow is a vow to God and He is the One whom we love when we keep our vows. Our spouse is the recipient of our love for God in keeping our vow or our lack of love for God by not keeping our vow. Your love for your spouse is an expression of your love for God.

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. Matthew 6:24

No man can serve two masters, either he will love one or hate the other. If you love God then you will follow Him and obey Him. He says that if you love Him then you must deny yourself. You can not serve God and self.

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. Luke 9:23

If you want to follow the Lord then you must deny yourself. This is lived out more in marriage than anywhere else. The question most often is not “do I love my spouse more than any other?”. Most people would probably be able to say “yes”. However, the question after we are married is more like, “do I love my spouse more than myself?”.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24

Our lives are like a grain of wheat. It must die before it will bear fruit. If it refuses to die then it will remain alone. That is how love in a relationship is. If you refuse to die to yourself then you will remain alone but if you will die to yourself, your dreams, your expectations, your desires, etc. then you will bear much fruit and your marriage will bear much fruit. You will not be alone but your life will be filled with love. It sounds like a paradox but it is true. You must die to bear fruit.

He who loves his life loses it, John 12:25a

If you love your live then you will lose it. However, if you allow yourself to die with Christ on the cross, die to yourself, then you will live.

And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. Mark 8:34

When you come after Jesus Christ then you must deny yourself and take up your cross, die to yourself and follow Him. However, in doing so, you will find life. You will be set free from the things that bind you and frustrate you, which often are your own pursuits after your own desires. The Lord Jesus Christ will give you His life and desires in place of your life and desires.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20

When Christ lives in you then He will love through you. He will love your spouse with His love. It will be an unselfish love that will build up and establish your marriage. It will be a love that will encourage and cause trust to grow in your life and in the life of your spouse. It will be a love that will thrive and grow.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24

Many a person has lost their marriage because they refused to die to their self with its passions and desires. You can only die to yourself if you have another who will give His life to you. In death you receive life and in dying you learn to live.

But the desire of the righteous will be granted. Proverbs 10:24

The Lord wants to give you your desires that are His desires for you. However, when He gives them to you, the desires will be free of the sorrows that you would have received had you pursued them according to your ways.

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

Follow the Lord with all of your heart and He will teach you His ways. He wants to give you a great marriage that is filled with love, joy, peace, patience and all of the other wonderful fruit of His Spirit. However, you must come to Him empty and let Him fill you. When you die to yourself then you become empty of yourself so that He can fill you with Himself, and He will live and love through you in the power of His Spirit. You will be able to say with all of the saints through the ages.

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21