“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)
If you want to measure your marriage and the degree of love that you are expressing to your mate, then take the following challenge. Everywhere the word “love” is used in the verses above put your name and then read the verses aloud with your name inserted. Here goes, “Jeff is patient, Jeff is kind, Jeff does not envy, Jeff does not boast . . .”
I am convicted by the very first phrase, “Jeff is patient.” Now to take it one step further, ask if you are this way when there is conflict between you and your spouse. Ouch!
Chuck Swindoll wrote in his book, Strike the Original Match, “If the truth were known, not some, but most marriages are marked by periodic skirmishes—occasionally an all-out war. Some battles are ‘night attacks’ or surprise assaults. Others are cold wars of stoic silence. Cruel methods of torture are also employed—public criticism, fearful threats, sarcasm, and hateful remarks to put down one’s mate.”
Someone has said, “Married couples who claim they’ve never had an argument in 40 years either have poor memories or very dull lives to recall.” Conflict is common and it has the potential to drive a wedge of isolation between a man and wife.
If you are married, you likely have areas of your marriage that need healing. God desires to heal us where we ache and mend us where we are broken. This means that each person in the marriage must work at it like it all depends on them and seek to show Christ’s love to the other without expecting or demanding reciprocation.
LIVING OUT GOD’S BEST TODAY
Application of God’s Truth
If there are raw patches in your marriage, go before the Lord and own your part of the problem, confess it, and actively pursue a course of healing—loving your spouse unconditionally.