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

A Life with Love Has Made Itself Known

God has made Himself known to mankind. God is so evident to mankind that man has to turn away from God so as to not believe in God. When people turn their back on God then they become scoffers. In turning their back on God they also turn their back on His love. They no longer see God nor do they see His love, even though at one time they did see God and His love.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:18-20

God has made Himself known to all. Every child believes in God. God has made Himself known to all of us and we are without excuse. God made us to know that there is a God. Our conscience tells us that there is a God and all of creation make known that their is a God. It is man who has to suppress the truth of God. Man would rather choose sin than choose God. This began in the garden of Eden and has continued throughout all generations.

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:21

God loves us but when we do not respond to His love then our foolish hearts become darkened. As we continue to not respond to His love, for He shows us His love many times and in many ways, then we start to doubt that their is a God. Now, rather than have the true revelation of who God is, we start to fathom what God must be like in our own minds. The outcome is, “my god would not do this or that”. When people do not choose the love and knowledge of God it is because they have exchanged the truth of God for a lie. This is what Adam and Eve did in the garden and this tendency has continued to this day.

For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Romans 1:25

God has made us to worship and when we do not worship Him then we worship a false god, whether it will be an idol made with hands, or a person, or the earth or any other aspect of creation. Any of these choices is worshiping a false god and is foolish. The outcome is we will not believe in the true God and we will never know true love. There is only one true God and He is the only source of true love.

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; I John 3:16a

God made Himself known to man again in His witness of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that He is God and there is no other. He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, so that we might know Him and know and live in His love.

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. I John 4:9

God has now made Himself known to the world through what He has said and done through Jesus Christ so that we are without excuse.

If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. John 15:22

The Lord has given us His Word so that we are without excuse. His Word is truth.

If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin John 15:24a

Have you ever felt close to God through nature? Have you ever felt the Lord speaking to you? Has there ever been anything in your life that the only explanation for it is God? If you have ever had any of these experiences then it is God calling you to Himself. If you turn to Him and worship the Creator, who is the one and only true God, then you will know His love and know Him. If you have ever had any of these experiences and still choose not to follow Jesus Christ then you are without excuse. The Lord loves you and wants a relationship with you. You will be the one who has turned your back on Him. You will be judged by your own words and actions.

He said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, Luke 19:22a

If you hear His voice or if you have seen His hand then come to Him and allow Him to come into your life. He loves you and has made Himself known to you. If you will come to Jesus Christ then you will know Him and live in His love forever.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20

A Life with Love Has a Great Cost

The Lord loves mankind and each person in the world. He desires that each one would know God and His great love for them. Apart from God and His great love each person will perish and spend an eternity away from God and separated from His love.

but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. II Peter 3:9b

God is patient towards us. He wants us all to choose to know His love. Love is a choice and the Lord has given the choice to each person to come to Him so that they might not perish.

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

The gift that God offers to any who will receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is to become His child. This offer is to any who will call upon Jesus Christ.

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, John 1:12

To become God’s child is a free gift of love that God has given to those who believe in Jesus, His only begotten Son. It is a gift of life as well as a gift of love. To become His child means that a person is adopted into God’s family. It is a legal adoption with all of the rights as of the only begotten child of God, who is Jesus Christ. An adopted child of God becomes a fellow heir with Jesus Christ.

but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, Romans 8:15b-17a

However, the gift came at a great cost to God. God, the Father, gave His only begotten Son to die for the world that they might live. Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, came and shed His blood to give us this gift of life and love.

knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. I Peter 1:18,19

Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He is the innocent One who was slain for the world. The world had turned its back on God and now God turned His back on His Son so that the world might have the gift of love and eternal life through Jesus Christ.

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

This Lamb of God, who paid the price of His own blood to give to the world the gift of love has become the Shepherd of those who come into His flock through believing in Him. He, who is now the Good Shepherd, understands the sheep and their needs.

I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. John 10:11

You know when you belong to the Good Shepherd because you hear His voice. He will shepherd you as the Good Shepherd and you will know His love. Love gives security. When someone gives their life to Jesus Christ and He becomes their Shepherd and they become one of the sheep of His flock then no one can snatch them from Him. They are secure now and forever.

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 10:27,28

Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd and He knows His own and His own know Him.

I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, John 10:14

The day will come when we will see the Lamb of God on the throne of God. He is the Good Shepherd and will shepherd all who belong to Him forever. When they see Him He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:16,17

The Lord Jesus Christ is coming again. He is patient and not wishing for any to perish but when He comes it will be too late for those who did not choose to love Him when they had the chance.

