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Love, marriage and relationships Last update: August 2011

God is all about relationships – but, is that right?

“God is all about relationships” is what you will often hear in Christian circles. And I don’t think it is wrong to think that way, except that it may leave you with the impression that relationships is all that matters to Him, and that is not true.

Perhaps I should say it in another way: ‘God is all about right relationships’. Yes, He is about what is right by Him (not us), even in relationships.

When we think about relationships we think about people getting along well or having common interests or common goals. We also think about family, work and romantic relationships. But are ‘Christian relationships’ any different to these?

Love – in one form or another – is the foundation of all relationships. C.S. Lewis talks about “The Four Loves” from the Greek language, the language of the New Testament: storge (affection), philia (friendship), eros (romantic) and agape (unconditional love). It is with the last category of love that we have a problem. Because unconditional love (agape) – the love that Jesus wants us to have - means self-sacrificing love, which means that you will do away with or disregard whatever is in your own best interest for the sake of another. It also means that you will do unto another what you will want them to do unto you.[1]

Put in another way, agape love means that you will do unto another what is good for them, not necessarily what is nice to them. Good and nice isn’t always the same thing. We tend to forget that.  Thus, agape love does not consider the continuation of good interpersonal relations with another at the expense of what is good for them. Agape love always chooses what is good for the other person, not necessarily what is good for the relationships with him/her.

Let’s say that following a workshop accident a child needs to have a nail removed from his hand. The teacher knows that if she removes the nail the child will feel much pain and may never again look at her in a favourable way because of the memory of the pain. Yet, she removes the nail because she knows it is in the best interest of the child at that time. That is agape love in action. That which is good and that which is nice isn’t always the same thing. The same principle of agape love applies in other facets of our lives – relationships with strangers, family, friends, colleagues and even romantic relationships.

The reason why agape love is central to the Christian life is because it produces fruit that generates heavenly wealth, Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys” (Luke 12:33). Agape love is decidedly unselfish. Unselfish in material good but particularly unselfish in expressing love, the God-kind of way. (Top)

Man and Woman

Whilst we like to argue away what is written in the Bible so as to suit our own ‘theology’ I believe the account of Genesis is accurate and true, and it is relevant. It is perhaps particularly relevant in modern society because it speaks about right relationship between a man and a woman.

God took woman out of a man. In a sense I believe the man has never again felt whole and longs for that part of him which was taken away - woman. Similarly, woman was taken out of man and she longs to be re-united with that which she was taken out of - man. The Bible says that man will (righteously) rule over the woman and the woman will (righteously) yearn for her husband. I believe that this principle is as true today as it was when God first spoke it.[2]

Where you leave out the idea of ‘righteousness’, as in righteously rule and righteously yearn, what you may find instead are things such as ‘abuse’, ‘manipulate’, ‘cowardly’ and ‘fear’, as in abusively rule or fearfully want. Relationships that are defined in this way are not righteous and are not of God. They are not wholesome. They are simply not right!

It is no wonder then that, in (young) relationships (young) men and women feel ‘fulfilled' or 'made whole'. As the man was whole before woman was taken out of him, both he and the woman now become whole again. It is a state of ‘coming home’ – being one. And the Bible calls it exactly that – ‘they will become one’[3]. (Top)

Become one – really?

I can hear the married (and divorced/separated) ones reading this article expressing serious doubt over this statement as this may very well not testify to their own marriages . And in a way they will be right too as mankind has been so broken and so hurt since Adam first sinned that it is hard to become ‘whole’ again with another person while you are still so broken yourself and while the other party too is so broken as well.

Even so there are others included in the societal demographic who will also say, ‘that’s not right – there are many gays who truly love each other’. I honestly mean not to offend but here is what I think – what I am about to say has no clear Scriptural basis, so I ask that you pray for the discernment that these thoughts deserve:

God created Man according to His nature[4]. When He separated woman from man His idea was always for them to be formed again into a singular person who displays His character. That is why man needs woman and woman needs man. Being taken “out of man”, the woman constitutes the perfect partner for man to again be formed into the character of God. Simply put, another man cannot do that. Neither can two women do that for each other. It is for this reason that I believe God detests homosexuality[5] – it not only contravenes the character of God, it denies it. And, I believe, God will not tolerate that in His presence.

