At our first date night in August our guest Jamal Baker gave us a few things to consider when it comes to love in our relationships. Jamal has put those inspirational nuggets on paper for your use. Enjoy.
What is love?
Love is more than the warm and fuzzy emotions.
In order to have a proper understanding of Love we need to hear from its author.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
I often have couples tell me we are just not in love anymore. What they really mean is that they no longer have the warm and fuzzies or the unexplained tingles, or those heart palpitations when they interact with their spouse.
However, I take that to mean that their love is actually maturing or they have the opportunity to develop a more mature love.
Let’s take a look at this passage in a little more detail:
Love is patient– Do I consistently respond in patient ways to my spouse?
Love is kind– Am I kind even when I think my spouse doesn’t deserve it?
Does not envy– Do I compare my marriage, my spouse or my family to others?
Does not boast, it is not proud– Do I humble myself in the relationship and regularly admit when I am wrong. I can hear some of you right now saying, “I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken!”
It is not rude– Am I disrespectful and demeaning to my spouse?
It is not self seeking– Do I seek the best for my spouse without the expectation that they will reciprocate. The 50/50 marriage does not work.
It is not easily angered– Do I see myself expressing my anger quickly?
It keeps no record of wrongs– Do I have a laundry list of my spouse’s failures handy at all times?
Does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth– Do I seek to make God’s Word the standard for my behavior?
It always protects– Do I protect my spouse by refraining from exposing their faults to others?
always trusts– Am I engaging in behaviors that build trust in my relationship?
always hopes– Am I maintaining a hopeful outlook about my marriage?
always perseveres– Am I committed to keeping my vows and seeing this relationship as a life commitment?
Love never fails!!!
It is very clear from looking closely at this passage that love is more than a feeling. Love is a verb it is an action word. But more than that the scripture tells us that love is a person.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
So what is our point? We must have the author of love living inside of us in order to love like He does. None of us has the capacity to love this way.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
With God’s help, I promise to love you like He loves. I will be patient with you, I will be kind to you, I will not envy the relationships of others but cherish what we have. I will walk in humility and I will not behave rudely towards you. I will seek what is in your best interest, I will keep my anger in check and I will not remind you of things that you have done wrong. I will rejoice in God’s truth and make it the guide for our relationship. I will always protect you and your reputation before others. I will live in a manner that makes me trustworthy. I will always hope in you and I will always persevere for you. And with God’s help, my love for you will NEVER FAIL!
Jamal Baker is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. He was ordained as a minister in 1997 and served as a missionary to several nations including Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Brazil and Zimbabwe. Jamal has been married for 12 years and he and his wife have three boys. He enjoys working with couples and seeing broken marriages restored as well as assisting families and individuals with attaining their God-given potential.