What Does It Truly Mean?

"What does it truly mean" to love our spouses like Christ (God) loves His Church?
What are the boundaries of that love? Who sets them? When does a partner in marriage, suffering thru the whims of a difficult partner and their wrong choices, make the painful decision to stop "loving?"

There are many in the Christian community who will spout out quickly, "I Corinthians 13," and "our love should be boundless, as His is." Trouble is, although it may seem cut-n-dry to many, every relationship is different and has dynamics that need to be considered.

When a Licensed Psychiatrist says, "If she were MY wife, and said that, I'd call the Authorities (a Christian Psychiatrist, by the way); When you see a continued pattern of maintaining an old relationship that at times is going from sexual conversations and discussions of being together with a former boyfriend, in spite of repeated requests to end it; When you hear "I'm 60% gone already" after you have poured your heart and soul into that relationship for years; or when a Licensed and reputable Minister says "she should be committed;" When inside, your heart is shattered, and you can't trust your spouse; how THEN do we apply what we can spout out so easily, the idea of loving our wives as God loves His Church?!

To talk about this in a down to earth fashion, to be "real" about it, is better for the person who is walking thru it, than quoting Chapter and Verse. To recite the law, as Jobs visitors did, didn't help much, now DID it?!

When the rubber meets the road, we all want security. We find it in (hopefully) our relationships, both intimate and platonic. We all want to put our investment in things that matter; that have value; that give us a reward for our investment.
We do that with our money (401K, Stocks, Bonds, our local Church; our family, God; not in that order of course).

We do that with our time, our conversation, our attention. But if the "return" on these investments doesn't pan out, what do we do? We pull back our support; we don't give of our time, or energy, our hearts. That's part of what it means to be human. God made us, so He must know our potential in both good and bad directions, right? (Rhetorical).

Every day, I have to set my mind on what God wants from me. Not because it is a law, but because it is an investment that reaps rewards that have Eternal consequences; and "Eternity" is a HECK of a lot longer than this life (the song lyrics that say "....when you've only got 100 years to live....." by what singer, I don't know)!

Every moment, in every conversation, in every action, I am constantly asking God to grant me His Wisdom, in what I say, what I do, and HOW I say and do these things. The phrase "love her as I have Loved YOU," keeps rolling thru my head. Have sympathy, be compassionate, assume no ill, don't look for the bad, see the good that can be found, don't keep a list of wrongs in mind, wait patiently for the one you are loving.

Along with placing myself into those thought processes and actions, I try to remember to place God in those actions and thought processes, remembering that He is exercising those same things in MY case. The level of Love and Patience, and Remembering no wrong, and Compassion that He exercises towards me every day, is beyond measure!

I am not God of course. (Does that surprise anyone? lol). My ability to truly show Gods Love is certainly limited at best. But to the extent that I am able, I show it. Why?

-Because I want to (God-given "want")
-Because He requires it (a child of His should imitate Him)
-Because it is righteous (God-established holiness)
-Because it bears fruit (in ourselves and in others)
-Because I want to be obedient (God-implanted desire)

"In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths" it says.
Joshua was obedient to that call when he said, "as for me and my house, ____________________ (you fill in the rest, because you know it)."
Joshua was making a statement of his intent to ensure that not only HE, but his whole "house," (wife, children, etc) would follow Gods Leadership in their lives. Sounds a bit Chauvinistic to some, I suppose. Especially in THIS day of independent thought and resistance to authority. Nevertheless, we have ("I" have to face it, and determine how best to apply that in this world I currently live in).

When a family member goes wrong; when things start falling apart because of it; deciding what to do and how to do it, to encourage a better path for that person; to help them be restored to Christ; to build them up and give them hope, is not as easy as it looks.

"You can take a horse to water____________________(another one you can finish, of course)" is true. Not only horses behave that way. I have a cat that won't necessarily eat, just because I put food in front of him. It has something to do (yes) with the nature of the animal, as much as anything.