But, what then about the homosexual? I don’t know. Have I experienced the life of another that I will know his or her heart? No. Shall I judge them? No, and I pray that I never do. But, should I echo what the word of God says about it? Yes. That is, if I believe the Bible to be the word of God. Because His mercy and His character is far greater than I can ever understand I can never second guess what He says to mankind through the Bible. And His yearning for the homosexual to be reconciled to Him, as is the case with every sinner among us, no man or woman can truly understand. (Top)

Brokenness in relationship

Few people escape the ill effects of broken families, addictions (to legal and illegal substances), workaholicisim, gambling, unforeseen circumstances like illnesses or deaths in the family, or even losses like retrenchments, businesses that have gone under or bankruptcy, or any other circumstance that brings about a sense of abandonment, rejection, shame, guilt or anger. Who does not know someone who has ‘put their career first’, or their sport or their hobby or their friends at the expense of godly relationships with the people that matter most – their families; their spouse or their children, or both?

In this sense, yes, God is all about relationships. So many of us fool ourselves by thinking that our pursuit of greatly rewarding careers will benefit our relationships in the end, whereas in truth they merely entertain them. Good, godly family relationships should always overrule every career ambition. I have spent enough time with terminally ill people to know first-hand that an investment in a career at the expense of an investment in a godly relationship is poor planning indeed!

And so, it is the ill effects these occurrences and perhaps also the absence of an unconditionally loving father or an unconditionally loving mother have that may very well have done the greatest harm to our prospects of a good relationships between a man and a woman, and a fulfilment of the heart, mind and spirit.

In a way, trying to fill your own ‘love tank’ with the half-full love tank of another person always leaves somebody un(ful)filled, even if it feels like it’s ‘the first time somebody has actually loved me’. When you come off a low base in any old thing, any solution feels like the only solution. This goes for women and men in abusive relationships as much as it goes for any other person and the homosexual.

To those who did not grow up in obvious iniquity the ailments of society may be more subtle, or even more deeply rooted. Because they cannot be seen readily it is presumed that they do not exist. “I have no issues”, they may say. But they always do. They just haven’t realised it yet, or they choose not to know about it. Because society is desperately ill and it’s getting no better. It needs Christ. (Top)

Fathers and Mothers

Few fathers and mothers are completely healed and restored emotionally and spiritually by the time they have children. We all suffer some or other hang-up or hurt from earlier years. And, inevitably, we pass on some or all of what is not godly in our hearts to our family’s functioning. The smart person will get that hurt out before they commit to a serious relationship. Take the advice of Solomon on this one - Prov. 4:23. The way to get these forms of iniquity (note, not "inequity" or 'unfairness', but the Biblical "iniquity") out of our hearts is according to how Solomon writes in Proverbs 16:6.

Iniquity is a moral 'bentness' that drives ungodly behaviour. It is a 'blue print' in our hearts according to which tune we inevitably dance unless we get rid of it. These are things such as insecurity, a fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, a sense of superiority, a sense of inferiority, and the like. Like Solomon says, you have to be 'transparent about it' before the you can bring it to the Lord to heal you. By Jesus' stripes you are (not 'will be one day', but are now) healed. To forgive is to make others' sin inferior to you. Forgiveness is also vital to your and your spouse's healing process.

That is why we need to understand the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross. His resurrection from the dead means that by being reborn in the spirit by His Spirit we can be restored spiritually, emotionally and physically whilst still on this earth. When we are healed and secure within the knowledge of Christ, then we can enjoy truly fulfilling relationships.

If we grasp the magnitude of this truth how will we not want to be reborn by the Spirit?[6] And, how possibly, if we truly walk in agape love, as many of us presume, will we not want to lead others through the same spiritual rebirth? It is much easier to say, ‘healing is a Jesus-thing – it’s not available to us in the modern age’. Or, ‘being born again by the Spirit of God happens when you join the church’.

