|I tried, I tried,|
I tried, I tried,
in every way I could,
to make you see how much I love you.
Ooo, I thought you understood.
So you gotta make me see,
what does it take to win your love for me?
I’m not a big fan of cookies. Oh, I’ll eat a cookie, but it’s just not my first choice of indulgence. As a kid, I was fascinated by the various shapes of cookies. Cookie cutters allow you to create cookies in shapes that fill a child’s imagination with wonder and awe. Unfortunately, marriages and relationships don’t have a cookie cutter form that allows people to shape the marriage or relationship into what they want it to be; people aren’t just formless globs of dough.
Marriages and relationships require a choice, a commitment, and an investment of one’s life to an extent that many often find is too high a price. This reminds me of when Jesus said:
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”1
It’s as though Jesus is drawing a line in the sand and saying the words of Joshua:
“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."2
The success of marriage must be established upon three principals:
- You choose to love someone.
- You commit to love someone.
- You invest your life in loving someone.
God loves me unconditionally. Why can’t I love like that?
For God, choice is not difficult. Commitment is not a conflict of interest with God. Investing Himself in my life is not a high risk for God.
Choice is difficult for me because I have self interests. Commitment for me conflicts with my objectives. Investing myself in the life of another comes at a cost that for me is too risky. Selfishness is an aspect of our fallen nature; it inhibits my ability to truly and completely love another. Show me a discarded marriage or relationship, and somewhere in the rubble will be the selfish thoughts, words, and actions of a person unwilling to love. Men and women are unfaithful. They face personal problems of drugs, alcohol, or gambling. Some have issues of self-esteem. Some are materialistic, while others may be overly miserly. The underlying layer in all these elements is selfishness.
Often, the response of a spouse is to try and love a selfish spouse, but there is something missing in the marriage.
So many men, women, and children have been hurt by divorce, fractured relationships, and marital discord. You command us to love, but we choose not to. I am amazed that You love me and the rest of humanity even though we choose to disregard Your wisdom. Oh Lord, may we humble ourselves before Your throne of mercy and cry out in repentance of sin and disobedience. Teach us to love unselfishly; to choose this day, to commit our life, and to invest ourselves into the life of Christ, our spouse, and others. May we find grace to open our hearts to give. You gave the greatest gift I could ever receive; the life of Your Son. I give my life. I pray for spouses, children, siblings, relatives and friends, that they find the truth that, "There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." I pray Your blessings upon marriages and relationships. Heal the damage in our lives Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen.
|Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte and Ginger).|
- What Does It Take, Lyrics by Johnny Bristol, Harvey Fuqua, Vernon Bullock, from the album Home Cookin', released April 25, 1969, Sung by Jr. Walker and The All Stars
- The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6
- The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA