In order to attract the type of love you deserve, you first must understand and know what love is. It is more than warm fuzzies on a cold winter’s night. It is more than someone holding you close and whispering sweet words in your ear. These are lovely things of course, and they help to develop intimacy in a relationship, but they cannot define what love is. Finding the person that God has ordained to be your marital partner is a good mission in life. It is a desire to expand and increase through love, so that you have greater room to bless and receive. For most of us, this requires that we pull back layers of stuff that we’ve accumulated through life, and get back to square one. In other words, we have to stop assigning our own interpretations to what it means to truly love someone, and get back to what God says about the matter.
2Corinthians 4:7(NLT) tells us, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” The treasure of God’s love and power is inside of our earthen vessels. It’s inside of us, and it is given to us by God so that the love we give out to others will not be substandard or lacking in any way. It is excellent love, because it comes from the heart of God. Our responsibility then, is to learn to bring the excellency of God’s love from the inside of us and express it to others outwardly.
This is where we get it twisted sometimes. We want to take credit and think that we can love a person enough all by ourselves. We cannot. Without learning to love God’s way, we simply cannot love someone a lifetime in a way that makes them better, while also making us better as well. Only the love of Jesus Christ has this kind of power.
Some of us might feel a deep longing to be loved. We might also think that this need to be loved is the reason we should seek to be married. Really, our need to love others with a Christ-kind of love should be at the forefront of our desire for marriage. After accepting the love of Jesus Christ and making him the head of our lives, the love of Christ can begin to flow out of us. When it does, it has a major impact. If given in service and care for others, this love of God in Christ will literally attract the opportunity to meet our future spouses.
Love begins with Christ. It begins when we accept his love into our hearts. As we learn of Jesus Christ, we will grow in love, and we will hear an awful lot about surrendering to God and being humble. For the single Christian person that is desiring to increase through the union of marriage, surrendering and humility are two spiritual lessons that cannot be missed. We need to surrender the idea that we know enough about love, we simply don’t; and we need to be humble so that God can teach us how to love His way.
When it comes to us being able to love in the way that our future marriages will require, God knows exactly where the holes are. He knows the missing elements. Without certain spiritual lessons about the love of Christ, and without changing some habits and qualities that we have, our future marriages might collapse. They will collapse because we haven’t built a strong enough foundation on the example of Christ to hold a marriage up.
Yes, it takes two people to make it work, but the beauty of the reality of Christ is that it only takes one person in a marriage to hold up the standard. The other person then has no other choice but to respond to it. This is how potent the love of God in Christ is. God’s love changes things. It motivates, creates, and makes life infinitely better. So we have to surrender this idea that we have already attained the level of a fully mature love emotionally and mentally. It needs to be perfected through Christ, and getting back to square one requires us to not only acknowledge this, but to pull back layers of things like jealousy, insecurities, arrogance, conceit, and other heavies; so that we can love fully.
Jesus Christ told us something that is a huge piece of knowledge, and it will help us to put on more of his example of love. He said in Matthew 11:29 that he is humble. This is more beautiful than anything we can imagine. Jesus Christ is a King! He is more royal, powerful, and glorious than any king in the earth could ever hope to be, yet he tells us that he is humble. This should warm your heart to pieces.
Philippians 2:3-4 (NLT) says, “3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others too.” Humility will require a person to strip away all layers of pride and arrogance. It requires that a person be eager to demonstrate a denial of self for the benefit of others. It is wanting to see others blessed more than wanting it for ourselves. This is absolutely essential in a marriage, and very few marriages can make it without this kind of humility.
Adjustments and transition can be challenging, but to partner they are necessary and unavoidable if we desire to be successful spouses. We do not have all the answers, but we know who does. As you seek the fulfillment of God’s promise, you must come earnestly before Him with a mind-and-heart-set to learn to walk in His love more fully. When you renew your commitment to be patient and allow Jesus to lead and teach you, he will prepare you to partner in marriage through his love. ■
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“Getting Back to Square One” written for FACM ©2016. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!