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. II Peter 3:8,9

Come to Christ. His arms are open wide. When He went to the cross His arms were stretched out for the world. He will receive anyone who comes to Him. He will receive you and you will receive Jesus Christ and His amazing love. Love is a choice and God offers that choice to you.

A Life with Love is So Amazing

Love is so amazing. Love empowers the giver of love and the receiver of the love. Love influences and changes lives. Love gives worth to the recipient and even gives greater worth to the one who gives love. Love sets free the one who loves and sets free the one who is loved. Love gives great joy to the recipient and even greater joy to the giver. There is nothing that can compare with love. Money can not buy it. Love can not be sold. Love is a gift that is a choice of the lover and the one who is loved to receive the gift of love. Love can not be forced but it is a force that changes people, nations and the world. The one who loves is more at peace, has more joy, experiences more freedom and is richer than the richest person who has ever lived. With love people can do far more than they ever dreamed and without love a person is almost paralyzed with loneliness, fear and many other ailments.

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

God is love. Love is who God is and the Lord made man to receive love and to give love. The Lord made man in His image and an attribute of God is love.

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; Genesis 1:27, 28a

Man and woman together is the image of God. It is a mystery and it is beautiful the way God created male and female. We need each other. It is not good for man or woman to be alone.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

It is not good for a husband and wife to be alone. The Lord called them to multiply so that together they could not only love each other but love another with the love they had together.

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, Genesis 1:28a

Love is a choice and the Lord allowed choices in the garden so that man and woman could always choose to love God. God loved Adam and Eve but He did not force them to love Him.

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

The Lord still offers man the choice to love Him. Love means coming to God. God’s grace through Jesus Christ is His invitation to come to Him and be restored to Him and to live in His amazing love.

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

Eternal life is knowing God. When a person comes to God then they come into a personal knowledge of God through Jesus Christ.

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3

When a person comes to know God then they also come into an experiential knowledge of the love of God. This love changes their life. This love changes everything about them. This love of God changes their desires, their decisions and their destiny. The love of God through Jesus Christ sets them free from their unforgiveness, bitterness, their sin and their guilt. This love from God living in them through His Holy Spirit empowers them to live above their circumstances and to have a peace and a joy in their circumstances. This love of God gives them more worth than all the money in the world for now they are a child of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

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 3:1a

God’s love is truly amazing and although we will most likely never fully understand it we can experience in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is love and the expression of love. When we know Jesus Christ then we know love. When we become God’s child then we have love. When we give God’s love to others then we express His love.

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

A Life with Love is Influential

Nothing in all of the world has a greater influence than love. Men and women can be forced to do things they don’t want to do but love will cause the very things that they otherwise would not want to do seem like privileges to the one who loves and is loved. No one has had a greater influence on mankind than Jesus Christ. He never forced anyone to follow Him. He loved his followers.

Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. John 13:1b

He never asked of anyone anything that He himself had not already done. His leadership style was not being served but rather He came to serve.

just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28

His power was not in Himself but He trusted One who could not be seen.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, John 5:19

He did nothing on His own initiative and never sought His own will.

“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. John 5:30

He never sought His own glory.

He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. John 7:18

He was faithful to do the work that God had given Him to do.

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

He was humble and gentle.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, Matthew 11:29

All of Jesus’ disciples but one died a martyr’s death. They voluntarily gave up their lives for Jesus who loved them and gave His life for them. Nearly two thousand years later people are still following Jesus Christ and giving their lives to love and serve Him and if necessary to die for Christ.

When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; Revelation 6:9

Jesus Christ was not physically attractive.

He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. Isaiah 53:2b

Jesus Christ was so unassuming that no one recognized that He was God in the flesh until God revealed it to them.

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 16:15-17

However, Jesus Christ had so much influence when He walked on earth that the religious leaders envied Him so much that they wanted to kill Him. They looked for people to accuse Him so that they might have a reason to put Him to death and they could find no one.

Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, and they were not finding any. Mark 14:55

Jesus Christ was innocent of any wrong doing and He went around doing good. Yet, His influence was greater than any man who has ever walked on this earth. All of history is determined by His life. B.C. means “before Christ” and A.D. means “in the year of our Lord”. Jesus Christ was crucified, died and was buried and rose again in Jerusalem. Everything to the east of Jerusalem is called the east and everything to the west of Jerusalem is called the west. Geography is measured by His death, burial and resurrection. Men are still today trying to erase His name and put an end to Jesus Christ just as they did in His day. It will never happen. Jesus Christ is alive and is coming back again. He is the beginning and the end.

