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The Secret to a Long, Loving Relationship (Devotion from the Pastor)

People that have been married for many years often say to me that they love their spouse more now than they did on the day they were married. This is said so often by people in long marriages that it seems almost a cliche`. I have also said these words concerning my wife of 32 two years more than once. But they are words that are more than just a clique`. They are words that point to a truth is apart of all relationships.

That truth is…that love has to mature and grow, and that each must sacrifice for the relationship to grow. A part of every human love, is that it flourishes and grows if both people involved are willing to sacrifice themselves for the other. All people in long relationships know that they grow through sacrificial give and take—a denying of wants in order to find common ground. And this is true of our relationship with God as well. If we truly have a love for God, then our relationship must grow from one of understanding and ritual, to one of sacrifice, just as God has sacrificed for us. Similar to our loving relationships, our love grows with God as we look beyond ourselves and what God can provide us, to what God wants from us—turning our gaze from ourselves toward God—living each day guided by Him, and not our human desires.

This is a sacrificial move that all loving relationships must know. One that lives for the other. When we do this in our relationship with God we are able to lose ourselves in the omniscience of God, aware of all the blessings that He has provided, and able to fully appreciate His directions, truth, and grace through the sacrifice of Christ. We become totally free of the constraints of guilt, shame, and sin which keeps us from a relationship with God. This freedom gives us ability to suppress our sinfulness and therefore we are able to move toward God in all we do, embracing Him more fully and thus…loving God more and more each day.

Glory be to the Lord our God. Amen.

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