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bride-groom-facing-cross_03Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2

Today the Church celebrates World Marriage Day, giving honor to husbands and wives who faithfully live out their covenant in the Sacrament of Marriage. Two days from now, our culture will celebrate love on Valentine’s Day. Advertisers work hard convincing us that love is all about warm, fuzzy feelings, cards, candy and flowers.

Christian husbands and wives are in a unique position to show the world what real love is. True love is the total gift of self for the betterment of another. It involves sacrifice. Love is doing what is right even when it does not feel very good. Love is meeting the needs of someone else before your own needs. We can love because God first loved us. The perfect image of this unconditional love is Jesus nailed to the cross for the forgiveness of sins. Ask God for the grace to be able to love your spouse in this self-sacrificial way.

But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. 1 Corinthians 12:31

The world’s view of love is “I will love you, if you love me.” Love comes with strings attached. “As long as you meet my needs, I will love you. If my needs are not being met, I’m out of here!” Relationships are thrown away like yesterday’s newspaper. God, however, has a “more excellent way.”

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:12-13

There is much wickedness in the world today. The world’s way of loving “will grow cold.” But look at God’s promise in the continuation of this verse, “but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” We are blessed when we do things God’s way. God will pour grace upon grace on those who honor their marriage vows.

You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”     Matthew 5:43-44

You may be in a difficult marriage. You may be feeling that love has grown cold in your marriage. God calls you to pray for your spouse and love him or her even if that love is not returned. Pray for God’s infinite love and blessings to be showered on your spouse. Pray also for God to give you the ability to see your spouse as He does and to feel the great love He has for him or her.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11

Let God teach you how to love your spouse as Christ loves His Bride, the Church. Your marriage will be blessed when you love without counting the cost.

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:26-27

If we truly love God, we will love our spouse no matter how we are being treated. How contrary this is to the world’s view of love! By being obedient to our marriage vows, even when it is inconvenient and even when it hurts, demonstrates our love of the Lord.

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. 1 John 5:3

Love should be our guide in everything we do…

Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Our prayer is that your marriage will be a shining example to the world of what true love is. Let the love of Christ flow through you to your spouse. The world’s version of love will never fill the void in our hearts. Only the love of Jesus can. Study Sacred Scripture for passages related to love. Fill yourself with the promises of God’s Word, not the empty promises of the world. Read these scriptures until they become a part of your very being. Post verses that are particularly special to you on the refrigerator or bathroom mirror as a reminder to love always.

We want to close this week with what we feel are the most beautiful verses in Scripture. We have dedicated our lives to showing husbands and wives how to have joy-filled marriages by putting Christ at the center of their relationships. May we all join together with uplifted hands, praising God for the gift of marriage and the love He has shown us through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross for the forgiveness of the sins of the world.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends… 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

May the Lord fill you to overflowing with His love and may your marriage be blessed!