Monthly Archives: February 2019

A Love Letter On The Real Meaning of Love

41hRKhTijSLI thought I knew what I believed. After listening to His words, I was not sure anymore. Though I tried to dismiss His teaching, I just couldn’t. And then there were the miracles He continued to perform.

Unable to take it any longer, I decided to visit Him under the cover of night. I knew I was taking a big risk by visiting Him but I did it anyway. I simply needed answers to my questions! The risk was worth the reward! Though He spoke many things that I did not understand that night, there was a particular statement He made that struck me. It was His statement about love. He said: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

I thought more about His words as I walked home that night.

For God so loved the world: The word world stuck with me. Why did God love the world? What did the world do to deserve such love? Shouldn’t He punish the world? As these thoughts ran through my head, I had an epiphany. Love is not a reward but a gift. It is based solely on the heart of the giver and not the performance of the receiver. While a reward can be earned, a gift by definition cannot be earned…it can only be received. I realized that if someone has to deserve my love, then it is not love at all. I could not escape this truth: My ability to love depends solely on the condition of my heart.

That He gave His only begotten Son: This made me realize that love takes action. Love just doesn’t talk about meeting a need, it does something to meet the need. Furthermore, love positions itself to give rather than receive. And it is not just looking to give just anything, it is looking to give its very best. This is what God did concerning His Son — He gave the word His best. Therefore, I should give my best if I truly have love in my heart. Love gives its very best to meet the needs of those who are not deserving.

This really made me think about how I love those in my care. Do I treat them differently depending on their behavior? Do I always give my best no matter what?

That whosoever believes Him: That He used whosoever told me that not everybody accepts love. Though I selflessly sacrifice to meet the needs of others does not mean that my love will be accepted! This was a hard pill to swallow. It showed me that love does not expect a reward for its actions. It also showed me that love is not always a bed of roses. It can involve degrees of disappointment and pain. People may question my motivation for choosing to love them. They might even reject it outright. Yet I should love them anyway. No bed of roses at all.

Will not perish but have everlasting life: This part was beautiful for me. It warmed my heart to know that love succeeds in the end. So, though I might go through pain of rejection, the sacrifice will be worth it in the end. Love not only saves but it has a long-lasting effect in the lives of those who receive it.

By the time I got home, I had come up with two definitions for love. First, love is selfless sacrifice to serve and meet the needs of others. Second, love is determined action to lift people up and give them the best life possible according to our capability.

When I got home, I told my wife I loved her. This time I knew what I was saying and purposed in my heart to show her. Now I want you to consider…do you really love? Are you really in love?

My Relationship Lessons

  • Love is not about getting your needs met first, it is first about meeting the needs of your partner
  • When you say ‘I love you’, you should mean ‘I selflessly sacrifice to serve you
  • Love is a not a feeling, love is an action
  • Love is a gift given based on the heat of the giver and not a reward given based on the performance of the receiver
  • Love is a committed expression to others of the love we have received from God

 

Sincerely,

Nicodemus

1 Comment

Filed under Love

A Love Letter to Christian Men Who Desire A Thriving Marriage

couple-hand-in-hand_925x_08866aab-9de4-43bb-b21e-d4418aea3ca3_1024x1024[1]Dear Christian Men,

God, without a doubt, outdid Himself when He made her. Eve, my wife to be left me breathless when I saw her. When I finally caught my breath, the first words out of my mouth were ‘wow…man’. So, I dropped the ‘w’ and called her ‘woman’ as a tribute. I was love drunk and I knew it. So did she.

I remember our early days fondly. They were absolutely wonderful!

But those days did not last. The wonder went by the wayside the day we both decided to disobey God. I will never forget that day. It was the day I rejected responsibility, abdicated spiritual leadership, and threw my wife under the bus — blaming her for my disobedience to God. In that moment, I completely neglected the fact that I had my own free will and chose to eat the fruit.

Why disobey God and eat that fruit you ask? First, the fruit looked really good and appetizing. Second, I knew she desired the fruit too. So, I thought why not! I convinced myself that not only was I going to please my wife, it would also help move us towards our goal of becoming one. I reasoned to myself that God wouldn’t mind us disobeying his word. I reasoned it was better for my wife and I to agree with each other and disagree with God THAN to disagree with each other and agree with God.

The most dangerous excuses are the ones we consider good excuses

What is that popular saying people have today? Ahh yes…“Happy wife, Happy life”. It didn’t quite work that way for me. When I ate the fruit, Eve was happy that I had listened to her. But that happiness quickly faded away. It did not take us long to realize we had opened up Pandora’s box of relationship problems that made our lives miserable.

After experiencing marital heaven in the early days, our new normal seemed like marital hell. Suddenly, we started pointing fingers at each other and started to argue a lot. We no longer fully trusted each other and started to compete with each other. So, instead of getting us closer to each other, eating the fruit ended up separating us.

Disobedience feels good for some time and then proceeds to hurt for a lifetime

I thank God that Eve and I were both committed to each other though. As time passed, we both realized that blaming each other and pointing at each other’s faults was pointless. We had to let go of the past in order to move forward. So we did. We moved forward with a new attitude and mindset.

We came to realize that a marriage is a threesome that involves God (He is the glue). A marriage is not about what you can gain but what you can give. The primary reason behind marriage is not happiness but fulfilling the purpose of God (happiness is a byproduct). The purpose of marriage is to refine and perfect us – therefore any pain of refinement is worth the shine in the end.

With this, we embraced the process of God’s refinement and also decided not to spend a moment longer in the fire than was necessary. In practice, we stopped debating whether to believe God or not. We realized He is infinitely wiser than we would ever be and so submitted to His lordship.

My Relationship Lessons

1. Do not sacrifice permanent joy for temporary gratification

2. God knows what is best for your relationship — trust the boundaries He sets for you

3. You have to let go of the past in order to move forward

4. Your commitment to your partner will determine whether your relationship survives

5. Your commitment to God will determine whether your relationship more than survives. It determines whether your relationship thrives

Sincerely,

Adam

1 Comment

Filed under Relationships