Intimate Love

I used to think that romance movies were fairy tales and that no human being was capable of sustaining that much love. I was mistaken. My husband is like that and so much more, even after 20 years of marriage.

Yes, he does have too much on his mind sometimes and is preoccupied and neglectful. Yet, when he hugs me, there is warmth and nurturing in each caress; when he talks to me, he looks into my eyes.

He gives me focused attention every day, listens to me when I get his full attention first and loves me more than he loves himself (Ephesians 5:28-29). He also loves God more than he loves me, which is as it should be.

When he thinks of me throughout the day, he does or says something thoughtful and romantic. When he forgets, I snuggle with him in his big chair and he is always so welcoming and glad to see me.

Yet, his love for me cannot complete me. Only Christ is capable of that amount of intimacy (Colossians 2:10). Jesus lives inside of us, and there is no human relationship, which is that close.

God knows us better than we know our own self (Psalm 139). He fulfills us better than any person ever could. He gives us His abundant life now and for eternity (John 10:10). Our love is first and foremost for Him alone (Matthew 22:37-40).

When God comes to dwell in our spirit at salvation, He never, ever leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). A human being may change their mind about us and abandon us, but God never will.

God desires that we focus our attention on Him. So much so, that He actually feels jealous when we attempt to replace Him in our affections with another person, place, animal or thing (Exodus 34:14). He wants our undivided devotion.

God understands us and provides for our needs before we even realize we have them. A personal, intimate relationship with God through Christ by the Holy Spirit is the most fulfilling connection we can ever experience.

Father God, when we realize our need for You and confess our sins to You, You forgive us completely. In fact, You love us unconditionally, even while we are still sinners (2 Corinthians 5:21; Matthew 27:1-66; Romans 5:8). Thank You for renewing our human mind and giving us spiritual ears to discern Your voice (John 10:27-29; Romans 12:2).

Thank You for putting us in Your Body to give us caring, nurturing people who will cherish us like You do (Psalm 133:1). Yet, remind us to talk to You as our best friend, and to prove our love to You by keeping Your commandments (John 14:15, 23; 1 Peter 5:6-8).

Thank You also for giving us rest for our tired soul and loving us so sacrificially (Matt 11:28-30; John 3:16-17; Psalm 51:12-14). When we abide in Your presence as a branch on the vine, we enjoy Your intimate love each moment of our day (John 15:1-17).

Thought for the Day:
Developing an intimate personal relationship requires our time and attention; so, we cannot allow anything to rob us of our time with God, who is the most devoted lover of our soul. – Isaiah 38:17

Let Me Tell You, Gentlemen

If you think that your marriage is good, or even perfect, that may be because all of your needs are met by your good and faithful wife. Have you ever asked her what she thinks about your marriage?

You may be surprised to find out that she is so busy caring for you and the home and children, that she has no time to fulfill her needs. She may have longings in her soul that are not realized; so make the time to discover her needs and help her to accomplish them.

You may criticize her for her irritability, insecurity, jealousy, rage, discouragement, etc., and view these negative emotions as separate from your behavior. They very well may have an outside source; but you could help to relieve them, even if your behavior and attitude are not causing them.

Do you ignore her when she talks to you, and only listen to her with half an ear? Do you take all of her needs seriously and ask her how you can help her? Do you provide her with a stable living environment full of cherishing, nurturing and acceptance?

She may need an hour to soak in the tub, some help with the dishes or bathing the children, a night alone to read or watch a movie in the sanctity of your bedroom, or a special date night. Take charge and give her that time.

Make sure that you inundate her with continual focused attention; date nights which you help to plan; and little gifts, notes, cards, emails and phone calls to let her know that she is not only in your heart but in your mind as well.

Never take her for granted. Bless her with words, which affirm your appreciation of her, but back the words up with actions too. Celebrate her successes along with her and show her your care and concern when she is discouraged or ill.

If she works outside of the home too, help her with the household chores and make sure all of your children have assigned duties, so that the whole family cooperates to keep your home clean, harmonious and running smoothly.

Never allow your children to speak to your wife with disrespect, and model this respect by your behavior. Find a church to attend with your family, have daily devotions with them all and disciple them in Biblical truth to help them to withstand the devil’s temptations.

Father God, You created the husband to serve as a role model in his family as he patterns his behavior and attitude after Your character and nature (Galatians 5:15-25; 2 Peter 1:4). Help him to consider the needs of his wife and children above his own (Ephesians 5:25). Yet, give him the boldness to express his needs as well, so his family can uplift him as he supports them.

Meld the husband and wife in such unity that they provide a positive and cohesive home for their children. This will give more security to the children and reduce rebellion in them as well. Remind us that You are the reason we are alive on this earth, and that serving You as a family is the greatest privilege, which life affords us.

Thought for the Day:
There is nothing, which happens in a marriage that cannot be resolved, if both mates will prefer one another, exhibit patience during a disagreement, join forces during a trial and spend time enjoying one another’s company.

Communicating Love

“What the world needs now, is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.” – Hal David

Loving communication is rare in this day and age with such busy lifestyles. Many are too wounded to share positive affirmation and loving reinforcement in our relationships. We expect people to feel loved without communication from us that we love them.

We all need to know that we are loved, especially children, but that will not happen unless we communicate our feelings. Spending time, works of service, verbal affirmation, loving touch, focused attention and gifts are all ways to communicate love.

Some of us prefer one or two of these expressions over the rest of them. Other people would be happy with any expression of love as long as it is consistent. Learning the love language of our significant others is a great way to express love to them.
( ).

If we listen to our spouse, child, neighbor, extended family member, the person in the grocery line or on the bus next to us, we give that person a very rare treat, a gift more precious than anything money can buy.

If we say we do not love another person, we are communicating more about our own character than the other person’s personality. We listen without condescension, belittling or rejection regardless of what they tell us. We simply express God’s love to them.

As mature Believers, we allow God to love that person through us. We communicate the love, patience and concern of Christ through our words, eye contact, facial expressions and body language. We make time to focus our attention on the people that we love.

Father God, make us vessels of honor for Your glory. Use us to spread Your love abroad in the hearts of every person You bring us into contact with during the day, but especially with those closest to us. Remind us that loving someone in our own way is not good enough, because You call us to love them unconditionally, consistently and in a way that is meaningful to them.

Thought for the Day:
We love people continually through the years, by choosing to do loving things for them, even if our feelings do not follow; and we never give up on anyone, because God never gives up on us. – Luke 6:32