Devotion #152

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God, if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

1 John 4:11-12 ESV

There will be times we struggle to love our spouses well. There will be days when we want to serve ourselves over our spouse, when we’re grumpy and tired, when we feel low and defeated, when we just don’t care. Let’s face it—we’re human and we all have those days.

In our own power, we cannot continue to love as God calls us to love—we will eventually reach the end of all we have in us. This is why we find the reminder to first focus on His love for us. When we need to love where it’s hard, we start by calling to mind His great love for us, then His Spirit will abide in us and allow us to love as He loves us.

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:21-23 ESV

One of the great enemies of love is forgetting God’s promises. We are to call to mind all the goodness of God when we feel the weight of the world upon us. We so easily forget this truth and fix our eyes on the things in front of us. If we are going to find love in this broken world, then we need to remind ourselves that God’s great love for us is unconditional, His mercies are new every morning, His grace is never ending, His promises are true, His forgiveness is complete, His sovereignty is over all, and His plan is good.

The mind has great power to remember what God has said about Himself and about us—that’s how we encourage His Spirit to grow within us, that’s how we find hope, that’s how we find love. We call to mind. If we don’t, we suffer. Too many people sell the great power of the mind short, claiming they can’t control their thoughts. So many people in this world are trapped in the thinking of their weak minds, they suffer the defeat from giving in to spiraling thoughts, they cry from the pit of despair, “you don’t know what it’s like to suffer as I do!” But God knows. And He tells us how to get out of that pit—by calling to mind the steadfast love that never ceases.

Over and over He reminds us of this in scripture because He knows our hearts so well—He knows our tendency to forget. Without reminding ourselves of His great love for us, of His mercy and His grace, we will struggle to demonstrate it to our spouses. We sink into despair, bitterness, and defeat. 

When you’re struggling to love your spouse well, focus first on His love for us. Call to mind the ways He has demonstrated His great love to you, then He will abide in you. And when His spirit abides in you, so will His perfect love.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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