Devotion #174

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

John 13:34-35 ESV

If we are to love as He loves, we need to understand His love for us, and use that as a yardstick to ever deepen our love for our spouses.  We know His love for us is first and foremost sacrificial, but when we examine scripture, we find other qualities of His love. His love for us is steadfast.

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;

Lamentations 3:21-22 ESV

His steadfast love is what brings me hope. Steadfastness is a firm loyalty a constant and unwavering dedication to something or someone. It is fixed or unchanging and solidly established. Steadfastness is immovable, irrefutable, unchangeable, unalterable, and is completely and utterly dependable. His love for us never stops, not even for a moment, no matter what we do. Despite the fact that we continue to wander away in disobedience, despite the fact that we love Him with only a portion of our hearts, despite the fact that we continue to place things and people before Him, despite the fact that we hurt Him and reject Him over and over, He continues to love us with an unwavering, relentless love. There is nothing we could do to make Him love us more or less. His love for us is constant and unchanging.

Do we love our spouses with the same steadfast love?  Or does our love depend on how they are treating us? When they turn their back on us, when they show us they only love us with part of their heart, when they demonstrate to us that other things or people are more important to them than we are, when they hurt or reject us over and over again, do we continue to love them with the same depth as when they are behaving as we want them to? Far too often, the reality in our relationships is when the other does not measure up to our expectations, we withhold a portion of ourselves from them. We grow angry and throw nasty words at them, or worse, we grow silent and withhold ourselves from them. Our love is not steadfast. It often changes based on how we feel, the mood we’re in, or the struggle we’re currently enduring.

God’s love is not only steadfast, it’s pursuing. Throughout scripture, we see God continually chasing after us. 2 Chronicles 16:9 tell us of his endless pursuit of us: For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. His eyes continually search for you. Despite how we sin against our Father, despite how far we’ve run away from Him, He continues to come after us to demonstrate how much He loves us.

Is our love for our spouse a pursuing love? Pursuing love takes steadfast love to the next level. We may be able to continue to love them when they hurt us, but do we go after them to show them our love? Do we find them and intentionally demonstrate how much we still love them after they’ve minimized us, when they’ve used harsh words, or if they’ve betrayed us? Far too often, we sit in a corner licking our wounds, waiting for them to come to us in apology rather than going after them with the pursuing love of Christ.

I want to love my husband with a steadfast and pursuing love, but I know in my own power, it is impossible. I am flawed and will continually put myself and my own needs first in my own power. I need to daily surrender my will to His for Him to fill me with the love He has for us. Only then will I be able to demonstrate His steadfast and pursing love to my husband.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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