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Revelation 22:12,13

When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden the Lord drove them out of the garden lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever separated from God.

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24

God sent Jesus Christ to die for the sin of the world so that anyone who would believe in Jesus Christ would be restored to a right relationship with God. Christ died, was buried and rose again so that we might have eternal life.

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. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18

Those who have believed in Jesus Christ have been forgiven and have had their consciences washed clean through the blood of Christ and have the right to eat of the tree of life and live forever in heaven.

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. Revelation 22:14,15

Those who have believed in Jesus Christ have been forgiven and can eat of the tree of life. Those who have not believed in Jesus Christ will be judged for their sins and will not be able to enter into the presence of God. They will be outside forever. The word “dogs” is another word for unbelievers. If we believe in horoscopes or ever have had our fortune told then we are practicing sorcery. If we have ever looked at another person in the wrong way then we are immoral. If we have hated anyone then we have murdered in our heart. If we have ever put anything before God then we have committed idolatry. If we have ever even told a white lie or any lies then we are guilty of lying. All of us deserve judgment and yet the Lord offers us forgiveness because Jesus Christ took our judgment and punishment on the cross. Those who believe in Jesus Christ have been forgiven of their sins and will not be judged and will spend eternity in heaven. Those who have not believed and followed Jesus Christ will be judged for their sins when he comes again and will spend eternity in hell.

A Life with Love is Comfort to a Husband

Everyone needs comfort and will seek it out. A man longs for comfort as much as a wife does, however, comfort for a man is different than what is comfort for a wife. A man needs to feel like a man and he is comforted when his manhood and masculinity is affirmed. A man also needs the love and comfort of a female. A man should go from his mother’s love to his wife’s love. For this reason the Lord told the husband to leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

A wife completes a man and together they are the image of God. She brings out of a man something that nothing else will bring out of him.

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27

If a man loves his wife then he will be willing to die for her. When he marries his wife he gives her his heart and soul. He makes a total commitment to her because he is taking responsibility for her. The wedding day is a total change for a man. They are no longer two but one and now he is responsible for another. A wife is a gift from God.

He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22

A man needs a wife to comfort him. A wife is a companion to a man. Most men will rise to a higher level in every way when they find a good wife. Marriage is not only union of the body and spirit but union of the soul. A wife becomes a man’s soulmate and he will share his innermost thoughts, ambitions and desires with her. He needs a wife whom he can trust.

An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10-12

One of the meanings of the word “good” means the highest form of love. An excellent wife will love her husband and only do her husband good. One of the meanings of “evil” is to bring grief. An excellent wife will not bring her husband grief. She will be his greatest treasure and will bring him comfort through her quiet and gentle spirit that trusts in the Lord. He will know that she will always be there for him. He can trust her.

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4

An excellent wife will be the crown of her husband. A man needs to rule and an excellent wife gives him the right to rule. A wife needs to understand that God made men to conquer and rule and a husband must first believe that he rules well in his home first before he can conquer the world. A husband that has an unsubmissive wife will be frustrated all of his days and will bring her husband shame. Submission is a good thing within God’s will. A submissive wife helps her husband succeed as a father and also in life. A man ruling his family well is so important that the Lord makes it a requirement for leadership outside of the family.

He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?) I Timothy 3:4,5

A husband also needs his wife’s praise and respect. Often a man will put on a facade of confidence but on the inside he feels his own insecurity and failures. He needs for his wife to respect him and praise him. Their children need for her to praise her husband publicly around them. A child’s self worth comes from their father and when a wife praises her husband to her children then she is actually increasing their own worth and confidence in life.

And the glory of sons is their fathers. Proverbs 17:6b

A wife also brings comfort to a man through the physical comfort of her body.

Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated always with her love. Proverbs 5:18,19

If every wife understood her husband’s need for comfort and love and met them then there would be few divorces. Divorce begins with the neglect of comfort for each other. A man generally will not leave his wife for any other reason than for the comfort of another woman. Any woman who marries or has an affair with a married man is an adulteress. It will be his destruction but he is blinded by his need for love and comfort. An adulteress is a totally selfish and manipulative woman who cares only for herself and does not even have the capacity to love a man. She will use him and never respect him. She is pretentious in her words and actions.

