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Evaluating Godly Standards for Love

Why is it we are so quick to adopt the worldly idea that "love is hard" and something that has to be constantly fought for?


This is Part 2 of the Relationship Series. Check out Part 1: The Why & How of Adam & Eve and be sure to check back each Monday for subsequent posts. 


Addressing the Heart

How often do we hear Christians say things like “marriage is hard” and “love is hard work”? Although I can understand the notion, I can't accept it as truth. I hear these statements and I feel it's indicative of a heart issue.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. -Luke 6:45

With your permission, I'd like to present some of my study revelations that have caused me to have a heartshift and change of mindset on this matter. 

Sadly, we see marriages dissolve every day. I wonder if this may be a result of our taking too much control over our lives. Maybe exercising our free will without first consulting God. Our sinful nature has a tendency to do things our own way, satisfy the desires of our flesh, give into our feelings over faith and facts and even leave God out of our relationships. Sometimes we creatively justify our decisions and then invite God as a guest on our wedding day and expect Him to show up and give us His holy stamp of approval and seal what He never joined together.

We're often told to "follow our heart"... but scripture tells us otherwise:

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?    -Jeremiah 17:9

 

Addressing the Mind

We then run the risk of experiencing the consequences of our own disobedience and dysfunctional belief system. By the time we realize this, we're often crying out to God to come in and mend, heal, restore or resurrect a relationship that may never have been his idea to begin with. {I speak from personal experience here...so no judgment!}

Paul tells us in Romans 12:2“Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be renewed by the transforming of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

 

How Can We Know God's Will?

By allowing our minds to be transformed and renewed and choosing not to conform to the world's standards. How often do we battle with the question, "I just wish I knew what God's will for my life is!" {I know I have}...But I'm learning that question is silly as we have the answer! We are given the mind of Christ! 

For, "Who can know the LORD's thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?" But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.          -1 Corinthians 2:16 NIV

 

What is God's Intentions for Marriage?

We need to make sure our mindset about love and marriage is congruent with God’s intentions and be wise enough to be intentional with our relationships leading up to the wedding day. We can learn all we need to know about this topic through His Word, not the world. The world provides a very skewed idea of what love is and what marriage should be. 

 

What is Love?

The very essence of God’s love for us has been given to us by the living example and sacrifice of Jesus. Therefore, the kind of love that we should aspire to experience with another human being should be in complete alignment with the kind of love God has shown us through the example of Christ.

Turn to 1 John 4:7-12, to really get a clear picture of what love is and where it comes from:

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

Here we can see, it is in the very nature of God to want us to experience a real-life love story that reflects His character. This means that we should expect to experience a God-ordained and anointed love that is like His. We would serve God best by living out His reality for love and not getting in our own way by adopting a false worldview of love and marriage.

That is not to say there won’t be challenges with communication and understanding in relationships. We as humans must constantly fight off the desires of our own flesh. We must continually die to ourselves to be fully in alignment with God. We must be willing to put aside our selfishness, pride, anger, jealousy, and fear so that we can be filled with the fruits of His spirit which are described in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Paul tells us in Galatians 5:16-18:

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”

Love is constant and never-ending. It is not something we have to fight for or something we have to strive to keep. Rather, love in and of itself is something to surrender to and fully embrace. Love is not tension, love is freedom. Love is not confusing, love is commitment. Love is not hard, love is the greatest blessing we are given. Love is not something that must be fought for, love has already won. Love is victory. A God-anointed union brings joy, peace, confidence, and assurance. Marriage, according to God’s intention should be a delight!

 

(Originally published on Elevate 2 Great October 13, 2015)

 
 

Are you willing to adopt the mindset of Christ whether you’re single, dating or in a marriage relationship? Are you willing to wait patiently as God continues to develop the fruits of the Spirit both in you and in your anointed life partner?