"Love is Unconditional"
"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
This is one of those days that the challenge has a lot to say ... and that's good because this is foundational information. I believe that loving unconditionally is something that is easier to do if you grew up with it, but something that we all need to do better. And since it is so close to the heart of God I believe that He will help us every step of the way in our feeble attempts ... it's that important to Him.
You really need to understand "Unconditional Love" to encourage you to love your wife no matter what: If your reasons for loving your wife all have something to do with her qualities - and then those same qualities suddenly or gradually disappear - your basis for love is over. The only way love can last a lifetime is if it's unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love. Did you get that? Read it again and again if you need to.
There are three kinds of love in the Greek language. Agape love is Christian love (like Jesus loves). Phileo is a friendship love, and eros is a sexual love. We find all three in good marriages, but agape is foundational because it makes possible the "in sickness and in health", "for richer or poorer", "for better or worse", promises that we made when we got married. This is true love - God's love. Not because we are so lovable (most times we're not), but because God is so loving. When we can love like that, then we are loving unselfishly (there's that word again).
"I have fallen out of love with my wife". What that really means, is that you never loved her unconditionally, and your "love" was based on feelings or circumstances, not commitment. "Unconditional love, agape love, will not be swayed by time or circumstance". The beautiful part, the redemptive part, is that no matter how you began your marriage, with God's help real love can become a part of a "new" marriage built on His principles. It's a remarkable thing to behold - how God can transform lives and marriages. Once you receive God's unconditional love, then you have something to share - and who better to share it with than your lifetime partner! Whether your love is returned in the way you had hoped for or not, you know that it is the right thing to do.
Today, I would like for you to experience "Agape" love: The Love with an act of selfless service for your wife - something like washing her car or doing the laundry. Try making a "coupon book" - and make it "satisfaction guaranteed". For example a coupon could state, "When I get home this evening one of the first things I want to do is to show you my love in a practical way by _______" . Pick something that you know your wife has been wanting accomplished - like a room painted, a garden planted, the storage room cleaned, etc.
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. (1 John 4:10,11)
We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38,39)
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
God's Word, the Bible, is a powerful gift through which He speaks to His children today. Filled with the principles upon which the entire universe is founded, the Bible contains truths that touch every aspect of our daily lives. The same God-breathed truths that have governed nations, the church, and individuals for centuries are at our fingertips to be read, meditated upon, and applied to our lives as we endeavor to follow Christ.
Life is a journey and every day we have a new opportunity to seek God. Through our daily reading, meditation, and obedience to His Word, our lives are transformed and our steps are directed. Make a commitment today to become "a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank You today for Your Word. It is life to me, and I commit myself to it and its precepts. Help me to live not simply by natural sustenance, but by the words that come from You. Help me and my wife to be wholly committed to being a man and woman of the Word, teaching, preaching, and living by Your truth. In Your name I pray, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Nehemiah 4 ... After Nehemiah begins to lead the people in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, he faces opposition. How does he deal with this problem? What or who may be opposing your journey and what do you need to do in order to press on?