The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; He who is cursed of the Lord will fall into it. Proverbs 22:14

An adulteress uses the two main needs of a married man to deceive him and lay a trap for him to fall into a deep pit. A man needs praise and he needs physical intimacy. An adulteress flatters a man that she wants to deceive. Flattery and praise sound the same but flattery is manipulative and praise is genuine.

Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your intimate friend;
That they may keep you from an adulteress,
From the foreigner who flatters with her words. Proverbs 7:4,5

An adulteress offers to a man what his wife is not satisfying him with, to both of their destruction.

“Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning;
Let us delight ourselves with caresses.
“For my husband is not at home,
He has gone on a long journey;
He has taken a bag of money with him,

At the full moon he will come home.”
With her many persuasions she entices him;
With her flattering lips she seduces him.
Suddenly he follows her
As an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool,
Until an arrow pierces through his liver;
As a bird hastens to the snare,
So he does not know that it will cost him his life. Proverbs 7:18-23

He may no longer desire his wife’s affections because he is bitter toward her.

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

A man’s eyes may no longer be satisfied with his wife. Generally, a man who is moral before marriage will be moral after marriage. The eyes of man are never satisfied but he needs to learn self control so that he will be satisfied with his wife.

Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied. Proverbs 27:20

If he has self control before marriage then it will be easier for him to exercise self control after marriage. A man who wants to have a great marriage and be faithful to the Lord might want to make a covenant with his eyes just as Job did to keep himself pure. A faithful husband needs to do whatever he needs to do to hold himself accountable to God.

I have made a covenant with my eyes; How then could I gaze at a virgin? Job 31:1

Also, if his wife satisfies his physical needs then he will not be so easily tempted just as a man needs to satisfy his wife’s emotional needs so she will not be tempted. Marriages are God’s provision for comfort and love for a man and a woman. Marriage gets sweeter and sweeter as the years go by if the husband and wife learn to love and comfort each other. It is the most intimate of all relationships and the closest that one can come to experiencing heaven on earth if both are believers in Jesus Christ.

A Life with Love is Comfort to a Child

God loves children and has provided comfort for them. God, in His kindness and goodness, provided parents to be a comfort for their children. Children are so vulnerable and helpless that the Lord provided a double layer of comfort for children. If one parent fails then there is another to give the child what he or she needs. The greatest reproach that the Lord could give a Christian is given to a parent who does not provide for their family.

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. I Timothy 5:8

The first thing that a baby seeks for is comfort. Even before food, a newborn baby will quit crying when they are comforted. A baby has already learned the sound of their mother’s voice before they come out of the womb. When they hear that sweet voice then they are comforted. Even a baby can make the connection between a voice and comfort. How great is our longing for the comfort of feeling loved. As soon as a baby learns to nurse, a baby will associate the closeness of the mother and her warm milk with love. A baby will grow and thrive in proportion to its intake of milk and love. In a similar way, we grow as Christians in our relationship with the Lord in proportion to our intake of His Word and the knowledge of His love for us.

like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, I Peter 2:2

Children need for their souls to grow in wisdom and knowledge and their bodies to grow and mature in stature. They will do so as they soul (which is their mind and heart), is nourished through love and knowledge and they will grow strong in body as they are nourished with good food. Feed a child junk food and his body will not be as strong and healthy and in the same way, feed a child’s soul the junk food of entertainment, internet, television or songs filled with the perversions of the flesh and their souls will become sick and perverted as well.

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

Do not expect for the heart and mind of a child to long for what is good when they have never known what is good. A child’s heart is like a sponge and will absorb what it is around. Only God is good and a child’s heart must be filled with the love and knowledge of God.

No one is good except God alone. Mark 10:18b

Two of a child’s biggest needs of their souls are security and significance or worth. Both of these needs are met through love. Love believes the best and sees the best. A parent is given the responsibility of instilling in a child a sense of security in who they are, how special they are created, and a sense of destiny and purpose in believing that they are of great worth. This can only come from teaching them and showing them who God is and how wonderful His love is for them. The Lord formed and created each child and He makes no mistakes.

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Psalm 139:13-15

A child needs to know that the Lord sees them at all times and is aware of all of their actions and words. This will put in children a healthy respect for God and will keep them from many a temptation when they would otherwise think that no one sees them.

