True Love Doesn’t Exist… At least.. Not Without God

 

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  1 John 4:7-8

So we’ve all heard people talk about “True Love”. Women and men alike both spend vast amounts of time looking for it. They think that they will find someone like they see in the movies, and that their entire relationship will be blissful because they’ve found “The One” and they are certain that it’s “True Love”….

Ask any married couple that’s been together 30+ years if they are in love and the answer is almost certainly a yes. Ask that same couple if it’s been blissful and they will most likely laugh at you. As humans, we tend to think that love is something we just “feel” when we really like someone to the point of being drawn to them like a magnet. Scientists would tell us that love is just the result of chemical reactions in our brain that make us feel strongly toward a person.

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16

God is Love and we are created in his image, so we have the capacity to love. “True Love” can only exist in a relationship when God is in the middle. When we bring God into our relationships, he allows us to have the capacity to see through the faults and short comings of our spouse. He also allows our spouse to do the same with us. God binds us together, and when we get frustrated with our wives and husbands, God steps in and lovingly shows us what to do and how to act. Love is also proof of God’s existence. Without Love and it’s cousins compassion and empathy, mankind would have destroyed itself by now.

Ok, back to relationships. Sometimes your wife will make you feel like pulling your hair out and you know what? It’s completely normal. I’d be worried if our relationships were perfect all the time. God gives us the ability to love our wives more than we ever could on our own. With God, we see them the same way that Adam must have seen Eve when God created her. If you haven’t seen your wife like that, pray and ask God to give you abundant love for her, and to allow you to see her as he does.

Love is an amazing thing.  Next time your looking for or hear someone talking about “Perfect” or “True” love, just point them to scripture and tell them it doesn’t exist without God…

-PJ

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Christ Centered Communication

 

“Any problem, big or small, within a family, always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening.” – Emma Thompson

 

This one is going to be short….

Men, we need to LISTEN! Our wives/future wives are always trying to tell us things. Yes, sometimes they are telling us things we don’t care about– like that pair of red pumps on sale at DSW. Other times, however, they are trying to tell us about their needs. Women look to us to be the head. Not someone who just issues commands, and tells them what to do. They are looking for a leader, a spiritual leader. One of the best traits of a leader, is someone who listens.

Imagine that you elect a congressman for your district because you are truly impressed by his political views. Then, when he gets into office, he just does whatever he wants. You write a letter asking for certain things to change, and you keep writing letters, but nothing ever happens. You get frustrated right? That’s how a woman feels when she talks to her husband about matters of her heart, and those matters fall on deaf ears. Sometimes, we assume that she will have something bad to say. I’m learning that’s not always the case. Sometimes she just has a concern, or is trying to let us know about something that is on her mind. The problem comes from not listening. Those concerns, while mild now, can build up over time and become issues.  By then, the concern has become a problem, and now you have strife in your relationship.

Listening needs to be two ways. We need to be listening to God for direction, and guidance. We also need to be listening to our wives, and feeling concern for what is on their hearts. Our relationships are way better when we listen, and God has intended on us to be the leaders of our households. That position comes with great responsibility. Just as Christ listens to his church, we need to be listeners in our households. It takes time, but through prayer, we can do it.

God Bless,

-PJ

Equally Yoked

Today I want to touch on the topic of being “Equally Yoked”

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  –2 Corinthians 6:14 , King James Version (KJV)

Webster’s dictionary defines a ‘Yoke’ as

A wooden bar or frame by which two animals are joined at the heads or necks for working together.

So, how does this apply to relationships, you ask? I can’t even begin to describe to you how excited I am to explain this concept.

Lets first look at some examples:

See the yoke between the two oxen? Farmers can attach equipment to the yoke, and the animals pull it together. The animals in the picture above appear to be going in the same direction. This represents two Christian people in a relationship together. Both heading toward Christ, and doing God’s work.  It also represents two Christians of simliar walks, because the animals in the picture are both oxen…

These animals represent two Christians who are going in the same direction, but still aren’t equally yoked. Maybe one is full on fire for chasing after Christ, and the other is back sliding. Either way, this Donkey and Ox will head in the same direction, but reach their goal slower. Also, the stronger one is going to basically pull the weaker one along, which will cause the stronger one to become tired.

Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. — Deuteronomy 22:10

The animals in this picture, do not desire to go in the same direction. By attempting to take separate paths, they struggle, become frustrated, and ultimately break their yoke. This represents a believer and an unbeliever becoming married.

So the Bible is comparing the Yoke to Marriage. In Marriage, you become “Yoked” with your spouse.  Men, that means that we always need to be in agreement with God and our wives about which direction our marriages are going to take, among many other things.

One common misconception about the phrase “Equally Yoked”, relates to money and education. This term does not apply to one spouse having a four year college degree, and the other one not. Or one person making $100k a year, and the other making $20k.  I’m not saying that those varibles don’t have an effect on a relationship, but they don’t influence a persons ability to seek God or assume a leadership role in marriage.

We need to remember that when we marry someone, we become ONE with them. I will dive deeper into that in a later post, because that one concept is deep all by itself. The Bible goes on to tell us that we become one flesh with our spouse after marriage, and after having sex with someone, we develop a soul tie… wow.. I already know what my next post is going to be..

So think about this. If marrying someone develops these supernatural bonds with them, how stressful will it be when you start going in separate directions? Things may appear to be fine now, but being married to an unbeliever is like a supernatural nightmare. For those of us who are dating, we have an opportunity to marry an equal partner from the beginning.

For those men who are already married, but their wife is the unequal partner, it’s time to get on your knees and start praying.  Ask God to completely and radically change your relationship so that he is the focus.  Pray that he speaks to the heart of your wife, and that a seed is planted for her to seek God more.  Sit down with your wife, and have gentle, loving conversations about God, Christ, and your walk. Then let God do the rest of the work.

Lastly, some of us men are to blame. Our wives go to church every sunday, sing on the choir, go to Bible study, etc.  We only go on Christmas, Easter, and maybe Mother’s Day. We as men need to wake up and realize that God has called us to so much more. Even if you are a man who attends church on a regular basis, that’s not enough.  We need to actively be seeking him for ourselves, and for our wives.  My reccomendation would be to find a men’s group at your church, and go out to special men’s services and retreats if your church has them. Once you begin the effort, God will begin shaping you in ways that you never could have imagined.

I hope this post helps someone.  There is so much to being equally yoked, but I’m almost at 1000 words as it is..

It’s hard to cover all the “Meat” in these posts, so I try to hit a few important points.

-PJ

Feelings

So as I’m studying and writing, I realize that this isn’t so easy..

The part that’s not easy is being transparent with my thoughts.  Just “putting myself out there” overall.

I think society has taught us to be fearful of what people think about us. If we are operating in God’s plan for our lives, I guess it doesn’t really matter. As long as what we are doing is pleasing to HIM, people that are ordained to be a part of our lives will fall in with us.