March 15, 2010
Conditional Love or Covenant Love?
1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV)
When I was pregnant with our second son, Tyler, I was not at my best. Actually, I was a mess. We lived in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, at the time, a lovely but really hot place for a pregnant lady. I was hot all the time and cranked our air-conditioner down so low that condensation formed on the windows. I was huge and uncomfortable. Tyler ended up being a big baby—9 pounds, 15 ounces—but that doesn't justify the other 40 pounds I gained.
I was hungry all the time but easily nauseated, so cooking anything involving raw meat was not an option. I was also tired, so after teaching and getting little Zachary tucked in early, I was done for the day. When trying to go to sleep, I soon became very sensitive to any outside noises, so we nailed several blankets over our windows, attempting to muffle the noise.
I pity my husband, Scott, for having to live with me during that pregnancy. Amazingly, he loved me with kindness, patience, and longsuffering. Although we joke now that he earned many jewels in his heavenly crown during that pregnancy, I needed to be sure of his love during that time.
That's a kind of love that only a husband or wife can give. A love that sees the good, the bad, and the ugly and still says, I love you now, and I'll always love you. I am sure Scott thought then and has thought many times since that he married a crazy lady, but he has loved me unconditionally.
A Christian marriage reflects God's love, a covenant love. God's covenant love does not depend on anything we do or don't do. God's love just is. In the same way, a Christian couple demonstrates this covenant love as they remain committed to each other during hard times. Their commitment does not depend on pleasant circumstances.
In other words, their love is not conditional, as so many marriages in today's world are. A covenant love promises, "till death do us part," and perseveres in the hard times.
A covenant love, loves always.
Dear Lord, thank You for my spouse. We want a marriage that reflects Your kind of commitment, Lord, the kind that lasts forever. Remind us, especially in the hard times, that we made a promise to each other and to You to be committed for a lifetime. Holy Spirit, please work in me so I will be the first to forgive and the first to say I'm sorry. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Check out Melanie's blog: What Matters Most for a chance to win a free marriage conference call. Also, you'll find more information about the "Building a Marriage that Will Last a Lifetime" conference call being taught by Melanie this week!
This devotion is adapted from What a Wife Needs from Her Husband by Melanie Chitwood - buy your copy today.
Find hope with Strengthen Your Marriage
For many years I've had a prayer partner who prays specifically for my marriage, and I pray for hers. I can count on her to hold me accountable to God's principles in my marriage. Also, I trust her to keep my confidences. Is there someone in your life with whom you can partner in prayer for your marriage? Pray about it and then make that call.
If you are facing tough times in your marriage right now, I'd love to pray for you and your marriage, especially if you are facing tough times. Visit my blog today to leave your prayer request.
Read today's key verse. Name a specific way you protect your marriage. Are you trustworthy and do you trust your spouse? Do you have hope? How can you persevere in your marriage?
Matthew 19:6,"So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." (NAS)
1 John 3:18, "Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions." (NLT)
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