No, that is not what the Bible says: the Bible says that mankind’s healing is in Him. It was and still is, 2000 years later. And no, whilst it is good to join a church, being "born of the Spirit" does not speak of joining a church. (Top)

Why is understanding this issue important?

When a young man and a young woman think of getting serious about their relationship they should consider at least the following questions:

Young people seldom sit still to think about these matters. What is important to them is not “philosophy” but “reality”. They want things now as if they have very little time left. How ironic, because older people often take take more time to think over things and come to better answers. And so, the wise one will approach romantic relationships from a Biblical perspective because the Bible has much wisdom to share about relationships.

Consider this young man: by virtue of her character, not her promise, will she “submit to her husband” as the Bible teaches? Meaning, will she in humility put her own interest below that of yours, which includes your interest to serve the Father before serving her?  If you are not sure, you are best to reconsider the prospects of a serious relationship.

Consider this young lady: by virtue of his character, not his promise, will he lead you and your family in the way of the Lord? Meaning, will he put his relationship with the Father above his relationship with anyone else, including you? If you are not sure, you are best to reconsider the prospects of a serious relationship.

It is only when the husband genuinely serves the Father that he can love and rule over his wife in a godly manner. And it is only when the wife truly respects her husband and submits to him that she can serve the Father in love. Because God, not man, instituted the eternal order of things: First the Father, then Jesus, then the Man and then the Woman. Ignoring this principle is ignoring the commandments of God. And you cannot love Jesus if you do not do His commandments (1 John 2:3).

“Wait!” I can hear a chorus of complaint! “This is the 21st century – why should women be made less than men?! Why should a women submit to a man? That’s not fair” And so, even men believe that God didn’t really mean what He said in 1 Corinthians 11:3. They believe He meant His divine order as a statement that is relevant to the culture of the day, nothing more.

Firstly, submitting to her husband does not make a wife worth less that him, it just makes her obedient to the Lord. Secondly, have you noticed that God does not actually consider what mankind thinks is fair and what is not (Romans 9:20)? God is sovereign, and no, He did not mean 1 Corinthians 3 as a statement that is relevant to the Jewish culture of the first century. Read on in that passage and you’ll notice how He uses the example of Adam and Eve to explain that He means it as a universal truth.

So, young man, are you willing and able to rule over this young lady only as the Father leads you? And, young lady, are you willing and able to submit to this young man irrespective of his weaknesses, ills and errors? If only one of you cannot say with a clear mind and a clear heart “yes!”, then you should know there can be no deal. There can be no godly relationship.

But if the answer is yes, you have chosen a good route. Yet, whilst good and nice may be the same thing to start off with it seldom stays the same. Because both man and woman will need work. (Top)

Marriage

I believe God uses the person closest to us to mould and shape us into the person whom He would like to see. That means that it is likely that it will be your wife or your husband who will accentuate the hang-ups, ills, errors and weaknesses in your heart and in your life. They may tell you stuff about yourself when you don’t feel like hearing it and when you are not ready for it either. Moreover, they may tell you stuff that you have been overly sensitive about for years been - stuff that no-one else knew about because you hid it so well, or stuff that no-one ever dared speak to you about because they knew what response it would evoke.

That is why marriage is a journey, not a destination. Those who submit to the right order of God may be healed and restored and experience the intimacy of wholeness and completeness that a godly relationship between a man and a woman brings. Those who do not know this may just remain (externally or emotionally) content with living together.

Yet, so commonly in marriage, when we are about to receive ‘an invitation to grow’ from our husband or wife we ‘kill the messenger’. Our husbands or wives tell us stuff that will be good for us to resolve and we interpret it as if they are either disrespectful or unloving towards us.

Consider how Moses’ wife corrected him when he failed to perform his dues as a believer and as a father. To be honest, she did it rather unceremoniously, but she did it anyway and she did it in his best interest because he was being disobedient to the Father. Yet so many men refuse to take on board what their wives have to say because they do not hear God speaking to them. A travesty indeed. Perhaps even a form of disobedience. Their personal pride and their poor understanding of the Bible’s ‘rule over your wife’ most often is to blame.