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it. Psalm 139:1-6

A child needs an example to learn from and not just be told what to do. We all know instinctively what we need to do but we do not know how to do it. Words are not enough.

A slave will not be instructed by words alone; For though he understands, there will be no response. Proverbs 29:19

A child will feel loved and will feel secure when they see their parents loving each other. Love is a choice and no matter what your “feelings” may be at any given time, you can always choose to love another. The Lord would not have commanded us to do something if He did not give us the grace to do it.

This I command you, that you love one another. John 15:17

There are not many things that the Lord says that He hates, but He says that He hates divorce. Why does He hate divorce? He says He hates divorce because of what it does to the children.

This is another thing you do: you cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and with groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring? Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” Malachi 2:13-16

If you love God then you will love what He loves and you will hate what He hates. No one can say that He loves God and counsels someone to be separated or divorced.

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

The Lord says that what He has joined together let no man separate.

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 19:6

Divorce destroys everyone it touches. A man has to harden his heart to divorce his wife and a wife also has a hardened heart if she divorces her husband. There is no innocent one in a marriage where there is divorce. That is a lie that is seeking to place the blame elsewhere. Most divorces happen because of two people who compromised before they were married and in their marriage they reaped the fruit of their own sins which they did before they were married. The children are the innocent ones and the lack of control before marriage is expressed in the divorce and it is the children who suffer. Children do not learn love and commitment when there is a divorce and their significance and security in life is shaken, sometimes never to be recovered.

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

The greatest temptations for children come from seeking comfort when they have little or none. A child receives love and comfort through attention, praise, discipline, forgiveness and their needs of justice, provision and protection being met. If every parent understood this then there would be few runaways. There would be no gangs and very little juvenile delinquency. There would also be fewer broken hearts of parents.

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, Psalm 127:3a

The Lord gives children as gifts and when they are brought up in the Lord, as God designed, then they bring great joy to the parents as they grow and mature and they bring great comfort to the parents when the parents are old.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:4,5

How blessed are the parents who followed the Lord and trusted in Him rather than in the ways of the world. Everyone wants “good” children but the only way that someone will have “good” children is if they have godly children because only God is good.

No one is good except God alone. Mark 10:18b

A Life with Love is Comfort to a Wife

We all long for comfort, whether it is physical creature comforts or comforts of the soul. We will do what we need to do to get warm, seek shelter from a storm or even to have a comfortable place to sleep. In a similar way, we will go where we find comfort for the soul. Without comfort our souls will dry up. Marriage is not only union of the body and spirit but union of the soul. If every wife or husband understood this then there would be few divorces. Divorce begins with the neglect of comfort for each other. Comfort to a wife is not the same as what comfort is to a husband. A husband and a wife must learn how to love each other with understanding and knowledge.

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, Philippians 1:9

A husband needs to learn to love his wife in an understanding way.

You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, I Peter 3:7a

He needs to understand her and her unique needs and desires. The understanding of a man’s wife can only come from God. The fear of the Lord is what will cause Him to listen to what the Lord says. If a husband makes himself attentive to the Lord then he will learn how to love his wife and he will be blessed all the days of his life. A wife who feels loved by her husband will live to please him.

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

The Lord is the One who made woman and He understands her better than she even understands herself. Every wife is different and uniquely made for her husband.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

A wife is a gift from the Lord to a man. A man was made from the earth and understands the earth and the world. He feels at home in the world. A woman was made from man and she is oftentimes insecure in the world. She was made to create a home and her home is a major part of her world. A woman relates to people since she was made from a person and she generally has a greater need for friends and relationships.

So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. Genesis 2:21,22

A woman needs to feel honored and valued as well as feeling loved. When a man is crude or profane then a woman will feel of less worth. It is important that a husband show his wife honor in every way, by the way he talks around her, including withholding profanity or vulgar jokes and also by his actions, including his manners, cleanliness and by the way he clothes himself. In other words, he needs to treat her better than any other human being and if he is wise he will treat her like a queen. A woman becomes how she is treated. A woman feels loved when she is honored and through the kind of attention she receives. If her husband shows no interest in the things that interest her then she will go where someone does show interest in her and will give her the attention she longs for. In other words, a woman receives comfort and love through attention, honor and love.

