Oh How I Love You!
Love needs the water of the word for nourishment. The flame of love needs the Spirit of God to breathe air into it and keep it alive. When romantic love plants its roots in the word of God, the Holy Spirit produces his fruit in the lives of both partners and gives a return of beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for sorrow and a covering of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
Romantic love grows in the soil of honesty. We must love ourselves and believe we can be loved because God created us in his own image and is re-creating us in the image of his Son. We must remember that God has equipped us for the challenges and requirements of life, and gave us capable minds for comprehension and experience. Happiness and joy, in spite of and above the circumstances of life, are what God wants for us – a healthy ground for love to grow in.
For romantic love to grow each partner must be capable of self-control and self-direction. Romantic love is not for childish self-centeredness and love doesn’t cripple of support childish behavior. Romantic lovers don’t need anyone to give them authorization to be themselves. Their egos aren’t on trial and they don’t always need to be the focus of attention. In order for romantic love to grow into lasting love it must have two adults cleaving physically, spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically to each other.
Romantic love is a challenging adventure. Each partner trustingly seeks out the other’s intimate realm. True love interprets naked feelings and emotions with sensitivity and intelligence. Romantic love desires to see and acknowledge the truth about the object of its love. The flame of love is energized by communication and exploration from both partners.
Of course couples need space and time alone without distraction for their relationship to find depth, and honest intercourse to flow from the heart of one to the other, Intimacy – the exchange of vulnerabilities – is necessary to the growth and strength of romantic love. The twenty-forth chapter of Deuteronomy, verse five, confirms this and demonstrates God’s concern that his children’s married lives be based on healthy love.
The Bible is an excellent marriage manual. It tells us what it entails to be a good wife or husband. They do each other good and not evil, act out love for each other, are discreet, chaste, bear all things (as Yeshua[i] did. He never tolerated sin but he always responded with compassion even when his much needed rest or communion with his father was interrupted) and believe all things. It tells us that they build each other’s trust with the ingredients of love that never fails. They understand the will of God and are disciplined by his Spirit so their love is co-operative and gentle. They love with the mind and will of Mashiach[ii] so their love is patient, kind, humble, and supportive. They endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace in their marriage, with all lowliness of mind and gentleness, patiently bearing with each other in love. They are kind to each other, tender hearted and forgiving. They are unselfish and consider the needs of their spouse before their own, realizing that God takes care of their basic needs, so neither has to “look out for” himself[iii].
Married couples are good prayer warriors for each other. They pray without ceasing for each other, with thanksgiving.
You are the light that makes my life
Shine in my darkest hour
You are my husband and I am your wife
We bloom like a beautiful flower.
Their delight and joy are in each other and they tell each other so. The Bible tells us that God wants married couples to be reverent, not malicious gossips, temperate, and faithful in all things. In other words, they see God’s hand in everything that touches their life and, in honor and respect mixed with love and awe, they wait patiently to see what he will do in each other’s life and follow his leading. They pray, with David, that the words of their mouths and the meditation of their hearts will be acceptable in his sight, so they are not rude to each other, nor do they let words escape their mouths that will hurt the other. They exercise the fruit of the Spirit of God in their lives and accept the responsibility of regulating their own feelings and actions so they will glorify God. They aren’t governed by the actions or ideas of others. They are steadfast in their allegiance to God and allow his spirit to direct their minds, hearts, and hands without exception. God is their partner in marriage – he holds it together and gives their romantic love power to grow.
To be continued
[iii] The word “himself” includes herself