Similarly, very often wives cannot hear what the Father is saying to them because they believe good and nice should always be the same thing. If the husband does not bend to her tears or her emotions then, somehow, he is unloving and is undeserved of her support. Yet another travesty. She misses what God is trying to do in her heart. Worst still is that she blames the husband for her misery. (Top)

Marriage – the Father speaking

Marriage is a good way for us to hear the Father speak to us. To the husband He speaks through the Word and through His Spirit, and He speaks through his wife at times. The husband looks to the Father to know how to rule over the wife in a godly manner. It is when the husband looks at something else for guidance – perhaps society’s definition of a husband, or what seems politically correct, or what is fashionable, or, even worse, what TV shows teach about husbandmenship – that things go horribly wrong. Because pagan societal values are not akin to godly values and human rights and Biblical obligations are not the same thing.

Interestingly, the Bible teaches about the direct relationship between a man’s love for his wife and the spiritual fruit he bears bear. Consider how Peter writes that men should love their wives so that their “prayers may not be hindered”. Amazing – loving your wife in a godly manner is required for you to bear spiritual fruit. Consider that if you really love God you will want to bear spiritual fruit. So, loving your wife, to the man who loves God, is a ‘no-brainer’. You will always do it. Meaning, you will always do what is right by God – you will be faithful, trustworthy, considerate, emotionally secure, and you will provide both physical and spiritual nourishment. Indeed, you will bring spiritual guidance to your wife because it is good for her.

Inversely, not loving God means that loving your wife is no so obvious. It should be a warning to any prospective bride if a man cannot see loving God and loving his girlfriend/wife in the same sentence.

To the wife, He speaks through the Word and through His Spirit. And, He speaks through the husband. If the wife does not submit to her husband she cannot clearly hear what is being said. Interestingly the Bible does not say that the husband needs to be Christian before the wife should submit to him. So many times do Christian wives pray for their husbands to turn to God without submitting to him first. But how do they expect the husband to obey God if they themselves are not willing to do so? Unconditional love, remember, means that you will sacrifice your own best interest in favour of the best interest of another. Wives, submit to your husbands no-matter what society says!

But submission obviously does not mean to partake in abuse inasmuch as ruling does not mean to perpetrate abuse. We need to be wise regarding such matters. Some of us have greater challenges in gthis area, but from my understanding of the Bible, these people's glory, should they overcome these challenges, are also greater than the rest of us. I know, I know, easier said than done. But, you have Christ. Through your weakness His strength is made perfect in you. (Top)

Overdoing it

Let me say that I am not ashamed or embarrassed to recognise or acknowledge my wife’s strengths and her apt advice in due time. Men everywhere have come to realise that they sometimes ought to listen to the advice of their wives. That is a good thing.

But you can overdo it. One of the greatest challenges for men in this time is to be men. With that I do not mean the stereotypical sports loving, beer drinking, macho looking, self-centered brut, but the man who is secure enough within his relationship with Christ to gracefully and gently enforce godly rule over his wife and over his children. It is the man who knows his shortcomings, who looks to God before he looks to his wife for support and who is willing and able to risk her wrath in the interest of what is good and right.

Too often do men succumb to societal pressures to be ‘in touch with their feminine side’ (often a metaphor for not being insistent on his God-appointed role) or to ‘serve his wife in love’ (a metaphor for doing what she wants him to do). The Biblical man who leads with a love that is securely anchored in the gentleness of Jesus and the surety of the Rock seem to no longer exist. I know I am not that man (yet). And my first priority is to repent for the disservice I have perpetrated against my wife and my children for not being the godly man I ought to be. Because the spiritual wimp I have been is not what God expects of men.

There is another side to ruling that relates to a lack of wisdom more than what it relates to being cowardly, the type I have been. That is when men always listen to the advice of their wives, often at the expense of others.

