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The true language of love

By Tina Y. Gerber - McCurley

It's up to you to decide, whatever Valentines Day will mean to you. I feel it's a great opportunity to celebrate love, whether it be with family, a friend or fur babies. Jesus said, people would know we are connected to Him by our love. This idea is shared in John 13:35 in any translation.

I am always surprised at how well my husband knows me. It feels like we have been together forever. He says, a Christian man is to study his wife. This had always been a bit of a frightening thought to me. To take a look at the inner workings of who we are, especially in our weak moments, was unsettling.

The Bible says, there are certain relational responsibilities and obligations which are essentials for a fulfilling marriage. Two of the biggies are grace and patience. Often, we can be selfish, petty, self-centered or prideful. We are all wrestling with some measure of the shame and embarrassment of not being perfect. It is important, whether married one year or 30, to continuously decide to choose your partner, with all their virtues, quirks and faults.

However, we are warmly humbled by grace and patience shown towards each other. Patience goes hand in hand with kindness. The patience of God stems from God's kindness and grace. God is long-suffering towards us to be merciful and save us from His wrath. It is said, God is kind enough to except us as who we are but loves us enough not to leave us that way. The reason God is patient with sinners is He gives us the opportunity to repent, this is found in Rom. 2:4 ERV. It is possible to lead by example, even through our successes and failures, when following Christ for real. A good husband is one who models the character of Christ in his marriage and family, through deliberate compassion, personal accountability and insight.

Jesus was transparent about what He was about to face and openly shared this experience with those close to him. When we are not transparent in our lives, with what we are facing, we lose the power which comes along with transparency. I find, when I am transparent with people, like friends and family, about my past or my current struggles, it releases the power of God which shows me/us how God works in our lives. Jesus said to watch Him as He was led to the cross, and to follow His example. This tremendous act of caring for others preoccupied Him through the personal injustice.

To say and understand Jesus own words, in Luke 22:42, "Not my will, but your will be done.", brings one to the point of laying down your life, in our Christian journey. This kind of patient maturity brings an agreement to purposes needed and is the expression of a healthy relationship, including the one with God.

God loves us immensely, believers and non-believers. So, how can I follow the example of Jesus today? In John 8:12 He says, "I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of the life" When anyone fears God, this kind of awesome respect causes them to fear nothing else, whereas if you do not have this respect for God, you'll fear most everything.

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