You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. I Peter 3:7

Another way that a man can communicate comfort and love to his wife is if he treats her with great respect by exercising moral excellence before they are married. If he waits for the gift of physical intimacy until after marriage then she will always feel like a lady. If he defrauds her and takes what is not his yet to take then he will make her feel “cheap” after they are married. He will only be robbing himself of the pleasures and comfort that God designed for him to have for many many years. She was deceived before they were married and thought that it was “love” but after marriage she will realize that it was not “love” but lust. She will also realize her own immorality and when she is intimate after marriage it will be a reminder to her of her own failure. He will have destroyed the worth of his wife and in destroying her worth he will have contributed to the destruction of love in his own marriage.

For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 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 1:4-7

A marriage is like a house that must be built. Marriage does not just happen. If it is to be strong then it must have the right foundation and be built of the right material.

For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 3:11

Wise is the man that builds his marriage wisely on the right foundation of Jesus Christ and His Word and uses the right materials of God’s wisdom and love.

By wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established; Proverbs 24:3

When a husband builds his marriage according to God’s ways then it will take his heart and his soul. He will to give to his wife what is the most precious to him. He will give her his treasure and in giving her his treasure he will give her his heart. One of his treasures is his time for that is what a man values. When he gives his wife his treasures then he is giving her his heart.

for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

A woman first becomes unfaithful to her husband because of a lack of comfort from her husband. A wife feels loved and comforted through the time and attention that her husband gives her. When these are neglected then she is vulnerable to the time and attention that other men would love to give her. Of course they do not love her but are only “lusting” after her and preying upon her need to feel loved. If they loved her then they would honor her marriage vows. Instead, when they give her attention and “love”, then they are not only bringing about their own destruction but her destruction as well.

When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God. Ecclesiastes 5:4-7

Marriage vows are vows made to God. Even if a wife does not receive the love and comfort that she longs for from her husband, the Lord is able to comfort her and show her His love. There is never any reason to leave her husband. When she leaves or divorces her husband then she is removing all responsibility from him and helping relieve him of his guilt. The Lord tells her not to leave her husband.

But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband I Corinthians 7:10

A husband is responsible for his wife. He is to love her with the love of Christ. She is to respect him and submit to her husband. The Lord can put much greater pressure on a husband if he is not fulfilling his responsibilities. If a wife will be the wife that God designed her to be then she will have an inner joy and peace that will be greater than her suffering.

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. I Peter 3:1,2

The Lord is able to comfort a wife with His comfort. Oftentimes the Lord allows us to go through struggles because He has a greater purpose. Don’t waste your suffering but learn what He wants you to learn and become the person that He wants you to become.

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. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear. I Peter 3:4-6

Often a wife will be tempted to leave her husband because of fear. God’s love is greater than her fears. If she will learn to trust God, even as Sarah did and obeyed her husband, then you will see the Lord act on your behalf even as He did for Sarah. The Lord would not allow anyone or anything to touch Sarah. Sarah grew strong in faith and in doing so, God was pleased with Sarah and gave her what her heart desired.

By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. Hebrews 11:11

Marriage vows are vows made to God. Keep your vows. Be faithful to the Lord. The Lord is a rewarder of those who seek Him and seek to be faithful to Him. His rewards are greater than any comfort that you “think” could come elsewhere.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

A Life with Love Takes Away Weariness

The Lord loves all of mankind and one of the first principles that God established was a day of rest. The Lord has never asked us to do anything that He Himself has not done. He set an example for us from the very beginning in that He created six days to work and then a day of rest.

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Genesis 2:1-3

We know that the Lord did not need rest because He never becomes tired or weary.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. Isaiah 40:28

The day of rest was so important to the Lord that He made it one of the Ten Commandments. The Lord established it as a moral law.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11

The Lord has told us to remember the sabbath day and that we are to keep it holy. Holy means that it is to be set apart for the Lord. He makes it very clear that we are not to do any work, and not only are we not to work but we are not to allow anyone else to serve us through working.

The Lord was pleased for His righteousness’ sake
To make the law great and glorious. Isaiah 42:21

The Lord’s ways are great and glorious. He designed for His people to be a great people and He gave them His laws that they might do them and learn His wisdom and His understanding and their lives would point others to the Lord . He wanted them to be an example to others through keeping His Word.

So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ Deuteronomy 6:4

Jesus did not come to abolish God’s Laws but He came to fulfill them.

Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17

The Lord says that if anyone annuls any of His commandments and teaches others then He shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. However, whoever keeps and teaches them shall be called great in His kingdom.

Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19

Not only will we be called least in the kingdom of God if we don’t keep His commandments but we will not be loving God.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15

The one who loves God should love His brother also.

