Feb 04 2010

Love Dare - Day 30

Love Brings Unity

 

Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. – John 17:11

 

One of the most impressive things about the Bible is the way it linked together, with consistent themes running throughout, from beginning to end.  Though written over a span of 1,600 years and composed by more than forty writers of various backgrounds and skill levels, God sovereignty authored it with one united voice.  And He continues to speak through it today without going message.

 

Unity. Togetherness. Oneness. 

 

These are the unshakable hallmarks of our God.

 

From the very beginning of time, we see His unity at work through the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God the Father is there, creating the heavens and the earth.  The Spirit is “moving over the surface of the waters” (Genesis 1:2).  And the Son, who is “the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3), joins in speaking the world into existence.  “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).

 

Us. Our.

 

All three are in perfect oneness of mind and purpose.

 

We later see Jesus rising from the waters of baptism, as the Spirit descends like a dove and the Father announces over this majestic scene, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (Matthew 3:17).

 

Jesus later says, “I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38).  His desire to answer His followers’ prayer is “so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13).  He asks the Father to send the Holy Spirit, knowing that the Spirit will faithfully testify about the Son He loves, for “no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11 NIV).

 

Father, Son, and Spirit are in pristine unity.  They serve each other, love each other, and honor each other.  Though equal, they rejoice when the other is praised.  Though distinct, they are one, indivisible.

 

And because this relationship is so special – so representative of the vastness and grandeur of God – He has chosen to let us experience an aspect of it.  In the unique relationship of husband and wife, two distinct individuals are spiritually united into “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).  And “what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Mark 10:9 NIV).

 

In fact, this mystery is so compelling – and the love between husband and wife so intertwined and complete – that God uses the imagery of marriage to explain His love for the church.

 

The church (the bride) is most honored when her Savior is worshiped and celebrated.  Christ (the bridegroom), who has given Himself up for her, is most honored when He sees her “as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:27 NIV).  Both Christ and the church love and honor the other.

 

That’s the beauty of unity.

 

Husband – What would happen in your marriage if you devoted yourself to loving, honoring, and serving your wife in all things?  What if you determined that the preservation of your oneness with this woman was worth every sacrifice and expression of love you could make?  What would change in your home if you took that approach to your relationship on a daily basis?

 

Wife – What would happen if you made it your mission to do everything possible to promote togetherness of heart with your husband?  What if every threat to your unity was treated as a poison, a cancer, an enemy to be eliminated by love, humility, and selflessness?  What would your marriage become if you were never again willing to see your oneness torn apart?

 

The unity of the Trinity, as seen beyond the reaches of history past and continuing into the future, is evidence of the power of oneness.  It is unbreakable.  It is unending.  And it is this same spiritual reality that disguises itself as your home and mailing address.  Though painted in the colors of work schedules and doctor visits and trips to the grocery, oneness is the eternal thread that runs through the daily experience of what you call “your marriage,” giving it a purpose to be defended for life.

 

Therefore, love this one who is as much a part of your body as you are.  Serve this one whose needs cannot be separated from your own.  Honor this one who, when raised upon the pedestal of your love, raises you up too in the eyes of God, all at the same time.

 

Today’s Dare

 

Isolate one area of division in  your marriage, and look on today as a fresh opportunity to pray about it.  Ask the Lord to reveal anything in your own heart that is threatening oneness with your spouse.  Pray that He would do the same for them.  And if appropriate, discuss this matter openly, seeking God for unity.

 

 

The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! (Deuteronomy 6:4)

 

 

Click here to buy a copy of The Love Dare book.  

Click here for a free online journal for the full 40 day challenge.

 

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group. Used by permission.  Unauthorized reproduction in any format is strictly prohibited by law.

 

