Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dare 39

"Love never fails." -1 Corinthians 13:8
Let me repeat that. Love never fails. "Though threatened, it keeps pursuing. Though challenged, it keeps moving forward. Though mistreated and rejected, it refuses to give up" (Kendrick). God's love never fails. And if you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit in you, which is unchanging. That same Holy Spirit possesses Jesus' unchanging love, and you have that within you. Love that is from God is unending, unstoppable. No matter what the reaction the recipient of your love gives, love keeps giving. When rejected, love loves on. When accepted, love loves on.
In Matthew 26, Jesus confirms to the disciples that He will never fall away. After Peter denied Him, Jesus still loved. His men failed Him, within hours of echoing Jesus' words, that they would never fall away either. Yet He never stopped loving them, because He and His love are "the same yesterday and today and forever." (Heb. 13:8)
This is a hard lesson to grasp, especially when I have many friends who have been through a divorce, or their marriage is on a rocky path, or they are going through a divorce. God hates divorce. No matter what the reason. While adultery gives reason for a spouse to leave the other, God doesn't smile when a wife or husband gets out of that situation. As a married woman of the Lord, I know that Zane and I are suppose to represent Christ and the church in our marriage. No matter what happens in our marriage, if either of us ever gives up and walks away, we can no longer together represent the forgiveness, redemption, and reconcilation that comes with Christ. God can redeem anyone, and anyone's marriage. I'm not in any way (please don't mistake me) saying that reconciliation is easy. Being refined is painful. Especially when the one who promised to love you most in this world betrays you. But please don't underestimate the power of God. "When you have done everything within your power to obey God, your spouse may still forsake you and walk away--just as Jesus' followers did to Him. But if your marriage fails, if your spouse walks away, let it not be because you gave up or stopped loving them" (Kendrick).
No challenge or circumstance can occur that will ever put an expiration date on Jesus or His love. And your love is made of the same unchanging characteristics. On your wedding day, you accepted your spouse as God's gift to you and promised to love them until death. Your love is greater still.
"He delights in unchanging love." Micah -7:18
Dare 39: Write a letter of commitment and resolve to your spouse. One that says, "even if you don't like what you're reading--even if you don't like me--I choose to love you anyway. Forever." And put it in a place that your mate will find it.
Dare 38: Be extravagant.
Dare 37: Pray together.
Dare 36: Read the Bible daily.
Dare 35: Seek guidance in a mentor.
(For previous dares, refer to earlier entries.)
--Inspired by Kendrick's, "The Love Dare"

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