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 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 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 is Met with Love

The plan from the beginning was that we were to be loved and we were to respond in love. This is still the plan and it is the plan for all relationships. Love seeks only the best for the other and has no selfish ambitions. When we are loved and love in return then we will be and do what we were created to be and do. God created us to be loved by Him and it was His desire that we respond with love for Him. However, love is a choice and in the beginning man chose not to love God.

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Genesis 3:8-11

We hide ourselves from those whom we do not love. We will find reasons to be elsewhere. When two people are in love then they will find every reason to be together. They will make time to be together. When two people no longer love each other then they will find excuses to be elsewhere and hide from each other behind the excuses. When Adam and Eve hid they no longer loved God but God still loved them. God is faithful even when we are not.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. II Timothy 2:13

God’s design was that nothing could separate us from His love, that is, nothing can separate us from His love but our own selves. Love is a choice and we do not have to love God. We can try to hide ourselves from Him.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38,39

We can try to hide from God and we can try to run from Him but we can never get away from His love for us.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You. Psalm 139:7-12

There is no place that we can go to where He is not there. There is no place that we can hide that He dies not see. His love pursues us and He longs to love us.

Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him. Isaiah 30:18

He longs to be gracious to us and He is waiting for us to come to Him so that we can know his compassion and His love. How happy are all who come to Him. He meets us with His love.

A Life with Love Forgives

One of the greatest expressions of love is to forgive. Forgiveness, how sweet it is for the recipient when it is given and is the greatest gift that anyone can give to another. There is no greater expression of love in a relationship than forgiveness. We all need forgiveness. All of us have done wrong and brought grief to others. There is no limit to our need for forgiveness.

Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21,22

Jesus came to bring us forgiveness. We can not give to others what we have not received. When we receive Jesus Christ and His gift of salvation then we receive forgiveness of all of our sins.

To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins, Luke 1:77

Jesus Christ went to the cross to forgive us of all of our sins. When we receive Jesus Christ we are forgiven of past, present and future sins. Forgiveness is a gift that God gives to us through Jesus Christ.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace Ephesians 1:7

For there to be love in a relationship then there must be forgiveness. To love someone is to forgive and to forgive is to love. Where there is forgiveness then there is love.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:22

Forgiveness is not easy but it is necessary. Forgiveness is not a feeling but a decision of the will. Forgiveness is not our will but God’s will. Even Jesus had to pray to do the Father’s will and asked the Father for His will to be done.

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39

When a person is forgiven their life is changed. When they realize the magnitude of their wrongdoings and they have been forgiven and the guilt has been taken away then their response is a response of love and gratitude. He who is forgiven little loves little but he who is forgiven much loves much.

For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47

There is not anything else that goes deeper into our souls than forgiveness. We all need forgiveness. When you give to someone the gift of forgiveness then you are loving them as Jesus Christ has loved you. Forgiveness is expressed in the promise “never to bring it up again”.

“For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
And I will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:12

If God so loved us that He became the sacrifice for our sins so that we could be forgiven then we ought to love one another.

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. I John 4:10,11

Forgiveness is showing mercy to someone in need. The one who shows mercy does himself good. It is cruel not to forgive and show mercy to the one who needs it. God has shown all of us His mercy through Jesus Christ. The person who has been given mercy but withholds mercy does himself harm.

The merciful man does himself good,
But the cruel man does himself harm. Proverbs 11:17

Forgiveness is not only a gift that you give to someone else but it is a gift that you give to yourself. A person reaps what they sow. When you forgive others then your sins will be forgiven you.

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. Matthew 6:14,15

The greatest marriages and families are made up of those who have learned to forgive. Forgiveness is the medicine that brings healing to our souls. Forgiveness in our relationships is a light that teaches others how to love. Forgiveness is the salt that melts the ice of hatred. Love is the most influential power and its greatest expression is forgiveness.

A Life that Loves

It has been said that people are happiest doing two things and which these two things are loving and learning. The Lord made us to love and He made us to learn. Both of these activities help keep the focus off of ourselves. The most unhappiest people in the world are the people who are all about themselves. We are basically selfish and only the Lord can change our hearts and character so that we will love others more than ourselves. God is love and when we are filled with the Lord’s Spirit then we too will love others as He has loved us.

