When Love Is Not on Automatic

Colossians 2:7(NLT) tells us, “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” This scripture tells us God’s goal for us as His sons and daughters. Our roots should grow down into Christ. What are our roots? Our roots are the aspects of our being that keep us connected to God through Jesus Christ. They include the mind and heart. God commands us to put the knowledge and wisdom of His Word in our minds and hearts, because both have the capacity to nourish and strengthen all the other areas of our lives. When the roots of a tree are nourished, the trunk is unmovable, and all the other parts of the tree are strong as well. This is a good analogy of how we become firmly rooted and anchored in Christ and grow strong in his love. When we keep our roots growing down into Christ, we can be the kind of spouses God desires, and through us, He can keep our marriages secure in the unity of Christ.

Ephesians 5:25-26(NLT) says, “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.” The love that Jesus Christ has for the church is the kind of love women should want to see from the significant person in their lives. Christ sacrificed everything because of his great love for us, and God is telling us that, as women, we should have an expectation that our husbands will demonstrate this same quality of love. They may not be perfect at it, but they will continually grow better at loving us because of our commitment to put Christ first. This kind of relationship is available, because if it wasn’t, God would not have told us so. You will know that you’ve got a good catch when the significant person in your life sacrifices for your benefit and well-being; and you should be willing to do the same.

It’s no secret that we’ve seen a decline in quality relationships, the kind that endure hardships and last a lifetime. We have also witnessed a decline in the level of respect, honor, and appreciation that men and women have for one another. The problem is a spiritual one, and the solution begins with prayer. Each of us has a responsibility to pray that God will open the eyes of people so they can make greater room in their hearts for His love. People are turning their backs on God; therefore, they are turning their backs on His love. This is the major contributing factor in finding compatible mates. We need to pray that globally people will be transformed by God’s love, and that they will hand over the lordship of their marital relationships to Jesus Christ.

Human beings will always seek to be rooted and grounded in something, because God created us with a nature that seeks connection. We thrive from our connection to God through Jesus Christ, and we are also fulfilled through our connections with others. The issues arise when we seek to be rooted and grounded in the man rather than in the Lord Jesus Christ. When we do this, we remove Christ from his rightful position as Lord over our lives. Sometimes, we make this decision unconsciously. Slowly, we place our spiritual walk in Christ on the backburner and put the needs of the man first. Many of us do this because we think the connection to the man will fortify and nurture those places that feel empty and void within us. We must realize that only the Lord Jesus Christ can fill up our empty places.

Heavenly Father wants us to have successful and lasting marriages. Unity is crucial to moving God’s agenda forward, and unity starts at home. A successful and unified home life is a solid foundation where many treasures for the Kingdom can be stored up. So, we should never doubt that God desires this for us, because He does, but His love absolutely must be at the helm of our marriages and every other thing we set out to do.

1Thessalonians 5:11(NLT) says, So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” It’s God’s Will that two individuals in a relationship be there for one another, but this isn’t permission to let our emotions and feelings get out of control or to make the relationship our whole world. It is a very delicate balance, because we want to please our partners so much, but spiritual maturity in Christ demands that we handle this balance in a way that puts God first. When we ask Heavenly Father to bless us with one of His treasures, we should be asking with both the commitment to Christ and the blessing we want to receive in mind. In other words, we should already know that the blessing we desire will require us to increase spiritually. This is necessary to remain good stewards of God’s blessings. Increasing spiritually is necessary for us to exercise Christ authority, so that whatever the difficulty and no matter the issues we encounter in the relationship, these challenges will not get the best of us.

When we’re not rooted and grounded in the love of Jesus Christ, some women will latch on to relationships with men for dear life. Then, when the man disappoints them, or worse, betrays the relationship, they are devastated to the point of collapse. Some women never get over the hurt, but deal with it through bitterness and fear, which paralyzes their spiritual growth in Christ. Our Heavenly Father doesn’t want this for any of us.

Rather than spending energy blaming the other person or holding resentment towards them, we can make a better choice. As a spiritually mature person, we are required to understand that our own personal brand of love isn’t on automatic and often shuts down when things get ugly. Our brand of love is conditional. When things go south, sometimes our love goes with them. We forget all about our brand of love, and we will get low, go toe to toe, cut the fool, and behave as if we don’t know any better. This doesn’t happen with the love of Christ. 1Corinthians 13:4-8 tells us that the love of God in Christ is patient and kind. It doesn’t insist on its own way, isn’t irritable or resentful, and it never gives up. Relationships have a way of reminding us of the ‘old man’ nature, and how much of it has seeped into our unions. We have to remind ourselves that the ‘old man’ nature was crucified with Christ. Then we must choose to remain in the love of Christ which makes us complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Only God’s love can keep a relationship thriving. When we’re faced with those difficult relationship issues, it can be very challenging to kick our Christ identity in high gear, but it gets a whole lot easier if we’re rooted and grounded in his love. The greatest thing we can do as unmarried people is to use our time wisely by doing what is required to be anchored in an intimate relationship with God. We must do the things necessary to be rooted in Christ. Our commitment and trust must be solidified first in our relationship with him, then our faith in God’s love, provision, and care will never be shaken or doubted for any reason. ■

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.

 “When Love Is Not on Automatic”, written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2022. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

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