As noted above, in the first book of Corinthians chapter eleven, God lets us in on His divine spiritual order. This is not a social order or a political order. And it is not a human legal or cultural order either. It is God’s spiritual order and it goes like this: First, God the Father; then Jesus, the Son of God; then the husband; then the wife. That is how it is. And it is no cultural orientation or tradition restricted to Biblical times. It is a universal truth that transcends time and culture and it is meant for all of mankind, not just the Jews in the time of Paul:

“But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (v. 3)

In the verses that follow Paul goes on to explain how mankind needs to fall in line with this divine order. Moreover, Paul explains how it is that man and woman (in marriage) bring glory to God. Considering that bringing glory to God is why He created us, this should be an important matter for both married ones as well as those contemplating marriage.

From the passage below there is no doubt that man needs woman and woman needs man. But it is not the emotional or even physical kind of need. It is a need in the fulfilling of a spiritual role while being in the service of glorifying God:

“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.” (vv. 7-12)

Man, having been created (first) in the image of God, glorifies God. And woman, taken out of man, glorifies man in glorifying God. This is her way of glorifying God – through His divine order.

No doubt this order does not agree with human rights. Nor does it does not agree with ‘parity between the sexes’. Nor does it agree with laws and regulations. It does not agree with modern cultures and social settings. And it does not agree with many Christian women and many Christian men. Because that is not how we think nowadays, is it? But that is the spiritual order that God ordained and we choose to either be obedient to it, or we choose not to. The choice to obey is ours. The consequence to not obey is ours also. 

Why this is important to grasp is that whilst logistical matters between men and women can be delegated, and emotional issues can be diverted, spiritual authority cannot and should not be delegated nor diverted. The examples of Adam and Eve as well as Abraham and Sarah are good reminders that man should not automatically heed the advice of their wives concerning spiritual matters. Some of the greatest travesties now faced by mankind came at the hands of husbands heeding the advice of their wives.

Women indeed have an amazing ability to perceive, and men should note that, but they have a lesser ability to discern in spiritual matters. This is not me saying this - the Bible says women are more easily deceived (1 Timothy 2:14). That is how it is. That is why they ought not teach. They may prophesy but they ought not teach nor have spiritual authority over a man. I have found this sermon helpful in this regard.

In the case of Adam, he should never have listened to Eve because she had been deceived. In the case of Abraham, he should never have heeded the advice of Sarah who advised him to follow her plan for fulfilling God’s promise. The result has been the perpetual conflict between the descendants of Ismail (essentially the Arabs) and the descendants of Isaac (the Jews), the son of promise. (Top)

Love your wife

“Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Eph. 5:33).

The Bible has one message for husbands – love your wife. Paul ads “like Christ also loved the church”. Wow, if ever there is a tall order for a job description it is this one – “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Eph. 5:25). And you’d think that women want to be loved and they will want their husband to give himself for her. But they don’t.
‘Why do you say that?’ you may ask. Because many women do not do what Paul says in the preceding verse nor do they want what Paul says in the verse following:

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.”

The Bible says that if a young lady is smart about it she will attach herself in marriage to a man who can love her by having committed his heart to the Lord and who is both willing and able to “wash her with the word” as Christ washes him with the word. Moreover, she will be smart to submit to this man because that is the commandment of the Lord. The passage above says that if a man does not love his wife he also does not love the Lord.

The Bible also says that a young man will be smart to attach himself to a lady who in honour to the Lord will submit to him and allow him to wash her with the word as Christ is washing him with the word. The passage above highlights that if the woman is unable to submit to her husband she also is unable to submit to the Lord.

Neither not loving your wife nor not submitting to your husband is acceptable to God. To the Christian these are actions in direct violation of His will. They are overt deeds of disobedience.  (Top)

Respect your husband

“Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Eph. 5:33).

Notice that the text doesn't say, 'love your husbands' although that is a general commandment and should be kept anyway. But, God knows that the nature of man requires respect more than most other things. So many wives (and mothers) think that because they want love, this is the primary thing they should give their husbands (& sons). It is not. Give them respect, as God says you should.

If we think that it is a tall order to love your wives as Christ loves the church, then how about respecting a man who, at the best of times, acts contrary to deserving any respect. How can you respect a man who does not deserve it? Two steps:

You see, God ordained for the man to be respected and the woman to be loved. This may or may not make sense to you or me but frankly, your opinion and my opinion in the matter is irrelevant. If you have determined to obey God there are no ‘ifs’ and buts’ – we just obey. Loving your wife and respecting your husband is what we will do if indeed we love Christ.