Comments (13) -

2/4/2010 5:37:52 AM
free United States
free
michael corbin where are you? i've been praying for you, your wife, and your new beautiful daughter-i hope your staying focus on the LORD and remeber it's the LORDS fight not yours-your weapons are to pray-read your bible-and always keep in touch with those who are a positive christian not negative ones-hope to see your blog soon with some great news =o)
2/4/2010 6:00:38 AM
free United States
free
i read the blogs from yesterday-i feel soooo bad-words can not express the pain my heart feels for all of you-my husband never cheated on me-but the void and rejection we go thru is the same-that's how i can relate to all of you-what works for me is i don't rely on my husband to fill my void-i allow JESUS to do that-it's not fair for my  husband to "fix" or "fill" my void-because he won't satisfy me-look into your hearts ask JESUS what it is your missing-is it peace? love? comfort? understanding? whatever it is HE will satisfy your needs-also i always look in the concordance in the back of your bible you should have this and look up the feeling or what your going thru in your marriage and there will be scripture to guide you-this helps me out ALOT-and one more thing i care for all of you and JESUS LOVES YOU =o)
2/4/2010 10:02:30 AM
Chris United States
Chris
Deep in Sorrow - thank you for your reply post on Day 28.  Certainly we all want to feel 'loved' and 'wanted' and I'm sure for some it is an obsession.  What I have learned is that if my longing for reassurance, acceptance, or love from my wife is deeper (or more important) than my longing for God - I'm in trouble.  Ten years ago I made a mistake because I was looking to be loved and accepted and went to someone else for that.  I have paid the price ever since.  Ultimately, we have to look to the Lord for all that we need.  Jeremiah 17:5 says "Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind, and makes flesh his strength..." This is so true.  Whenever we look to anyone but God to fulfill our needs, we will be disappointed.  Fall in love with God - He's given you everything that you need (and so much more).  Knowing that God fulfills your need will free you up to love your spouse even when they don't love you back.  It isn't easy - trust me - I am in the same fight you are.  I will pray for keep praying for you and everyone else here who is struggling.  Hang in there - God is faithful!
2/4/2010 11:01:32 AM
just me United States
just me
CJ
I want to really thank you for helping me!  I have needed to get this off my chest for a long time now!  I have felt so alone in my sin, like I was the only one in the world with this problem.  I also want to let you know that I am praying for you too.  I hope I can give you even HALF of the support and caring you have shown me.
Today's dare seems to be just a continuing work on the same issue. I'm the one causing the division with my selfishness.  God has been showing me, a little at a time, that I need to focus on Him and not put my trust/hope in outside influences.  I trusted in our finances-God has shown me that the money won't sustain us by taking our money away and letting us rely on Him.  Everything is working out just fine without all the money. God is providing just fine.
Now I'm putting my "trust", my desires, into men.  First I EXPECTED my husband to take care of ALL my needs, and now he can't.  In all actuality, he never could.  It was just my EXPECTATIONS.  So what do I do....?  I run looking for other men rather than God.
So here I am.  Standing in the middle of the road with God on one side and the world on the other and I am being pulled both ways. Traffic is coming at me and I'm so concerned about dodging the cars that I lost sight of God's side of the road.  Kinda like Peter in the boat...He was doing ok when he first stepped out, but the winds and waves scared him into taking his focus off of Jesus. What does this all mean for me?  To take my mind off of ME and what MY needs are and to focus it on my husband and on God.  Sounds easy doesn't it?
2/4/2010 1:10:14 PM
Shel United States
Shel
All of this is so hard. The ups and the downs..It is so emotionally exhausting. Coming up towards the end of this, I am so afraid. My husband and I had a talk yesterday, not a big one, but a talk. I think he is having a hard time dealing with the shame of what he has done. I feel so distant from him. I miss him so, so much.....I am truly enjoying my closeness with God, though.  I feel bad saying that I am still sad and still miss my husband, knowing that the Lord is where I am supposed to focus the most. I just wanted to share that with all of you, in case you feel it, too.  God Bless us all!
2/4/2010 5:11:34 PM
Grace Norton United States
Grace Norton
I love to listen to you guys everyday on the way to work. I turned the radio on a little later today than usual, and I thought that I had missed the "Love Dare" for the day. Then Scott came on and apologized for being late on the "Love Dare" today. God is good. I am a preschool teacher at a public school, and I try to always let God's love shine though me when I am working with the children and when I am communicating with their parents. One of the moms who is a Christian, and knows that I am a Christian, asked me to pray for her and her husband. She said they were on the verge of getting a divorce. My heart went out to her, and I tried to encourage her. When the "Love Dare" started on the radio, I started telling her about it. She said she was familiar with it.
Anyway... today I happened to mention to her that every time the "love dare" is on in the morning, that I think about her and pray for her and her husband. She smiled at me, and said, " You have no idea how it has helped. My husband has turned 360 degrees." She said she took some of my advice, and prayed that the lord would work on her heart, and speak to his heart. I just wanted to share(SmileThank you!
2/4/2010 7:28:42 PM
Deanna United States
Deanna
I struggle with jealousy.  I have some reason to be a jealous spouse as my husband did leave me for another woman. We are currently seperated and trying to work on some relationship issues.  Things are going pretty well.  I do not like the fact that my husband has so many friends that are women.  He only has one or two male friends and the rest are all women.  Some single, some married, both happily and unhappily.  I told him I do not like him spending time around other women and having friendships with them.  If he wants to be friends with them then they should be friends with US.  BOTH of us.  As in, I know them too and then maybe I could be more comfortable about him having so many female friends.  How do you get past this?  Am I wrong?  I know jealousy is not a pretty or nice emotion.  I also know it is very real.  What can I do?

2/4/2010 7:45:34 PM
booklady United States
booklady
Our arguments almost always have the theme of money.  Either the lack of it or where does it all go.  I think someone else mentioned it in an earlier dare about Dave Ramsey and also have the same issue.  We have completed Dave Ramsey's program.  DH is very good about following it...me not so much.  It is usually because convenience is more expensive and in order to have more family time, couple time or even make it to church on time, convenience is the key for our busy lifestyle.


2/17/2010 2:52:44 PM
Cathy Tako United States
Cathy Tako
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2/17/2010 10:10:26 PM
Stuart Buth United States
Stuart Buth
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Bradley Valot United States
Bradley Valot
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Berry Kliem United States
Berry Kliem
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Claudio Morgen
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