February 14, 2017
The Roman Rules of Marriage
[Let your] love be sincere (a real thing) (Romans 12:9 AMPC).
Friend to Friend
Valentine’s Day. It makes me think of sweethearts, frilly cards, heart-shaped balloons, and candy, but it also causes me to reflect on how I love people in general.
Paul gives us some good advice on how to love one another in Romans 12:9-18.
- Love must be sincere.
- Cling to what is good.
- Be devoted to one another.
- Honor one another above yourselves.
- Never be lacking in zeal.
- Be joyful in hope.
- Be patient in affliction.
- Be faithful in prayer
- Share with God’s people who are in need.
- Practice hospitality.
- Bless those who persecute you.
- Rejoice with those who rejoice.
- Mourn with those who mourn.
- Live in harmony with one another.
- Do not be proud.
- Do not be conceited.
- Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
- Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
- If it is possible, a far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone
When I look at that list, I’ll be honest, my first thought is that it is about how I should treat my friends, or people in general. But these are also the guidelines for loving my very own husband! As Ann Landers once said, “Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing, and forgiving. It is a loyalty through good and bad. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”
February is the month we celebrate love, marriage, and sweethearts. But love is more than frilly Valentine’s Cards, heart-shaped candy, and bouquets of roses or balloons. Sometimes love is commitment to hard work.
If you are married, here are some questions to ask yourself: Do I love my husband well? Do I adore the man God has given to me? Am I admiring him as a child of God? Am I appreciating him for who he is today instead of what he could be if he lived up to my expectations? Am I giving my heart freely or do I make him feel as though he constantly has to earn my love?
During the month of February, as you are giving Valentine’s cards to the people you love, consider Paul’s Roman Rules for love.
Let’s Pray for Married GiGs
Lord, it seems that sometimes I am more careful about loving my friends than I am my own husband. Help me to show him kindness, respect, affection, and forgiveness. Help me to remember that my marriage is the most important earthly relationship that I have.
Bring to mind ways that I can show my husband just how much I love him still.
In Jesus’ Name,
Let’s Pray for Single GiGs
Dear God of Love, I pray that I will love others well today. I pray that You will fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I can overflow Your love to those around me. I know that loving others is Your most important command. Help me to keep that foremost in my mind and actions this day.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Go back up to the Roman Rules above. Either write them out or print them off from this devotion. Carry this list in your pocket and glance at them often today. Check up on yourself several times through the day and see how you’re doing!
If you’re brave enough, ask a friend to give you honest feedback on what you do well and what needs improvement.
More from the Girlfriends
February is the month of love and a wonderful time to contemplate marriage. Do you want to become the woman of your husband’s dreams? The woman who makes him sorry to leave in the morning and eager to come home at night? I have several marriage resources to help you do just that, and I’m offering them at a Valentine’s Day Bundle over at my website. The bundle includes my latest book, A 14-Day Romance Challenge!
Originally published Tuesday, 14 February 2017.