We humans are a stubborn lot. We set our minds on something and it owns us. Both for good and for bad. Lots of examples available, show that to be true, both in our faith walk as well as our disobedience. I can "do" many things to encourage, build up, strengthen a person, but it may come back without reward (at least for now, and from that person) even though it may give Eternal reward.

So what's the point? Is it selfishness that drives our actions of love, just because we want a merit badge in Heaven for it? Or is it something deeper? (rhetorical).
Is it about truly seeing the other person shine, re-boot, grow and flourish; or is it about making your own life easier because you "got them to do what you wanted." Heaven help us if we are doing anything out of selfish intent!!

"Long suffering" ........ah yes.........we are in it for the long haul. Well of course OUR "long haul" is but a drop of water in a bucket, compared to the Alpha and Omega, isn't it?! How "long" has He been "long suffering" for you? For me? His example is what it means to Love. In comparison to HIS Love, mine is a miserable and feeble attempt at best, filled with error, mistakes and selfishness.

"..........when He shall come with trumpet sound,
oh may I then, in Him be found;
dressed in HIS Righteousness alone,
faultless to stand, before the Throne.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground, is sinking sand."

The more that i walk out the scriptures and especially 1 Corinthians 13....God shows me more and more how to speak by faith in my loved ones lives. No matter if they just texted me to cuss me out for something i have no part of or decide to blame me for the problems in their whole life, or even asking God to bless a grumpy or hyper spouse with peace and joy, while they are being attacked by the enemy. I love them and am truly learning the meaning of God's love for us and them. So forgiveness and forgetting is the key to allowing our love to flow as "Christ loves the Church". Its not easy at first, but the more we follow through in God's ways of doing things....the more our strength is resting In Him, and not on our own shoulders.
Thank you for this very encouraging thread! May the Lord richly bless all that you are being patient to receive! Hebrews 10:35-36
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Are you ok?

Im sorry im not married so dont know what you going through...but if its a case of being unequally yoked if the spouse just doesnt want to stay married to you they are free to leave.

But if they want to stay they can and you must live at peace with them. You dont know when they will be saved, you just keep on loving them and praying for them.

Jesus said divorce is only in the case of adultery. And if you love your spouse and nobody else, then you be patient, because jesus loved us while we were still sinners (we just didnt realise it).

If its a mental illness or addiction or something thats endangering your safety you can separate for a while, and pray and fast for them while they recover. Its not healthy to stay if they are going to be abusive or endangering you. The sick need a physician...and that physisican is Jesus.

Also, God sees you honoring your vows and He will give you the strength to endure, if you don't think you canlove, He will give you His love to love that person with.
Thanks for your concern. There are a number of times I have talked about the difficulties that I face, so I would encourage you to peruse my posts in here, if you want to get caught up.

Suffice to say that after 37 years of marriage, I am faced with many things that I never thought likely or possible.

However, thru all, I am holding fast to our Heavenly Father, trusting as best I can, as He keeps reminding me to do.

As I go thru these various trials, I am trying in my own feeble way, to put "pen to paper" as it where, to potentially be of some help to some other, who might be having similar struggles.

Also, because Hillary Clinton (no matter what you think of her) was right when she said "it takes a village," I believe it the idea of sharing what we know and have experienced and have learned along the way, to those who have not traveled there yet, to perhaps be of some light to them, so that THEIR journey is just a little less rocky.

I will have a look...
Have you read the story of Hosea and Gomer in the bible? Even though she went astray, he loved her. I think God wanted them to be together to illustrate His love for israel.
It is my personal belief, that God brought my wife and I together on purpose, and that there are no accidents with God.

We are "one" in His Eyes, and will always be, no matter what.

I rest in that knowledge, in spite of anything that comes.

More than that, I believe my wife's relationship to God (which needs healing) is even MORE important than MY relationship to her. No matter what could happen to "us," I see it as far more important her willingness to hearken to the Holy Spirit, and places herself in a position of openness to God, like she once was.