During Lent, we are reminded constantly of values in ourselves, in the relationships surrounding ourselves and in our families. We, as believers, are taught to “love one another as He loves us.”
Many people get caught up in the traditions of these impending holy days, but what about our actions during the other 11 months of the year? How do we share the love He taught us in the scriptures with those close to us, like our spouses, children, co-workers and those we come into contact with daily?
The Bible invites us to discover and, for many, rediscover what love really is. The love in our world around us tends to be a distortion. Many people use it to hurt and oppress others while gratifying themselves and even finding ways to profit. But following Christ’s love opens a whole new world us. We have the opportunity to reconnect or, for some, connect for the first time and receive His love. We learn to love those closest to us — our spouses, neighbors and even ourselves in the truest sense, as He commanded us to do.
The subject of love, dedication, loyalty, kindness and proper communication between a husband and wife seems to generate the largest numbers of issues in today’s society. Couples and individual spouses are not only filling counselors’ schedules to the max, but wreaking havoc on their families, who merely survive in a negative atmosphere. The word “honor” is the most forgotten key word in every marriage vow. It is said during marriage vows by two people who are very much in love and should be repeated thousands of times each day.
So how do we continue to live, learn and follow Christ’s command through the Apostle John to “love because He first loved us?” Just know He still does, in spite of us and our actions, decisions and lifestyles. Do you have a longing to re-establish the meaning of the word honor and live out God’s commandment in your meaningful relationships?
Love between husband and wife, as God intended it to be, is more than just passion, romance and sentimental expressions. It involves commitment, sacrifice and service. These are the kinds of things that always benefit both the giver and receiver. You must start by deeply examining yourself, your conduct and your reactions toward your spouse or family. Then you enter or re-enter into a commitment to live and conduct yourself by God’s word as you promised your betrothed you would on that first day of your marriage. God considers marriage sacred, but many relationships have been stretched to the breaking point and even sometimes appear to be broken. Relationships underwent profound changes in the scriptures then and even more today.
The Stephen Ministry works in many areas of people’s lives, from crisis intervention to everyday issues. Many of these issues deal with marital relationships that are strained, disconnected, void of values and non-communicative. Some spouses carry vocational and family stresses. Others, who are believers, struggle with a spouse who isn’t interested in faith. Some couples aren’t open to learning and growing with each other. They lose their faith, forget about their church or don’t carry through with their spiritual commitments.
Some folks believe that Valentine’s Day marks the season of love. But, really, there has been no greater demonstration of love than that of our Lord and Savior giving His life to save us. The very least we can do to honor Him is live by his teachings and show love to others through our actions and by “loving them as He first loved us.”
Stephen Ministers are faith-based professionals who are committed to giving care that changes lives. Every client’s circumstances are held in total confidence. Counseling is gender-sensitive and free. If you are struggling with faith-based or other life issues, please call 320-7840 for an appointment.
Scherer is a crisis intervention minister and the leader of the local Stephen Ministry.