I have read some 55 marriage books in my lifetime – almost one per year of my life. Currently I am reading one that has been out there for a while but I just picked it up on sale (Dutch men can be like that). It is authored by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and it is called, Cracking the Communication Code.
Pretty sure that I have shared before that my wife and I have been married now for 37 years. I read books on marriage because I want to grow and keeping growing. Do not think for a moment that an adventure will pass me by – no way. I want everything possible from my marriage and more and I am not afraid to engage others in sharing what they have learned.
One key ingredient in a healthy marriage is the ability to say, as often as possible and as creatively as possible, I love you to each other.
My darling, you are lovely,
so very lovely—my darling, you are lovely
in every way. Your love is sweeter than wine. – Song of Solomon 4:1,7 CEV
Young women of Jerusalem,
he is my lover and friend. – Song of Solomon 5:16
So it is not that odd when I think of our Church family and in particular, my small group, in the same way. If I am surrounded with faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love, then I too, as part of the Church family, should be growing in my love for them too.
My dear friends, we always have good reason to thank God for you, because your faith in God and your love for each other keep growing all the time. – 2 Thessalonians 1:3 CEV
That is a lot of loving. It challenges me every morning to meet with God and tell Him how much I love Him too. The one difference from my spouse and my Church family is that God always tells me He loves me too. In fact, He sustains me with His love, carries my through the day, gives me the Holy Spirit to do what He asks me to do and mostly that means loving other people. What a joy to grow in my love of Him every day – He nourishes my life.
Father, thank you for meeting with me each time I call out Your name. No matter where I am or what I am doing You come and enter my world and fill me with Your love. I never have to operate out of my own energy or expect anything from anyone else – You alone are all I need. Thank you for continue to change me, cause me to grow, for allowing me to see You differently each day. You have blessed me with Your love and I am so very thankful.