There is so much spoken, written and sung about love, but it is probably the most misunderstood subject there is.
Yes, we all look for love. It is a basic need of every human being to want to feel loved, accepted, understood and cared for. So, as we grow up there is this longing to find that perfect partner that can love us and make us happy.
But it doesn’t always work like that in life. Just look around you and you will see that many couples who started out in love have now ended up in divorce or unhappy marriages. What happened? It was all so perfect in the beginning…
Bringing God into your life
It is important to understand our human nature. It is so full of selfishness, demands, self-love and expectations that we can ask the question: are we actually capable, by nature, of really loving another person? We read in Romans 7:21 (CEB), “So I find that, as a rule, when I want to do what is good, evil is right there with me.” How often do we find that when we really wanted to love unselfishly, that the evil, the selfishness, the demands, are right there with us?
But the good news is that when God comes into our life we can get power to overcome our nature and learn to love as we really want to.
Being “in love” is good when we get married, but we will soon find that we can’t love as we want to when the daily trials come and our love is tested. Therefore, we need to have God as our head and master and we need the Holy Spirit to teach us. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:9 (NIV) that “… you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.”
We need to listen to God’s voice and seek Him in prayer when we can’t love as we want to. Then God can teach us how to love according to His Word. Just think what a marriage is like when both partners have God as their head and He can teach them how to love one another!
In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NCV) we get very clear instructions of what godly love is:
“Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud.
Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others.
Love does not count up wrongs that have been done.
Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth.
Love patiently accepts all things.
It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures.”
Love is to give
What a wonderful recipe for a happy marriage according to God’s Word! This is what He wants for us; rather than seeking to be loved, we can give love to those around us.
God's love is to give. “God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son …” it says in John 3:16 (CEV). That is godly love. It is actually not the love that we receive that makes us really happy, but rather the love that we give. As Jesus Himself says in Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give, than to receive!” A marriage where both sides have this attitude will only go well. And that goes for any other kind of relationship as well.
“The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them,” says Jesus in John 15:13 (GNT).
When we come into difficult circumstances in life, then we can give up our own will, say No to our own selfishness, and instead be kind and loving instead. This is not easy, but God’s power is available to all who seek Him with a whole heart. Then the same circumstances that lead many people to divorce, can lead us to a deeper godly love instead.