Day 23
"Love Always Protects"

"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
(1 Corinthians 13:6,7)

One of the warnings in "Love always protects" is to beware of harmful influences. Are you allowing certain habits to poison your home? The Internet and television can be productive and enjoyable additions to your life, but they can also bring in destructive content and drain away precious hours from your family.

Psalm 101 reminds us of the same thing, "I will walk in my house with blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing." (Psalm 101:3) In all our worldly business we must see that what we set our eyes upon be right and good and not any forbidden fruit, and that we never seek that which we cannot have without sin. It is the character of a good man that he shuts his eyes from seeing evil.

This also applies to the stern warning against "parasites". That includes struggling - with pornography. Any addiction, like gambling, drugs, can take hold of you or your wife and choke the life out of your marriage. What may start out to be a small distraction can end up destroying you.

- Another warning is against unhealthy relationships. Not everyone has the material to be a good friend. Not every man you hunt and fish with speaks wisely when it comes to matters of marriage. Not every woman in your lunch group has a good perspective on commitment and priorities. In fact, anyone who undermines your marriage does not deserve to be given the title of "friend".

"The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me. Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil. Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure." (Psalm 101: 3b-5)

Men, you are the head of your home. You are the one responsible before God for guarding the gate and standing your ground against anything that would threaten your wife or marriage. This is no small assignment. It requires a heart of courage and a head for preemptive action. One of the best ways to guard your household, to be courageous and take preemptive action is to do what David writes in verse 6: "My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me." (Psalm 101:6) Faithful heroes will inspire - surround yourself with mentors who will model the blameless life and challenge you to do the same. King David is saying that he will seek out those who can lead him in a more righteous path, and that strong advice for the keeping of virtue is timeless - and priceless. Today is the day to remove anything that is hindering your relationship with your wife - harmful influences, unhealthy relationships, shame, "parasites".

But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. (Matthew 24:43)

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. (Proverbs 14:1)

"Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: "Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened?"
(Mark 8:17)

The bible mentions on many occasions the word "heart" and "it refers to the center of our spiritual activity, the foundation of our motivation, the seat of passion and the fountainhead of our desires and emotions." Our hearts reveal who we truly are and is why Solomon in Prov. 4:23 admonishes us to guard it. And since the heart is the wellspring of life, a healthy heart will promote a healthy perspective toward God and His creation. An unhealthy heart will draw wrong conclusions about God's plans and form a diminished view of life.

So here are five questions to determine the wellness of your heart. Answer them honestly.

1. Have you had frequent (four or more) problems with forgiving someone within the past 2 years?

2. How quickly do you repent of your sins - immediately or a long time thereafter? How angry do you become when you see hypocrisy in your heart/life?

3. Do you regulary practic this biblical truth: "Confess your sins to each other ... so that you may be healed" (James 5:16)?

4. How do you view the Bible? Do you feel that its teachings simply block you from doing what you want to do, or do they serv as an easy, do-it-yourself guide to effective living?

5. Do you consistently seek out and applyl biblical principles in the ongoing activities ... relationships with your wife, friends, family, and work.

Steps to Rehearse
A hardened heart is not inclined to draw near to God because it is slow to repent of sins and obey God ... go over the questions again and see where you may need to improve.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Give me a tender heart so I can understand. Open the eyes of my heart so I can see the beauty of Your words and able to place this same beauty into the heart of my wife. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Psalm 51 - This Psalm contains King David's heartfelt confession of sin. Use this Psalm to guide you in confessing your sins and struggles to God. Ask Him to reveal those subtle areas of your heart where pride often tries to hide out.

God Bless - and may He keep you and your family safely under His wings. -
The Dove Alliance