Mark: In the early years our love was a heady mixture of emotions. I thought Christine was perfect—my soul mate. I just wanted to make her happy; I didn’t even think about it: surprise dates, flowers, chocolates . . .
Christine: A few years into married life I realized that I didn’t always feel like loving Mark. Sometimes I didn’t think he deserved it! And, I’m not proud of it, but my love was conditional; my thinking went: if Mark does abc then I’ll do xyz.
We’re not meant to be alone. God created us to be in relationships—with Him and with other people—to give and receive love.
The problem with human love is that it’s a taking kind of love.
Lasting, intimate relationships need giving love that’s active, unselfish, and sacrificial. That kind of love is described in the Bible, and this is the way God loves us.
"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
We can only love others fully with this special kind of giving love when we receive it from God first.
God is love. He is the Source. He "pours it into our hearts."
The more we open ourselves to God’s love, in the context of a relationship with Him, the more we are filled with His love through the Holy Spirit. And His love will "spill out" to others, including our partner, so that we will be able to love them in the way they need it.
In what ways does your husband or wife need loving right now?
How can receiving God’s love into your heart help you love your partner in the way he or she needs it?
Heavenly Father, thank you for your amazing love, and that we can love others when we are filled with your love. Help us to receive your love into our hearts by the power of your Holy Spirit. If there are any barriers to receiving your love, please bring healing to those places. Help us to love each other in the way we each need it right now.