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Monday, February 4, 2013

What is true love?

As I said in the kick-off post for this True Love series, I plan to look closely at the way love is expressed to us by God in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. To me that is the best way to learn about True Love.

The story of the Gospel is really a love story. It’s the story of a God who would go to any lengths to have us for himself; who would do whatever it took to live in intimacy with us forever. Even if that meant the death of His own Son.

That is True Love.

It was clear that we would never keep the rules well enough to earn our way back to him. We were stuck in our own imperfection. Mired in our own weakness and sin.

So grace stepped in and found us. Jesus gave his all so that we could be restored to intimacy with the Father. Jesus came to make us his bride for all eternity. Undeserving as we were, He made us the righteousness of Christ.

Jesus overcame our inability to keep the rules so that we could have relationship with him. 

He didn’t merely overlook our failures. He overcame them by his own sacrifice of love, even giving up his own life.

All for the sake of intimacy.
So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.
Rom 7:4
How does Jesus’ display of extravagant love help us understand True Love in marriage?

The next time your husband or wife falls short, offends you, makes a mistake or acts in a way that would otherwise drive you apart, stop and think of how Jesus responded to these very things in us.

So look to Jesus’ example. The next time offense wants to come between you and your beloved, ask yourself, “What must I do to maintain intimacy in this situation? How can sacrificial love win the day and keep our connection?”

I’m not saying it’s easy to do. It's not. But I do believe that is the example of True Love we are to emulate in our marriages.

Do you have a story of when True Love triumphed in your own marriage? Is there a time when your husband or wife put the intimacy in your relationship ahead of his or her right to be offended or hurt? Share your stories in the comments.

photo credit: iofoto /


Gaye @CalmHealthySexy said...

I am thankful that God has enabled my husband and I to focus on intimacy rather than rules most of the time (we are not perfect, for sure!). I do believe that Christ emphasized people and relationships over rules, but when I look at the church and the Christian community at large, it seems like a lot of people are focusing on rules, structures, and institutions more than people and relationships. I find that to be very discouraging.

Scott said...

Gaye - thanks for comments. I agree that too many in the church focus on rules when God is after a relationship with us. I have hope that there will be more and more revelation of grace and God's heart toward us.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing Scott; you always give me lots to think about!

@ Gaye - it is sad to say but I agree. My hubby is a relatively new believer and can't stomach church. In many, many ways he finds 'the world' more forgiving.

Back to Scott - Yes, it is difficult to do isn't it? I believe this is part of what Jesus meant when He said, "By this the world will know that you belong to Me." -- It's in how we translate His love into our marriages.

Scott said...

Robyn - I have this crazy dream: that the marriages in the church would be so amazing and full of grace that people get saved just from watching how we love.

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