I don’t know what LOVE is….

God's love2

“He tells me he loves me….I don’t know. I am so confused.  When he hurts me and belittles me, I just go to bed and cry myself to sleep.  He tells me he loves me but…..I’m not sure he knows what love is, at least the kind I want.”

As a relationship counselor I hear a lot of people’s stories. Most heart breaking are stories of husbands and wives whose marriages are crumbling and toxic.  Both or one of them, come into my office, bleeding and infected and can’t think straight.

The question I hear most is “what is true love?”

This is a complex question. I wish there was simple and easy way to define love to people in a way that they understand.  Sadly, the individuals I meet with have been deceived as to what love is or they have been lied to about love or they grew up seeing a distorted picture of love.

The bible gives us a beautiful example of what love is from the first page to the last page, and in between are notes on the intricacies of what love looks like and how to receive pure love.

First, I need to say that the source of pure, perfect love is God. He is love and exudes flawless love all the time.  If we deeply want to know what love is, I believe, we must find those answers wrapped up in the essence of who God is and who He is not.

The love that is displayed within the pages of scripture depict a special kind of love called agape love, which is covenant. Covenant is the basis or foundation of who God is and the love He possesses.

Covenant love is sacrificial, set apart, pure and endless. It never stops, it is never rude, toxic or conditional.  It never pretends, it never deceives and is always authentic and tangible.  This love gives, gives some more and will never demand its own way.  This love thrives in freedom and choice and brings healing to those it comes in contact with.  This love whispers, nurtures and never goes to sleep.  It is fully alive and will watch over you to protect and keep you safe.

When we discover and know what real, true love is, we are not able to be fooled or blinded by a counterfeit. The love that the world offers is mostly sensual, conditional and contractual.  Meaning, as long as you keep up your end of the deal and fulfill my expectations, then I will keep my end of the deal.  This is dangerous because as soon as one party doesn’t live up to the expectations or assumptions of their partner, then we believe we have a right to terminate the relationship.

In a marriage relationship, most couples have no greater desire than a lifetime of love and commitment to their spouse. Marriage is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity.  It is the mystery of living as one flesh with another human being. (Ephesians 5:31-32)

Although love is at the heart of marriage, it is not enough. The marriage relationship needs other ingredients to grow and thrive.  These ingredients are freedom and responsibility.  When two people are free to disagree, they are free to love.  When we are not free, we live in fear and love is damaged.  Boundaries in marriage is fundamentally about love.  It is about growing it, developing it and repairing it.  To walk in love with another person is an act of your will – we choose to love.  Mistakenly, people believe that love is an emotion and therefore, can change and fluctuate from day to day.  Our culture most commonly thinks about love in the context of romance.  But true, agape love is much more than that.

Agape love can only be shared with someone to the extent which we have received it for ourselves. In order to receive agape love, we need to posture ourselves before God and receive directly from Him – a download of His beautiful, selfless love.  Then, we can go and give it away to others!

 

“I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me.  You must continually let my love nourish your hearts.”  John 15:9 TPT

 

Lisa is a certified Christian counselor with the NCCA and Director of Power of His Love Ministries. She has been married to her amazing husband Bill since 1989.  They live in the greater Houston area and have 3 grown daughters and one son-in-love!

http://www.powerofhislove.com

 

Keep Walking With God

Walking

But the Lovers of God walk on the highway of light and their way shines brighter and brighter until they bring forth the perfect day.” Proverbs 5:18

From the very beginning God wanted a walking partner.  In the beginning of time as we know, God had a relationship with Adam and Eve that found them “walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8). God created man and woman for the enjoyment of a walking relationship that involved companionship, dialogue, intimacy, joint decision-making, mutual delight, and shared dominion. God longs to walk with you.

The analogy of walking and the Christian life is used throughout Scripture. Over and over you find the picture and metaphor of “walking.” The Christian faith is one of movement. It is not merely sitting on the sidelines and observing but a faith that has action.

Here are just a few verses I pulled together that shows this truth.

  • Ephesians 5:2 – we are to walk in love
  • Psalm 81:13 – God calls us to walk in His ways.
  • I Kings 2:4 – The Lord commands us to walk before Him in truth.
  • Galatians 5:16-17 – the apostle Paul exhorts us to walk by the spirit.
  • Deut. 6:7 – God instructs the children of Israel that they shall teach His truths diligently to their sons and daughters and talk of them when they sit in their house and when they walk by the way… when they lie down and when they rise up……

But what does it mean to walk with God? It is NOT merely living by rules and regulations or making daily resolutions that we quickly break. It is much more than that.

The prophet Amos revealed an important truth about what it means to walk with God when he asked, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3 nkjv). The word he used for “together” gives the idea of two people moving in rhythm together, as in riding a tandem bicycle. But it is not about getting God into rhythm with us; it is getting ourselves into rhythm with Him. That is what it means to walk with God.

How, then, do we walk with God and grow closer to Him? The most important way is by spending time with Him—listening to Him as He speaks to us in the Bible, and talking with Him in prayer. Just as human friendships weaken and die if we never spend time together, so our relationship with God will grow cold if we never spend time with Him. Set aside time every day—even if it’s only a few minutes —to be alone with God.

Jesus reminded His followers, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Even when you’re busy, you can still talk with Him and follow Him – he is only a whisper away.

Your heavenly Creator desires to have an intimate relationship with you-to walk with you, just as He did with Adam & Eve, which is why his arms of grace have been pulling you into a closer walk with him.

Today, through Christ, you can explore the glorious riches of knowing God like the men and women of the bible did—and to even a greater degree because of the Spirit which has been given to us!

“Everything we could ever need for life and complete devotion to God has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing him who has called us by name and invited us to come to him through a glorious manifestation of his goodness. As a result of this, he has given you magnificent promises that are beyond all price, so that through the power of these tremendous promises you can experience partnership with the divine nature, by which you have escaped the corrupt desires that are of the world.” 2 Peter 1:3-5 Passion Translation

***Photo credit:  walking path in my neighborhood – North Houston, Tx.

Lisa Roitsch is a certified Christian Counselor and is the Founder and Director of Power of His Love Ministries.  Lisa and her husband disciple and mentor couples in having the best marriage possible.  Together, they have walked side by side, with God, through the good, bad and ugly for over 30 years.  They have 3 grown daughters and one son-in-love!!

http://www.powerofhislove.com