Almost everyone goes into marriage believing they have found love that lasts forever. Sadly, that’s not always the case.
Everyone has children believing their parent/child loving relationships will endure always. But we’ve all seen times when families fall apart and relationships fail.
Marriage. Family. Friendship.
Love is an attitude of the heart that requires the effort of the whole person … body, mind, and spirit. And the truth is … if we want close loving relationships that last in this sinful world we need to apply some important Biblical truths to our attitudes and actions.
So, this week of Valentine’s Day, I thought it might be helpful for us to share some of the things the Bible says are important if we want love that lasts.
Helpful Tips for Having a Love That Lasts
- Speak the Truth Always
In the same way, the Lord tells us to speak the TRUTH in love to one another in the church, we need to lovingly speak the truth in all our relationships. If we want lasting love we need to be able to trust each other. So remember, honest words shared with kindness and compassion are essential if we want lasting loving relationships.
We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ. (Ephesians 4:15)
- Spend Quality Time Together
Make time to focus on each other and your relationship often. Quality time is the primary love language for many, but every relationship will whither if ignored. When you and I intentionally take time for each other, we demonstrate how important that person truly is to us. So, spend time talking about life and honestly sharing your feelings with the people you love.
“Only with time do we really learn who the other person is and come to love the person for him or herself and not just for the feelings and experiences they give us.” ~ Tim Keller
- Apologize and Forgive Quickly
Don’t wait for the other person to apologize. If you’ve messed up with words or actions say so and ask for forgiveness. On the flip side, if you are the one with hurt feelings accept the fact that life is messy at times, and decide to forgive quickly.
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)
- Expect to Disagree Sometimes – Be Willing to Compromise
Disagreeing is an inevitable part of all relationships. How you and I handle our disagreements … well, that’s a choice. The best choice always is communicating our way to cooperation and compromise on all issues except those that are God’s will according to God’s Word.
On moral issues that are God’s will, the goal is always obedience. Repentance, forgiveness, and love help everyone make obedience the goal. Because the closer we are to God the closer we will be to each other.
Loving God means keeping His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. (1 John 5:3–4)
- Give Each Other Space to Dream and Be Who God Created Them to Be
Encourage the people you love to dream and reach for their goals. We’re all happier when we become who God created us to be in our vocations and avocations and the best part is that happier people make for happier relationships.
So, encourage your loves to surrender their dreams to the Lord and trust Him to guide them and you along the way.
Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3)
A Prayer to Have Love That Lasts
Father God, You created us to love You and each other. We want to have close relationships but we are so prone to selfishness and stubborn pride. Please forgive us and help us. You sent Jesus to show us sacrificial love. You sent Him to teach us how to love one another … how to have love that lasts.
From Jesus’ life, we see that we can’t make everyone love us. Although He loved perfectly, some people still rejected Him. But their lack of love didn’t keep Him from loving. Make me more like Jesus. Help me love the way He loves and the way You love.
By Your grace and the power of Your Spirit, Help me consistently and faithfully speak the truth in love. Prompt me to spend quality time with the people I love. Help me forgive when I’ve been hurt and repent when I have failed. Help me listen carefully and be willing to compromise so that love can prevail. And help me encourage those I love to pursue their dreams and accomplish the plans and purposes You have for them.
Thank you for the people in my life. Thank you for loving us and for giving us one another to love. Help us generously share mercy and grace. Help us show everyone around us Your love. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Next to our relationship with God Himself, close loving relationships with family and friends are God’s greatest gift to us.
So, let’s praise and thank Him for every precious person and tell them that you thank the Lord for them. Speak the words and tell them that you recognize them as a valued gift. I promise it will bless your relationships and help you grow a love that lasts.
May the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow.1 Thessalonians 3:21
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