Today, I was prompted to write about one of my favorite subjects by a young blogger friend. I have written about LOVE numerous times in my husband’s and my blog, which started as a marriage blog. This one post, “Chapter 4,” explains how I came to understand what love was, where it came from and how to keep it going.
During this Christmas season, it might be good to revisit the topic. As you read Chapter 4, you will see that I was on a search for the meaning of LOVE after our divorce. I became cynical about love. I also began to search the Bible for the meaning. To make a long story short, let’s look at some scriptures where I discovered it, and look at an oath I took.
First, the most famous scripture about perfect love: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
But what does this mean? “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
I served my country for 20 years. No, not in the military, but as a Special Agent with the Government. In my job, I was willing to lay down my life for my friends, family, neighbors, country when I made the following oath:
“I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
During these 20 years of service, I knew what it meant to lay down my life. But I didn’t fully comprehend how Biblical this sacrifice would have been.
I thought I knew what love was, but when we divorced, I thought I had “fallen out of love” with my husband. I had a daughter and I knew my love for her was perfect, I would die for her, I would do anything for her. My love for her was never in question. It was natural. It was deep. It was solid. But my husband, that was another thing. Or was it?
As I read the Bible, I realized I needed to reconcile with him: “But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband 11(but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.” 1 Corinthians 7:10-11
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.1 John 4:7-8
For my husband, he simply said, “Love is a choice.” He felt I had the choice to love him or not. But for me, a woman, I have to have the love in my heart, not my head. So I prayed for the Lord to GIVE me the LOVE I needed to remarry Bill. The answer, God impressed upon me to just let HIM love Bill through me. I can’t tell you how powerful that was…as I yielded to God and allowed HIM to love through me. And then I made the choice, to love him as my husband once again.
And this works as unlovely people enter your life. I have had to ask the Lord to help me love many difficult people He has put in my life. That has helped me become filled with love which is the second greatest commandment. Do you know that commandment? The first is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30
We are in our 40th year of marriage. We remarried 26 years ago. I can testify my love for him is GREATER now than ever. Each year it grows deeper.
Imagine my surprise when I asked for Bill’s help to write a guest blog. My blogosphere friend, Arpita, is a young lawyer, also a minimalist and loves to travel. She wanted a post as a form of advice for young marrieds. She sees so many broken marriages in her practice. Bill changed his opinion a bit and describes the love a couple needs as a bit deeper than a choice. Check out our post on her blog to see what he has added to what I have said above here. You’ll find the second commandment in this post.
Finally, what does love look like? You know you are loving with God’s love when you see this:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 13