Enduring Love

One of the harder aspects of being a member of the clergy is doing marriage counseling. Two people sit before you, having declared their enduring love for one another at one point in their lives, and are now are questioning everything. Especially when infidelity has broken all trust, a love that was once expected to endure forever is now shattered and lying in pieces on the ground.

Some couples make it through, if they submit to raw honesty, painful truth-telling, a lot of deep soul searching, and prayer. Sadly, many do not. The breach of trust that occurs is extremely difficult to rebuild. Most couples give up before they can reach that point.

What is enduring love anyway? Can we really have it in our earthly relationships? I believe we can, if people are willing to yield their lives and passions to the image of love that God provides. God’s love is unconditional, eternal, and sacrificial. God offers us a steadfast love that indeed endures forever.

Psalm 136 (New Revised Standard Version)

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
O give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
O give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;

who alone does great wonders,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
who by understanding made the heavens,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
who spread out the earth on the waters,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;

who made the great lights,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night,
    for his steadfast love endures forever
.

The key to steadfast, enduring love is to realize that it is a CHOICE. To love as God loves is something we choose to do (or not) everyday. To be willing to be humble and put someone else’s needs first leads to enduring love. To love unconditionally, even when you have been betrayed and dismissed, is enduring love. To offer loving forgiveness in response to true repentance is Christ-like love. To give shelter and provision with no expectation of return is God-like love.

We are invited to love as God loves. Steadfastly. Enduringly. Sacrificially. Hopefully. And most of all, unconditionally.

Where is God calling you to love the way he loves?

His Love Endures Forever by Bonnie Bennett

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