Lasting Love Must be Taught
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT)
Natural is Good for Food but Not for Marriage
You don’t have to teach your child ingratitude. It comes naturally. For the most part, children must be taught what is personally good and socially appropriate. It does not come naturally.
One of the things we don’t need to be taught is falling in love and, for that matter, falling out of love. Many of us fell in love and got married and then promptly fell out of love. Falling in and out of love is natural. Natural is good for food but not for marriage.
Staying in love, on the other hand, needs to be taught. It does not come naturally.
God’s Word Teaches
Fortunately, God understands that teaching is critical to a useful life and a fulfilling marriage. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true.”
Today the Bible is under attack as out of date, too hard to understand, and a religious idol – and this is by the church. Many, outside the church, simply discount the Bible as irrelevant.
Many years ago, as a new believer, I (Rene), attended a retreat center where the retreat leader quoted me the verse below after listening to me moan about my life.
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but whoever hates correction is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1 NIV)
He didn’t say anything else and got up and left the room. I was stunned. Did he just call me “stupid”? It took me a while to get passed my hurt feelings but I knew he was right. I was stupid but I didn’t want to stay stupid. The retreat leader’s rebuke had a profound impact on me. It taught me God’s Word has a way to get to the heart of a matter and that it is very practical. (See Hebrews 4:12)
One way to look at the Bible is as a book of advice – from God. God’s advice to me was to humble myself, be open to align my life with his Word and, most of all, stop moaning.
The Secret of Lasting Love
You don’t have to teach how to fall out of love in a marriage. It comes naturally. Resentment, bitterness, and isolation are the natural byproducts of a marriage between two sinners. God knows this and that’s why he has given us very specific instructions in the Bible to combat these natural tendencies.
First, he shows us our need for Jesus and the gospel of grace where we don’t rely on what we do but on what Christ has done for us. Secondly, he gives us the Holy Spirit to teach us his ways, and teachers in the Body to illuminate the Scriptures. And lastly, he gives us the will and the power to follow his teachings. (See Hebrews 10:14; Hebrews 8:10-12; Ephesians 4:11)
God addresses marriage and the secret of a lasting love in 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 as well as in many other passages in the Bible. In summary, 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 instructs us how we fall in love, and more importantly, how we stay in love.
Verse 2 says that we fall in love lustfully and verse 5 says that we stay in love intentionally.
The pivotal verse is the third, “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.” God’s teaching about what makes a long and satisfying marriage pivots on the conjugal rights and responsibilities of each spouse.
Yes, there’s more to marriage than sex but God tells us that sex is the barometer of a marriage. In other words, if we understand our conjugal rights and responsibilities in marriage then we are building a lasting love based on God’s Principles of Marriage. On the other hand …
Bible Thought: The Bible teaches us how to stay in love.
Prayer: Father, I need your help every day. Show me that your Word is true and trustworthy. Teach me your ways and lead me into your abundant life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Just do it,
Rene & Gloria