It all began October 12, 1988. She had long brown hair with brown eyes. She was in my French class. She was a cheerleader. She was my first girlfriend; and the world stopped for just the two of us. We spent hours on the phone, not “talking” but just listening to the other person say nothing. In class, we wrote letters back and forth all day telling each other how much we missed one another in the past 10 minutes of life. Every afternoon ended the same…a kiss behind the school bus before getting on our golden chariots to ride home. Six months later, she dumped me. But in the 8th grade, that’s what we call being  “in love.”
    The years came and went, and so did the girls. But it was not until May 31, 2003, that I married the “love” of my life. And for five years now, we have been living this thing called “marriage.” And to be honest, I’m still not quite sure I can tell you what “love” is. As a husband, how am I to love my wife? I believe that apart from God, I can’t love my wife.
    In order to really love my wife, I must first accept God’s love. In the Bible, the apostle John wrote that “love is from God” (1 John 4:7). And God proved that love in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Love is an action. It is something that we feel, but it is also something that we do. God showed his love for us in that he sent Jesus to die on the cross for us. That proved his love. In the same way, I must not only tell my wife I love her…but show her I love her.{mosimage}
    In order to really love my wife, I must also abide in God’s love. John goes on to say that “if we love one another, God abides in us” (I John 4:12) and “the one who abides in love abides in God” (1 John 4:16). If God is love, then I must fill my heart with God. As the weather turns cold, the gloves come out. The purpose of the glove is to keep the hand warm. But a glove with no hand is useless. The glove does no good. The same is true with love. If God is love, and I do not have God in my heart and life, then there is no way to express God’s perfect love. So to love my wife completely, I must abide in God’s love and allow God’s love to abide in me.
    Finally, in order to really love my wife, I must acknowledge that God first loved me. John adds, “We love, because he first loved us.” In other words, even when we hated God, spit in God’s face, rejected God, and didn’t want to have anything to do with God…he loved us first. The word “first” is a superlative here. It’s like saying good, better, best. He loved us “first” compared to all other objects. The Bible says that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He loved us even when we didn’t love him. And so no matter how you are treated by your spouse, love them first. No matter how your boss treats you, love him/her first. No matter how your child loves you back, love him/her first.
    Remember, you can love others because God loved you first. So make him your first love today. Then, go show your spouse how much you love him/her today.

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