- Posted by Edith Ohaja
- On July 9, 2017
- 18 Comments
Intro by Edith Ohaja
God created all things and although He is high and holy, He desires the companionship of human beings, the crowning glory of His creation. When we examine our relationships with other human beings, we see some parallels between them and our relationship with God.
In this guest post, a dear brother in the Lord, Kenneth Paulsen, draws some salient lessons we can apply in our relationship with God from his marriage.
God has demonstrated His love for us, the Bible says, by sending His Son, Jesus, to die for us (Romans 5:8). What has been our response to that? The book of Hosea shows how raw His pain is when we turn our backs on Him.
May God bless us through this post and bless our brother, Kenneth, and his wife abundantly for contributing this insightful and relatable post in Jesus’ name.
5 INSIGHTS ON LOVING GOD GAINED FROM MY MARRIAGE
My wife, Cristina, and I will be married 6 years this December. I will be drawing analogies from our relationship with each other to man’s relationship with God in this post and present some insights gained therefrom to help us see how we are expected to love God.
My approach to the Holy Texts is in trying to understand ideas, so I won’t be quoting book, chapter and verse. This now being understood, may God bless my attempt here to give you something useful to bless your life in a meaningful way.
The Creator of the universe, seeing the state of His fallen creation, came to earth to redeem it and make enemies friends. The greatest act of love ever performed took place on a lonely hill with soldiers, thieves and a cross.
When I was dating Cristina, a point came when I was willing to express to her my feelings by saying, “I love you.” If she had not said to me in return, “I love you too,” I would have felt very embarrassed. Kind of like someone not raising their hand to meet yours in a high five. Awkward.
INSIGHT #1 – God continually tells us He loves us. We need to tell Him how much we love Him too.
But that doesn’t happen with most people. And so it goes that there is God, having said to His beloved, “I love you,” and receiving not just silence but curses and insults in return, He must feel very sad. When I was a monk in a Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery, I learnt that monks view the love of God as displayed in His faithfulness to the just and the unjust in the cycles of the sun, moon, stars and seasons. Monks attempt to return the faithfulness of God through a rigorous lifestyle (a disciplined daily schedule of prayer, study and work); thus imitating the rising and setting of the sun, God’s daily expression of, “I love you.”
We do not need to be monks to imbibe and exhibit such discipline, even though it would be to a less degree since we are not separated from the world as they are, having regular jobs and families to care for. But each of us need to reciprocate God’s love by committing our lives to Him much like I did to Cristina when I married her. This we do by accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour. And then follow it up by spending quality time with Him in prayer and in the word.
INSIGHT #2 – We need to commit our lives to God as an expression of our love for Him. True love is not fleeting, it is enduring.
Cristina and I were married in December 2011. I was already enrolled in a degree program at a university. But I took one year off from school to give our marriage the best chance before introducing the stress of school to our married life. And even now, I do not neglect her. No matter how busy we are, we will find time to spend with the ones we love, God included.
INSIGHT #3 – Spending quality time with God, whether in praise and worship, prayer or word study will become habitual when we love God.
We also show love by listening and heeding the words of our loved ones. God does love to hear us express our love to Him but we need to do this not just with words but by living as He requires us to do in His word so that people can see right away that we belong to Him and seek Him too.
For example, I started back to school in January 2008 as a Sociology major, and also began to work out at the gym regularly. When I met Cristina, I was 30 pounds heavier and had changed my major to Physical Fitness. We want to look our best to those we love and make the effort to do so. We should do no less for God. Sin makes us look bad. It is unnecessary spiritual weight which we need to shed to look good to and for God. He can help us do this if we let Him.
INSIGHT #4 – To look good to God and attract others to Him, we need to shed sin and other unnecessary weight that bog us down spiritually.
Also, shortly after our marriage, Cristina, being smarter than me and knowing that I had been a Marine Electrician in the U.S. Navy, suggested that I study in school something that I had experience in. So when I returned to school in 2012, my declared major became Electronics Communication Systems.
I listened to my wife and took her advice to alter the course of my education and thereafter my life. This I believe is a solid act of love expressed and displayed. And God has continued to use her to influence and bless my life. Having already completed my general education requirements, I needed only to take the courses required for my major. This I did, one course per semester at a time, leaving me now only needing to take one more class this Fall. I will earn my Associate’s degree this December, our 6th wedding anniversary.
When we heed God’s counsel, our lives turn out so much better than when we ignore or disobey Him because He is omniscient and has our best interests at heart. It must hurt God to see us suffer as a result of disregarding His word (which is a way of spurning His love) when we could have things easier.
INSIGHT #5 – We listen to God and do as He says if we really love Him. Besides, God knows better than we do and wants only the best for us.If a man love me, he will keep my words .... - John 14:23 (KJV) Click To Tweet
Cristina and I realise this and we have one simple practice to daily reaffirm our love for God. We always close our prayers with, “We thank You and we love You in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.”
I thank you for allowing me to share my love for God with you, and if you are so persuaded, please love God for who He is; the Sovereign, All Powerful, Glorious Lord; and not just for what you think you might be able to get from Him.
May we all echo God’s constant “I love you” back to Him because that is the reason He made us: to love Him and to dwell with Him forever. God bless us all mightily in Jesus’ name.We love him, because he first loved us. - 1 John 4:19-20 (KJV) Click To Tweet
ABOUT THE WRITER:
Kenneth A Paulsen is a United States citizen, resident in San Diego, CA. Kenneth accepted Jesus into his heart at the Baptist Church his grandparents attended when he was about seven years old. He is an Electronics Technician for a military contractor.
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