I am currently reading a book by Paul David Tripp, What did You Expect?? as it focuses on the redeeming realities of marriage. It is an incredible read about the incredible gift of marriage and the realities of a God-honoring relationship-- this is such a sweet outlook for any marriage, couple, or single person. And so I came across this section about love and found it to be so powerful, I thought I would share.
1 John 4:7-21
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen,cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
Paul emphasizes how we receive our best definition from an event in actuality and how in fact it is the most important one of all history-- the cross of Jesus Christ! His sacrificing love is the "ultimate definition of what love is and what loved does." And in this passage read above, we are called to a "love that shapes itself to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ"-- cruciform love. Christ truly is the best example and the underlined scripture declares that we ought to love in the same way. This love, Paul Tripp defines as it is "willing self-sacrifice for the good of another that does not require reciprocation or that the person being loved is deserving."
And so when we love, especially in marriage there is never a day that we are not to be willing to love or consider what is best for one's spouse and do so because as scripture mentioned, God first loved us! We simply cannot forget how Jesus has loved us and changed our life, pouring over us perfect grace, how then can we not remember and celebrate love unto others.
Paul continues to share what love looks like and explains that more in verse 20, how John points out that " if you want to know the tru character and quality of you love for God, examine the quality of your relationship with the person near to you"
To finish, a final quote from his book, "When I fail to love God as I should, I insert myself into a position, desiring to be sovereign over my little kingdom of one... I will set up my own kingdom and live for myself" And frankly I think we can all find ourselves doing the very same thing.
May this be a reminder of what love looks like and how we can love others and honor God as we love.