Andrew Peterson is one of my favorite songwriters who was actually introduced to me by my brother, Lance, who posted a video with the song "Family Man". I also learned and went to see Andrew and met him with the Director of Worship from our church who is a big fan of Andrew's. This morning I woke up and was listening to a collection of songs from Andrew and he has this one song, Dancing in the Minefields (lyrics here) and the line, "'Cause the only way to find your life is to lay your own life down, and I believe it's an easy price for the life that we have found." That is a profound statement and we know that resembles the Truth because we read something like this in Scripture, "13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." (John 15:13, NIV). Jesus turned the religious world upside down when He came to this earth to serve instead of being served. He exemplifies this when He washes his disciples' feet. We read so much truth in Scripture about marriage and how we are to serve one another:
- Ephesians 5: " 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."
- 1 Peter 3: "7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
- 1 Corinthians 13: "4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Marriage done God's way is not a 50/50 relationship. That is, to say, that you don't just give 50% and wait for your spouse to give 50% and believe that equals 100%, because this is not God's math this is the world's view - What's in it for me? When we put Jesus at the center, where He belongs, then the true equation equals 100%. Regardless of good or bad, sickness and in health, seasons of trials and tribulations - I am going to give 100%! When I don't I am going to express my true feelings and no matter what, I will not hold back love.
Love is patient - it waits and it does not hold back.
Love is kind - don't be rude
It does not envy - trust implicitly
It does not boast - it is given without holding back and it is humble
It is not easily angered - think about this one (take the "I" out of "we" because there is no "I" in "We"
It keeps no record of wrongs - stop keeping score - forgive as you have been forgiven.
Love always protects! Always trusts! Always hopes and no matter what - it does not quit - it always perseveres!!!
What's holding you back from trusting God and getting the "I" out of your relationship: 1 John 2: "On Not Loving the World -'15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[d] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever."
Look back at your life and your relationships and refer to Galatians 5 and ask yourself which fruit is more evident in my life: The Fruit of the Spirit or the Fruit of the Sinful Nature? If there is more Sinful Nature stuff, then repent and serve 100% in those that God called you to love. Don't hold back! Pray continually and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in those broken and/or fractured relationships. Some of us may need professional biblical counseling. All of us need accountability partners and groups (Community) to walk with us and love on us and to comfort, encourage and urge us to live a life worthy of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ did not come to be served, but to serve. Jesus tells us to forgive as we have been forgiven. Can you truly call yourself a CHRISTian if you hold back love and forgiveness. Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!
What's holding you back from God's love and plan for your marriage, your relationships, your friendships that need love?
You can do this! You can do this because when you let go and let God, then you can be sure that He has got this!