Monday, January 30, 2012

Love & Marriage

I John 4:12 - "No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us."

I get sentimental this time of the year.  It was 23 years ago that Tim & I were in the throes of wedding planning!  Addressing & mailing invitations, having bridal showers, and all the last minute details that go into planning a wedding.  The scripture above was written on our wedding invitation!  There were many fun and stressful things that went into planning the wedding, but once March 25th came and the party was over, Tim & I were left with a marriage that we were responsible for, as were the ones of you who are married.

 Early days of marriage bring many trials.  What makes some marriages strong and able to survive?  I would like to suggest that it takes superglue.  Well, not exactly superglue, but something similar!  Have you ever seen those little tubes of glue that actually house 2 different chemical compounds, that when squeezed out and joined together provide a bond that is impossible to destroy?  Well, something very similar is necessary in marriage. 

Genesis 2:24 – NASV “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife.” KJV also uses cleave.  NKJV uses the word joined – literally cling. 

 I read that the Hebrew word for cleave is the same word for glue!  Isn’t that interesting!  We need to be glued to each other as husband and wife. 

 What makes up this glue?  Well, the two ingredients that need to combine for the superglue of marriage are commitment and love.  Commitment is often a joke in today’s society, and that’s very sad.  Commitment is the desire to succeed, determination to succeed, the willingness to pay the price to succeed, the intestinal fortitude, or “guts” to do whatever it takes.

I could spend hours discussing commitment, but I’m not going to today.  Remember, I said I get sentimental this time of year, so I’d like to spend some time on the other glue ingredient – love. 

I Corinthians 13:4-7  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;   does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 Let’s think a few minutes about these verses and look at a way to apply them to marriage:

SUFFERS LONG – “I’ll be patient with you.  I’m human, too.”
IS KIND – “I’ll tread you with kindness, not belittling you or your needs.”

ENVIES NOT – “There is absolutely no jealousy in me.  I’m proud of what you do.”

VAUNTS NOT ITSELF(does not parade its superiority) – “I understand that we are different – you can do some things better than me and I can do some things better than you - but I also understand that we are equals.”

IS NOT PUFFED UP – “I promise not to let my little successes go to my head.”

DOES NOT BEHAVE ITSELF UNSEEMLY – “I will always treat you with honor and respect.”

SEEKS NOT HER OWN – “I want to do what is best for you and our marriage – not what I want to do out of selfish desires.”

IS NOT EASILY PROVOKED – “I take into account that we all have bad days.”
THINKS NO EVIL – “I trust you completely.”

REJOICES NOT IN INIQUITY – “I’m sorry about the mistakes I’ve made and will not remind you of the ones you have made.”

BEARS ALL THINGS – “The loads of life are heavy but I’ll always bear my fair share.”

HOPES ALL THINGS – “I’ll never let our dreams die.”

ENDURES ALL THINGS – “I love you with a tough love.  It’s not a because love or an if love; it’s unconditional.”

If we bond our marriages with the superglue of love and commitment we can have what some have called a taste of heaven on earth.  Commit to working hard on your marriage and remember the characteristics of love.  God will bless you for it.

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