Marriage in God's Hands 4
What Is True Love
In this presentation will be addressed life changing principles that will enable us to have marriages that are heart to heart.
Many people do not know what true love is. Parents have an important role in teaching their children what true love is. Unfortunately many young couples obtain their understanding of what true love is from music, movies, videos – the Hollywood version which is not a very good version. We are living in a time in earth’s history when a gay community can refer to love to something that God in His word refers to as an abomination. By beholding we become changed. It is scary when we consider where people obtain their understanding of what true love is when they enter into a marriage. When we talk about marriage, we talk about the union between man and woman. God is the Creator of all, including love and marriage, and the Author of the Word, and it is in the Bible that we should find the definition of what true love is.
The definition of true love found in 1 Corinthians 13 is the most inclusive, the clearest definition that God has given us. We will take little segments from this chapter and illustrate how they work in the daily life, thus making Scripture practical.
“Love suffers long” – that means love is patient. We should consider that that we too have weaknesses. By being patient to the other person, we will encourage him to change.
“Love is kind” – when we are kind to the other person, she will sens it and the response will be positive, being a blessing to both.
“Love envies not” – envy will foster division. If we surrender it to God, He will help us put it aside and blessings will result.
True love vaunteth not itself, it not puffed up (its not proud and boastful), does not behave itself in an unseemly manner and seeks not its own.
“Love is not easily provoked” – we may have often failed in this regard. If we give ourselves to God and the other person, we can live this love. Tom and Alane used to become provoked by each other. However this is not the case anymore. So don’t give up if this is not working for you. The problem can be because we are not cooperating with God, not giving ourselves to him and each other. When we learn patience and kindness, our tendency to be provoked will automatically decrease.
True “love thinks no evil” – we can have a marriage heart to heart if we allow Christ to work in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure.
True “love rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth” – true love is not critical when the other person has a problem, but seeks to help and lift him up. This love is not something we can manufacture, it comes from God.
Love “beareth all things, believeth all things” – believe the best of the other person, and they will strive to be so.
Love “hopes all things, endures all things” – we have talked about this before – the enduring commitment. It means that we all want to go through these difficulties together.
And the best news is that “love never fails”. Jesus will never fail us. And even thou we can fail each other, our love does not have to fail. We can learn from our failures. When we fall, we can rise up in Lord Jesus, confess and move forward. And not reminding the other person of the past – of his failures. God’s love makes an atmosphere that is nurturing for the relationship to grow. This love cannot be in the “me” focus, about which we’ve talked earlier. It is a mistake to think that I will be happy if only I can express my negative feelings. The “me” focus never brings happiness, but only misery. The true love that God wants to give us is the love that never fails.
God does not magically, suddenly transform us to experience true love and be kind. We need to surrender. And it is not easy to surrender as at the moment everything in us is desiring to feel, behave, etc in a certain way – to let it come out. But when we are willing to surrender, God will make the difference.We [Tom and Alane] do not challenge you with anything that God has not challenged us. God has worked in us and is continuing to work in us. We want to challenge you to begin to pray that God will give you this true love that only comes from Him (based on 1 Corinthians 13), not the worldly Hollywood version. Than pray that God will show you opportunities in which you can show this love to your spouse. This means that there will be times when we give acts of kindness, etc, and times when we need to be restrained, and change the course of our thinking consciously making a decision “I’m not going to think about him that way anymore, I’m going to think this”. Something else that will help is to write down during the day ways in which your spouse has demonstrated that love to you. This means that you will look for the positive in the other person. And in the evening communicate your findings which will motivate the other person to continue to demonstrate true love to you.