“God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

The phrase “love and marriage is like a horse and carriage” comes to mind. When people seek someone to marry, they usually are looking for someone to love them and fulfill all their desires. But making that their focus and goal may be getting the carriage before the horse. And if you put the carriage before the house, it does not work right, if at all. The right way is to seek and marry someone you love. That is what most people do. But if you are also needing that person to always satisfy all your desires perfectly for you to keep loving them, your love will not last. Falling in love with someone can feel like you have found the perfect person to fulfill all you needs and desires. But no one is perfect. So you may fall out of love as quickly and completely as you fell in love.

Someone asked me to share the highest points from my marriage to Ramona. I told her that I could not do that because they were all high points, our relationship was always heavenly. I think that In order for me to love every moment of our life together so completely, I had to love her so completely that it fulfilled all my needs and desires all the time. How could that be possible? Ramona was not perfect. But I still always loved her completely, just the way she was, just as who she was.

Then it occurred to me that God is like that. God always loves us completely just the way we are. He always loves us completely, even though we are always sinners on this earth. And the proof is that he loves us so much that he was willing to die for us, even though we were sinners. That is incredible, almost unbelievable, love. Romans 5:7 says, “Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man, though perhaps for a good man one will dare to die.” It is no wonder that people find it hard to believe how unconditional and unlimited God’s love is.

For you to have a heavenly marriage like I enjoyed with Ramona, you must love your spouse unconditionally, as God loves us. When you focus on what you want to get from your spouse rather than what you can give, you are setting yourself up for possible disappointment and resentment. When you give to your spouse it should be because of your love for your spouse, with no expectation of return. Your joy should come from giving joy to the person you love, nothing else. Then you may discover that loving is its own reward. God knows this and that may be why he never asks us to seek love from anyone. He simply asks us to love, to love him and others. God knows that is the heavenly path on earth and that is the way it will be in heaven.

Ramona is in heaven now. But love is invisible and does not need the physical. It is even easier to love her completely, because she is perfect now. I am an old man, so I do not seek another wife. But I find myself surrounded by people here on earth to enjoy loving, whether they love me or not. Love them, expecting nothing in return. The power to love is God’s greatest gift. Use it and your life will be more heavenly.

The Rev. Walter Williams has been serving the Lord since he graduated from seminary in 1966. He currently resides in McAlisterville. To comment on his column, send a letter to Standard Journal, 21 N. Arch St., Milton, Pa. 17847 or e-mail newsroom@standard-journal.com.

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