Consider how Peter emphasises a manner that had been the example a God-fearing women ages prior – “… in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror (1 Peter 3:5-6).

Want to be named in the company of Sarah? Obey your husband, it is the will of the Lord. His deserving of your respect and obedience is a matter that he will have to account for to the Lord himself. And that is no small matter! (Top)

Inner realm of relationship

When we think about relationship we often think about the things we do together, the gifts we receive, the help we give (or not?), the pleasure we provide (or not?). These are all valid principles that should be found in a Christian relationship.

But we allow laziness and lack of interest to overwhelm us. How often do couples struggle with the same things. Note how the words "never" and "always" ruin what may otherwise be appropriate criticism:

Aren’t these things typical? What started off as an exciting marriage where sweet words, flowers and cuddles were common occurrences and where romance wasn’t anything that needed to be worked for, being together quickly descends into an abyss of bitterness and regret. Words are spoken that should not have been spoken and love is withheld that should never have been withheld. People, Christian people, become trapped in a place of despair. And this at their own hands. Why? Because of laziness and lack of interest. For if we are truly interested we will set our priorities according to God's way, not ours.

What started off as the primary thing between two people gets delegated to something inferior to his career or her social standing, the children, friends, hobbies, church commitments and sport.

This is why I so appreciate how my wife has helped me get perspective in this matter. So easily I would speed off to the next club get together or sports event without thinking how that may impact on my marriage or my family life. If marriage is really important to me would I really spend more leisure time with the boys than with my wife? Would I really forget to apologise for being late, again? Would I fail to realise that sometimes I just need to deal with her fluctuating emotions, as Peter says, “husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered (1 Peter 3:7).

In the end, a relationship is something to be beheld with the heart. It is held together by a promise - a covenant between two people. Yes, it helps to receive gifts, to spend quality time together, to say nice things to each other, to provide that loving touch or to be that helping hand, but godly relationships depend very much on things not seen or perceived with the senses: obedience in loving and respecting, submitting and ruling in a godly manner, enduring in trying times, shaping and being shaped.

For, more than any other setting, marriage, if you are really committed to it, will bring you and I the opportunity to grow in the fruit of the Spirit: love, peace, joy, goodness, kindness, gentleness, longsuffering and self-control. In these fruit vests forgiveness, tolerance and acceptance, without which there can be no love and no respect. It is a relationship that is secured by a covenant. And it is a relationship that enjoys the prospect of genuine spiritual and emotional growth.

These things do not come by themselves - we have to be lead by the word, listen to the Spirit and be polished by the other. That is character-building, the wonderous way of marriage.

And, doing that we come to understand the deep fulfillment of 'becoming one', as God intended.

If you and I allow ourselves to be shaped by God through our husband or through our wife, you and I may very well come to recognise that which is true love, the love that is Christ:

[Self-sacrificial] Love suffers long and is kind,
[Self-sacrificial] Love does not envy (it does not compete with the spouse),
[Self-sacrificial] Love does not parade itself,
[Self-sacrificial] Love is not puffed up (it is not too proud to listen),
[Self-sacrificial] Love does not behave rudely (it speaks and behaves respectfully),
[Self-sacrificial] Love does not seek its own (does not always want its own way),
[Self-sacrificial] Love is not provoked,
[Self-sacrificial] Love thinks no evil (keeps no record of being wronged - it forgives and lets go),
[Self-sacrificial] Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth,
[Self-sacrificial] Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,
[Self-sacrificial] Love endures all things (even if they are obviously wrong in a matter, love endures it),
[Self-sacrificial] Love never fails.

(Top)

Footnotes

[1] “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:21)
[2] “To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you” (Genesis 3:16)
[3] “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.“ (Genesis 2:24)
[4] “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[a] the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)
[5] “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
[6] “Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:5-6)

(Top)

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Please consult the Bible and test what is written here. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom in this area. Keep that which is good and reject that which is not Scriptual. Should you come to a different understanding than I please let me know - perhaps I can learn from you.

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