We get that warm-and-fuzzy feeling inside as watch our two friends stare into each other’s starry eyes on their wedding day.
Why? Because we love love.
We get excited and giddy about it. We want to fall in love. We want to see our friends fall in love.
We want to watch Allie and Noah from The Notebook fall in love 45,209 times. Or 1,507,265 times if you’re like me.
We want to find our perfect match in the world.
The Lord simplified the law into one word when he commanded us to love. (Romans 13:10)
My husband and I have been married for nearly 8 months now, and we’ve been together for 8 years. As I look back over the years of our relationship, I can see how much my love for Aaron has grown. He makes me giddy. He’s my soulmate. He’s a godly man. He makes me laugh. And I just love loving him.
But this world sets us up with the expectation that love is all smiles and happiness. We have a perfect image in our minds of what our wedding day will look like. What that first kiss will feel like.
Love does not look like the movies. Loving someone is not always easy. Sometimes, it is one of the hardest things to do. It is not always smiles and excitement. It is never perfect.
BUT, God can help grow the greatest kind of love in us.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
Jesus laid his life down because He LOVES us. This love is defined by sacrifice. Christs’ willingness to die for us is the ultimate expression of love. The greatest sacrifice is not to die, but to LOVE.
Love is the choice to sacrifice yourself.
Love becomes pretty dang scary when we find out that love is defined by sacrifice and not by happiness.
It’s scary because we as humans have NEVER obeyed this law.
I can be impatient, stubborn, unkind, and outright unpleasant to be around. I’ve let envy and pride get the best of me before. I can be so selfish and ungrateful. I have dwelled on offenses. I’ve hurt myself and others through my unforgiveness. I have put on sin. I will never love my husband perfectly because I am not perfect.
It is impossible for any of us on the earth to meet this law, and that is why it is VITAL that we have a savior.
Jesus gave us all of his love.
Jesus gave us his righteousness.
Jesus gave us his life so that we may know God.
Before we love someone, we have to love Jesus. It is only through Him that we are able to love each other. We all have the ability to love but we will always need God’s help.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17).
Trying to love without Jesus will always result in failure.
In the same way, seeking love and approval from anyone but Jesus will also result in failure. Never have I loved Aaron perfectly, and I am learning that I never will.
So we can’t expect our relationships to be perfect. We can’t expect to never fight. We can’t expect every day to be happy. Jesus is the only one who has obeyed this law perfectly.
Love requires Jesus because Jesus is love.
It’s only through Him that I can love my husband. And while I will never love perfectly, God is growing this love in me every day.
Love is scary, but when we love God first, He will give us the strength to love another person like He loves us.
The holy spirit can grow the greatest kind of love in you.