Do you remember that first feeling of “Love”? I was a scrawny blond headed 5 year old and he was the preachers youngest son. I used to chase him around the sanctuary – trying to steal a kiss. He thought I was crazy and full of cooties… That certainly was not a love to “bear all things”.
Love is a loaded word. On the surface Love seems to be emotional, full of feelings and hope. But when I dig deeper, I see that Love is a choice that requires a daily commitment.
Do you need some encouragement to keep pressing into that Daily Commitment to your Marriage? We could all use a community to help us in Reclaiming Hope & Joy in our marriages!
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Today we are jump into back Series called Marriage Monday
We have been looking into 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and applying it to our Wifehood within a Christian Marriage.
Remember these words are verbs – so they require action.
The 1st section of words are for us personally- ways to relate to other people (including our spouse). You are welcome to go back and review them – don’t worry, I’ll wait right here 😉
Who Said Love is Patient and Kind?
For our study, we are looking at 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act disrespectfully or unbecomingly; it does not seek it’s own, is not provoked to anger, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, enduring all things. Love never fails.”
Each Verb in this list builds on the previous word until I almost want to scram “It’s Too Hard!!!!!”.
Does it feel like they are building up to something specific?
I want you to think back… What started this whole story?
Well, I guess there are 2 stories here (my story and Paul’s letter) – so let me be specific.
My Marriage Story
As I began studying about love and marriage in the Bible I was in a desperate place. My marriage was close to divorce. I needed God to come through in a BIG way! Boy did He!?!?!?!
He began here in 1 Corinthians 13 – the most
boring I mean popular passage on Love in the Bible.
This is where God first showed me the concept of Biblical Wifehood.
Well, I am a wife. I have been married to Bud for 13 years. But never in that 13 years (well at the time is was 9 years) had I opened the bible to see if God had a specific plan for Marriage.
I had just been doing marriage the way others around me did it. Following the cultural way of Marriage.
But God began to show me that He has a way! So Biblical Marriage was where I started… but marriage is just as messy in the bible as it is in my world. So I had to just look at my role in Marriage.
Does God talk about how to “wife” in the Bible? He Does! Biblical Wifehood is how I think of that!
Back to 1 Corinthians. This letter was written to a church. So Christians (like me)… These Christians were not getting along well (like hubby and me at the time). They were acting unlovingly, selfishly and a lot of other “ly” words (just like we were in our marriage).
So Paul comes along and says – “Do You all even know what Love is?” (Tiffany Paraphrase). And He tells them all that we’ve seen so far.
Then Paul shifts from talking about how they treat each other. He starts talking about how Christ treats us – and how we are to imitate Christ.
How can Love Bear All Things?
This phrase means – Love covers with silence or endures patiently – all things. I love this idea because it is talked about in other parts of scripture. Let me give you 2.
- 1 Corinthians 9:12 says – We help advance the gospel of Christ when we endure all things
- James 1:12 says – We receive the crown of life when we endure all things.
- The crown of life is a wreath put on an Olympian’s head to symbolize victory. Keep in mind that James is telling us that on the other side of endurance is victory and completeness
- What would that look like in our marriage?
Talk about putting an eternal perspective to the idea of love. I would call that Brave Love!
Why bother with this Brave bear Love?
When we endure the hard times in our marriage we show the world around us that God is big enough to work anything out.
- We show the world that we have a helper to change things and make all things new.
- The world will see there is something in following Christ that is worthwhile.
- We demonstrate God’s love in a real way they can see and feel, and it draws them to Jesus.
First let me say -we can’t bear all things if we aren’t working on the first 9 verbs in the list.
- Each of those came with a Marriage Challenge.
- If you skimmed them, go back and work through the challenges that you need to.
Todays challenge will take some prayer. Your not shocked by that anymore right!?!?
Step 1: Make a list
Take some time with God and ask Him to show you what you are not bearing well with in your spouse.
He is human just like you – there are things that just drive us crazy about each other.
For me – these were the things that:
- I was trying to change in my man
- The things I
naggedasked him about often.
And Y’all, my list was several pages. My love did not bear all things.
Instead, I was aggravated that his flaws affected my comfort. Sorry if that’s too honest for you.
Do you ever feel that way?
Step 2: Pray through the list
Ask God to help you love your spouse regardless of his flaws.
This was a big step for me and it took some time… and a whole other study on Forgiveness.
Because Y’all, some of those flaws hurt me deeply.
I was stuck, unwilling to forgive him (and others in my life). I had to learn to release him, so I could walk in freedom! I’d love to share that story with you – It is a Free email Challenge.
I still needed to talk about the flaws with someone.
The who changed!
I stopped nagging hubby about his flaws. I also stopped talking about his flaws to others (I’ll talk about that another week)
Now, I walk away and pour out my heart to God instead.
Step 3: Check your Love Style
Are you loving through the 9 verbs? I sure wasn’t!
Which would help you bear these things? It helped me to find other verses about each things and pin them up around my house. By Meditating on them (or dwelling on these things) I was allowing God to change me from the inside out.
This Post is not talking about a wife in an abusive relationship. Dear Wife, If you are being abused -physically or emotionally please seek help. This link may help. There is NEVER a justification for abuse. There are places that will help you and your children. Dear Friend of an Abused Wife. Don’t send her back into the relationship to “Fix” him. Help her get Help. That is Friendship and love. This link may help you understand what it might look like (it is not PC, it is real life).
This may seem very passive. It. Is. Not.
You are not just bearing with his flaws and giving him a free pass to be a selfish jerk.
Rather, you are taking those flaws to the only One who can really change that man anyway.
The difficult part is waiting for God to work in your husband. But He Already Is! God is an amazing team mate in our marriages.
He is For you and your husband (Jeremiah 29:11).
We just have to turn to Him for help when it is beyond us. (Jeremiah 29: 12-13)