New Life, New Love
In spite of the still freezing temperatures at night, I am noticing the first signs of spring. The first green shoots of daffodils and crocuses are making their appearance. The increased activity of juncos, robins, and blackbirds in our garden are also a sign that something is about to change. So, when last have you sat up and noticed a change in your most intimate relationship – with your spouse, or a special friend?
Seasons come and go, and change brings a new appreciation for the wonder of God’s abundant gifts. He desires to shower us with good gifts (Matthew 7:11). God describes Himself as “Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin” (Exodus 34:6-7 NLT). How have you recently experienced His amazing love?
One of His many generous gifts has been the recent news that after many months of praying for my sister’s health, she has eventually shown signs of improvement. I praise God for that. I praise God for the many healing miracles that we have witnessed in our own church family. God is good. He desires that we will be happy, not just for physical well-being, but also for spiritual and relational well-being. We are told, “The divine love emanating from Christ never destroys human love, but includes it. By it human love is refined and purified, elevated and ennobled. Human love can never bear its precious fruit until it is united with the divine nature and trained to grow heavenward. Jesus wants to see happy marriages, happy firesides. (Adventist Home, p. 99)
Some of us may have been struggling with marital and/or family relations. So often Valentine comes along and it’s the very last thing we want to think about. It cruelly emphasizes our own inadequacies at receiving and giving love to someone special in our lives. We wonder if we have fallen out of love, and if there is any remedy for this serious ailment. God wants to remind us that He is not about the sentimental, superficial, mushy feelings this world calls love. He reminds us of His sacrificial, giving-all, John 3:16 kind of love, and calls us to follow His example. He expresses His challenge to you and me to allow Him to bring this kind of love into our homes and marriages. Ellen White writes, “The spirit that Christ manifests toward His church is the spirit that the husband and wife are to manifest toward each other. If they love God supremely, they will love each other in the Lord, ever treating each other courteously, drawing in even cords. In their mutual self-denial and self-sacrifice they will be a blessing to each other....” (Adventist Home, p. 95)
If you have been experiencing a freezing cold winter in your marriage, my prayer for you is that you will allow God to open your eyes to see the already sprouting green shoots of His spring ready to bloom and blossom in your relationship.