God’s Great Love
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us” Ephesians 2:4
His great love wherewith He loved us. Just think of that. We, who were once dead in our sins and trespasses, while we were yet dead in our sins, quickened us together with Christ, because of His Great Love.
God is love (1 John 4:8)—– The fruit of His Spirit dwelling within our spirits is LOVE. Have you ever noticed that it does not say “fruits” or the Spirit? But just “fruit” of the Spirit? It is singular! And love, then, is defined by what comes after it—- joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control. That is what love is. That is what God is. Christ Jesus our Lord is the embodiment of all the fullness of God. And His very disposition is one of meekness and lowliness. He is slow to anger, quick to forgive. He is not offended by our failures. His love endures FOREVER. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ! Nothing.
How different His love is from man’s love.
Man’s love is all about the “I”. I, Me, & My characterizes human love. It is all about what I am going to get out of it. It is only for those who love me back. It is offended by others’ failures. It is prideful, stubborn, and self-assertive. Human love is characterized by SELF. And it is the total opposite of God’s love.
Human love is all about getting what the self wants. It is not about the other person, or about what God wants. It is all about how things will effect the person and their own interests. If the person is not getting what they want, then they will become angry, bitter, resentful. Human love stops short the minute it doesn’t get what it wants.
What God Is Doing
For many wives, they feel as though they have to earn their husband’s love. They have come to learn that if they do anything to upset their husband, their husband withdraws his love and connection and until the wife is “good” again, they won’t show their love to them.
What a sad portrayal of Christ on the part of the husband. That is sadly the negative side.
But let’s focus on the positive here.
Why would the Lord allow this to happen?
In my experience, there are two reasons for this.
The wife learns to place all of her hope in Christ and learns to seek God’s approval alone.
The husband learns Christ, and becomes conformed to His image in dealing with an imperfect wife.
Living Before God and Not Man
In my experience, the Lord has made it clear that there was really no other way to get me to stop seeking approval from man except by allowing me to be in the situation where I felt I had to earn my husband’s love and approval. He had to allow this in order to get it to come to the surface, and so I could see it for what it was, and let it go in full surrender to the Lord. I didn’t know my own heart until the Lord allowed me to be in the situation where I felt I had to earn my husband’s love and approval.
Once I realized it was impossible, the Lord led me to see that it wasn’t man’s approval that I needed. What was needed was Jesus Christ and Him crucifed. I needed to have my eyes opened by the Holy Spirit to show me that my right standing in life and with God is in Christ alone. I could never earn God’s love or approval. Christ Jesus is the ONLY SUFFICIENT SACRIFICE. Christ alone is God’s satisfaction. And now, because I am in union with Christ by His Spirit dwelling in my spirit, I am in right standing with God because of CHRIST IN ME. That is what God sees when He looks upon me. ONLY CHRIST.
This knowledge and experience has liberated me from trying to earn my husband’s love, and not placing my hope and trust in him, but in God alone. It has freed me, and has been life unto me! And “I went away rejoicing”! 🙂
Husband’s Learn Christ
Now for the husbands, I have seen my husband being conformed to the image of Christ by having to deal with a wife like me who is definietely NOT perfect. If I was perfect, then my husband would not have much of an opportunity to grow and become like Christ, now would he? 🙂
He has his own walk to walk with the Lord, and I know that just as much as the Lord is using him to teach me Christ, He is also using me in my husband’s life to teach Him Christ, and there are many opportunities, there are so many battles to overcome in marriage. We have to learn how to get on top of bitterness, learn how to forgive, learn how to love, learn how to forbear, etc. There is so much to learn, and I am so glad to have the opportunity to learn Christ in my marriage!
Our husband’s may not see this, but it is true, whether they know it or not. They are having to learn things and experience things that they don’t necessarily like, but that is the ONLY way for the Lord to work in us. We are put into the fire, we are thrown into the situation—-and the end result is being conformed to the image of Christ. We learn patience, meekness, yieldedness. We learn how to repay good for evil. We learn how to seek to keep the unity of the Spirit.
If you are feeling like you need to earn your husband’s love by being perfect and never messing up, I pray you might seek the Lord for opened eyes to see that it is in Christ alone, and that God is our only judge! 🙂