And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. I John 4:21

When we keep God’s commandments then we are loving God and loving others.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. I John 5:2

When Jesus Christ rose on the first day of the week, the early Christians began honoring Sunday as their sabbath. It was mentioned as the Lord’s day by John, the apostle in the book of Revelation.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, Revelation 1:10

Whether someone honors the Lord on Sunday or on Saturday is not the question. The question is “do we keep His commandment and honor the Lord one day of the week and keep it holy?” If Sunday is the Lord’s day, then do you allow anyone to serve you? Do you go out to eat after church on Sunday? If you do, then someone is serving you and having to miss church to prepare for you. Most of the people who work on Sunday are the poor and often they have no choice. If they are a mother then their children most likely will also miss church. So, eating out on Sunday is not honoring the Lord or loving others.

For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? James 2:2-4

Spending money on Sunday and someone serving you could also be thought of as treating the poor differently. The poor who have to work on Sunday are not often able to go to church. At least in the first century the poor could stand in another place or sit down by someone’s footstool when they came together when the church was assembled. The Lord says that it is wrong to treat the poor differently.

“If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
Then you will take delight in the Lord,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 58:13,14

The Lord has amazing promises for the one who will honor Him and not do his own pleasure on the Lord’s day. The Lord says that if you will call it a delight and honorable, and honor it, not doing your own thing or seeking your own pleasure or even speaking your own words then you will take delight in the Lord. Not only will the Lord be your delight but you will ride on the heights of the earth, or in other words, you will live above circumstances and the happenings of what is going on in the world. And the Lord Himself will feed you His promises and His Word.

Do not fret because of evildoers,
Be not envious toward wrongdoers.
For they will wither quickly like the grass
And fade like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:1-4

Do you struggle with envy or worry? Are you anxious? Are you frustrated because there are desires in your heart that have gone unfulfilled? The answer to all of these struggles and frustrations is to learn to delight ourselves in the Lord. The Lord says that there is a relationship between honoring the Lord on His holy day and learning to delight ourselves in the Lord. The Lord is good and He loves us. He established His laws and His ways so that we might be a great and glorious people who would bring glory to Him and His greatness. If we do not keep His commandments then we will be distressed and depressed and living as if we do not have a Shepherd.

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38

Christians are the Lord’s workers and they are to live according to God’s Word, His commandments and His ways. What it means to make disciples is that Christians are to live out His Word and teach others how to do so also. In doing so, we will become more like our Lord and Savior and the world will be drawn to Jesus Christ as He is exalted in our lives. Others will come to Him and find rest, not only for the bodies as they learn to follow Him but rest for their souls.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

A Life with Love Stands Alone

The Lord made a covenant with Noah. Noah did exactly as the Lord had commanded him. He did not add to it nor take from it. He obeyed the Lord.

Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did. Genesis 6:13-22

The Lord saved Noah and his family. Noah was blameless in his time. He feared God and walked with God. He was called a preacher of righteousness. His life was righteous before God for he lived by faith. He stood alone in a time of great spiritual darkness. There are only three men that the Lord has said that they could have saved themselves by their own righteousness. These three men all lived in very evil times and all had to stand alone.

Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,” declares the Lord God. Ezekiel 14:14

If all the world is unfaithful to God then where would you be? Could you and would you stand alone? Noah stood alone and in his faithfulness his family was blessed. Standing alone is a mark of maturity. Standing alone is what characterizes the great men and women of God through the ages. Yet, they are not alone, for the Lord Himself will stand with them.

Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time. Genesis 7:1

Noah did according to all that God commanded Him.

Noah did according to all that the Lord had commanded him. Genesis 7:5

The Lord remembered Noah. It is so easy when the storm is raging and there is no sunshine to feel that God has forgotten us. The Lord does not forget. He is not slow about His promises. He remembers those who love Him.

But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided. Genesis 8:1

Noah did what God commanded him and Noah experienced God’s love. It is the same today. The Lord says that if we love Him then we will keep His commandments.

He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; John 14:21a

The Lord says that those who keep His commandments will experience His love.

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. John 14:23,24

Keeping His commandments will sometimes mean that you will stand alone. Yet, you are not alone for Jesus Christ is with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. Walking by faith means that we walk not by what we see but by the promises of God and trusting Him who we can not yet see but one day will see face to face.

for we walk by faith, not by sight— II Corinthians 5:7