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

God’s love was made known to us through the life and death of His only begotten Son.

I John 4:9-11 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. 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.

If the Lord so loved us this way then we also ought to love one another. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

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

When the Lord permeates all of your life and relationships then love is what will characterize them. Even if the other people are not loving they will usually eventually respond to the love of Christ in you.

I John 4:12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

One of the most exciting things as a Christian is to love people who you naturally would not love and it can only be done by His Holy Spirit abiding in you. He will love through you and will give you a genuine love for others. As you walk with Him then you will start to see others the way Jesus does and you will have compassion on the people you are around.

I John 4:16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

Love is the opposite of judgment. Judgment condemns but love forgives and accepts.

I John 4:17,18 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

If we love others then we will not fear in the day of judgment because we have done what our Lord commanded of us. His love casts out the fear in us when we will stand before Him. Sin brings guilt and guilt brings fear. Doing right brings peace and peace brings confidence.

I John 4:19-21 We love, because He first loved us. 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. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

The Lord will love through you. God loves us because He is love. Love is not dependent on the recipient but on the giver. Have you received God’s love? If so, then the evidence will be that you also will love. It is by our love for one another that the world will know that we are Christians.

John 13:34,35  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

A Life with Love as a Gift

Love is not a right nor is love something that we can earn. Love is a gift that God has given to us that we do not deserve.

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. John 3:16

God did not have to give. He gave because He loved. No one ever has to give or receive love. Love is a choice and that choice is to give love or to receive love. If it was not a choice then it would not be love. Love must be given and received to be experienced.

He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 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 1:11-13

Jesus first came to His own people, the Jews, but they did not receive Him and experience His love. He also came to the world that any who wanted to receive God could and whoever received Jesus Christ would become His child. Jesus was the lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world so that whoever would believe in Him would have eternal life and not perish.

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

Those who receive God’s love through Jesus Christ become born again into God’s family and become recipients of the greatest love there ever was or will ever be.

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ John 3:5-7

When we receive God’s love then we are born into His family and become His child. We become spiritually alive. It is in our spirit that we have the assurance that we have become His child and that we know His love.

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, Romans 8:16

When we become His child then He is the One who gives us that assurance. When someone belongs to Him then God’s Spirit confirms it through the spirit of the person that has been made alive. God restores the life to the spirit that died when Adam sinned. It is through the spirit of man that God communicates with man. When someone is spiritually dead then they can not hear God. When one becomes spiritually alive then they can hear the Lord because the relationship is restored.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. John 8:27,28

Jesus Christ reversed the curse of death that took place when Adam and Eve sinned and brought us life in Him.

And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. I John 5:11,12

When we receive the gift of God’s love in Jesus Christ then we receive life, we are restored to our relationship with God and can fellowship with God through prayer and His Word and we become His child. There is no greater gift or greater love!

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. I John 3:1

Those who have received the gift of God’s love that He gave through Jesus Christ will want to spend their lives thanking Him for the incredible gift of His love.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! II Corinthians 9:15

A Life with Love is Faithful

Love is not a feeling, although there certainly are feelings that come and go in love, but love is not based on feelings. Love is a faithful commitment to the one loved. God is faithful and it is from Him that we learn faithfulness. Faithfulness is based on trust and love grows with faithfulness. Faithfulness means to be full of faith and when we are full of faith in the Lord then we will be faithful to do what he has called us to do in our commitments in loving others.

I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. John 17:4

All of us have different work that we need to accomplish and be faithful to fulfill. When we do the work that God has given us to do then He is glorified. The Lord gives different instructions for each person in different relationships. A friend is to love at all times. A person that has a close friend through life is rich indeed.

A friend loves at all times, Proverbs 17:17a

The instructions to the husband and the wife is that they are to love and respect one another. This is the main work that God has called the husband and wife to do. When they do this then God is glorified in their marriage and they are blessed.

Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33

When your spouse is your best friend, favorite companion, lover, soulmate, teammate, and biggest fan then you are really blessed. Even more, when you are these to your spouse then you are still more blessed for the Lord Himself said that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35b

However, just as love is not stagnant but needs to grow and mature, we need to learn how to be the husband or wife that the Lord has designed for us. It is a work of faith that we learn as we mature in our relationships and as a person. It is in the early years of marriage that a couple learns to express their faithfulness to one another in learning to love each other and their faithfulness to God by doing the work in marriage of loving and respecting that God has called them to do.

and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, I Thessalonians 3:12a

A strong and loving marriage in the later years will be determined by the early years of marriage when the couple faithfully learns to love each other and meet one another’s needs. These years are sometimes more challenging with the demands that are there with jobs, children and often when money is short but it is during these years as the couple learns to work together and love each other that they become one in spirit, soul and body. Their hearts become knit together in love and the many joys, sorrows and struggles that they share will make their marriage a strong one that will last a lifetime…”until death do they part”.

A Life with Love Reaps Love

A person reaps what they sow. However, just as when we sow seeds in a garden there is a delay in the reaping so also often it is not until later that we reap the fruit of what we have sown in relationships. If we sow seeds that are good then we will reap good fruit, but likewise, if we sow seeds that are not good then we will reap fruit that is not good.

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

God was not mocked in the garden of Eden when He said that man could live in the garden and enjoy all of the blessings of living in His love and in fellowship with Him. He was true to His Word. He is always true to His Word. When He told man that if he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil then he would die. Man sowed disobedience and reaped death. God was true to His Word.

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

God was not being mean, in fact, it is love when we are faithful to our word. We can trust God because He is faithful to His Word. A child learns not to trust a parent when they do not stick to their word, either in promising something good or saying that a consequence will follow disobedience. For this reason, it is important in relationships to be faithful to our words so that when we say something we carry it out. Trust is built on faithfulness and love is built on trust.

God is faithful, I Corinthians 1:9a

So, God is not mocked. If we sow love in our relationships then we will reap love. Some people will reap sooner and some people will reap later but we will all reap what we sow. The time period before a couple gets married is very important because they are sowing the seeds that they will reap later. A marriage staying together is often determined by what was sown in the relationship before marriage. People do in their youth what they later regret in life but it is too late to take back the bad seeds that were sown.

Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. II Timothy 2:22

The word “lusts” means desires. When one lusts after what God has not yet given to them and they fulfill their lusts then they have sinned and sown seeds that they will reap later. The fruit of lust is sin and the result of sin is death. When a man or woman does not pursue what is right, which is righteousness, or pursue faithfulness, love and peace then he or she will succumb to their lusts.

But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. James 1:14-16

It is of the utmost importance for a young man and woman to learn God’s ways when they are young so that they can sow the good seeds in their relationships before they get married. Defrauding a person is obtaining something by deceit. When a young man takes before marriage what belongs in marriage then he is defrauding the young lady that he supposedly loves. He is sowing bad seeds that he will reap later. When a young woman gives to a man what is to be saved for marriage then she also is sowing seeds of destruction. Often when a marriage fails, people will wonder what happened and forget the seeds that were sown earlier. When a couple waits on the Lord for the gifts of marriage that He has for them then they will be blessed and their children will be blessed. If a man waits until his wedding day for the gift of physical intimacy then he will outshine the sun in his happiness.

In them He has placed a tent for the sun,
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; Psalm 19:4b,5a

A young man and a young woman rob themselves of the love and joy that God has designed for them in the gift of marriage. Marriage can be a taste of heaven and is the sweetest and most intimate relationship on earth when it is done right. God is not mocked. Marriage is meant to be a sowing and reaping of love. The more that love is sown then the more the couple wants to sow love. It is the most beautiful love cycle that God has created between two people.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9

One of the wonderful aspects of God is that He always gives us a chance to be changed. Until the day we die we can come to Him in faith and ask His forgiveness. Repentance is acknowledging that we have failed and turning away from our own way to following the Lord and His ways. Faith is coming to Him and asking Him to forgive us and to take control of our lives. If we have not been sowing what is right it is not too late to start today. Start sowing the seeds of love in your relationships. Love is of God and He will teach you how to love in His Word. If you are not married then do it right and you will be eternally glad. You will be blessed, your future spouse will be blessed and your children will be blessed.

Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. Luke 6:47,48

God is not mocked. If we act on His Words then our marriages will be loving and will stand strong when the storms come. God is faithful to His Word and we will reap what we have sown, whether it is good or bad. When we are faithful to sow the seeds of obedience to His Words then we reap the good fruit and our lives be strong and our relationships will be filled with love.