My whole life I’ve seen relationships end and rarely mend. I’ve long witnessed broken marriages. Thus, I leave this disclaimer: I am far from an expert on relationships, let alone marriage.
Then, a beautiful celebration took place one month ago as my little brother was married. I have watched, over the past few years, how he and his new bride have grown in God and grown with one another. It was a fresh take on relationships that I hadn’t witnessed before.
I yearned for that. But that yearning quickly turned into comparing. And that comparing planted a wrongful, jealous root in my heart.
When I first met my husband, we most certainly had a passionate fire kind of love. The love like I observe between my brother and his bride. However over time, my husband and I became comfortable with one another. Our every day relations became ordinary. Until that love dwindled down to a tolerable fog.
I can admit, most often, I’ve been quick to point out everything he’s done wrong. Or that he’s lacking what I think is right. I didn’t care about the fact that I was ignoring the deliverance of love on my end. My love became conditional. If you do this, then I’ll do that. My love became obstinate. It’s either my way or no way. That’s not necessarily love.
In recognizing, repenting, and releasing my jealous heart issue to God, He shared truths with me that I needed to receive. He taught me and brought me to a new level of understanding. He gave this under-qualified wife some depth of insight into what makes my brother’s relationship with his new bride so special.
This insight shifts focus onto the Person of Jesus Christ. And He is known by the name of “the bridegroom”. He models the type of love that I yearn for. In fact, He has betrothed me, and the whole body of Christ, as His bride. Making us recipients of this unified love!
You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain.– Song of Songs 4:12 NLT
This kind of love is intentional and intimate. Like the love I observe between my brother and his bride. Intentionality is defined as being “done with intention or on purpose”. Also interchangeable with “willful”. Intimacy is defined as “a close familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship”.
Contrary to being conditional and obstinate. Like the love I’ve offered my husband. I realized that by setting conditions and being obstinate, I fell into the habit of dishonoring him. I would discredit his integrity by talking ill of him. Whether under my breath or to another friend.
The Holy Spirit has transformed my thoughts to a new understanding. Every time I dishonor my husband, I dishonor myself. For when we agreed to the covenant promise of marriage, we became unified; one.
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”– Mark 10:7-9 (NLT)
My condemning words became our own worst enemy- snuffing out the passionate fire to a fog. That unloving behavior is a component of this warning here in scripture; “let no one split apart what God has joined together”. It is most certainly a contributing factor of various reasons why many relationships come to an end.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.– Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
The love I share with my Heavenly Husband, Jesus Christ, is the perfect model for the love I can share with my earthly husband. And this love can be taken a step further by the love I share with the Church; the body of Christ, (His bride).
[Jesus speaking] “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.– John 17:20-23 (NLT)
This love doesn’t ever become comfortable. It’s transformative. It doesn’t dwindle to a tolerable fog. It fuels the passionate fire. It is willfully choosing to intentionally love. It is becoming relationally familiar by intimate love.
That same love I witness between my brother and his bride? It’s found here. Growing deeper in love with the Perfect Man, Jesus Christ. Who cultivates that same love I can so tenderly yield to others.
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.- Ephesians 3:16-19 (NLT)