July 9, 2023
Dr. Paul Cannings
Being loved or loving someone is the most powerful experience that exists. However, because it changes the person who loves, and the person being loved, it becomes the most challenging experience for mankind.
“ A mother, who was 36-years-old, was discovered to be in the advanced stages of terminal cancer. One doctor advised her to spend her remaining days enjoying herself on a beach in Acapulco. A second physician offered her the hope of living two to four years with the grueling side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. She penned these words to her three small children: “I’ve chosen to try to survive for you. This has some horrible costs, including pain, loss of my good humor, and moods I won’t be able to control. But I must try this, if only on the outside chance that I might live one minute longer. And that minute could be the one you might need me when no one else will do. For this, I intend to struggle. Tooth and nail, so help me, God.” (Focus on the Family, May 1985). Love costs because it is expensive both for the giver and the receiver. But the price paid, even though it is so costly and cannot be repaid, is worth the cost of loving.
Love finds source, direction, and power from God, so Christ says, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39) This is also why John says, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8). This is also the reason why a man can love God by obeying His commands (John 14:15; 1 John 2:3-5) For this reason it is easy for Paul to tell a husband; “love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself..” (Eph 5:28-29) This is why a woman can be taught to love her husband just like her husband. “…..teach what is good, encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children” (Titus 2:4). Loving someone based on God’s Word exposes our love for God before it is ever a demonstration of how we are loving our neighbor.
Love is powerful and can be the most remarkable healing agent for all relationships because if you look at the definition of love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8), love even shapes the character of the person who chooses to love (patient, kind, not arrogant, does not act unbecoming…). This is why to love is to love God first (discipleship John 13:34-35).
Dr. Howard Hendricks said, “Marriage is not finding the person with whom you can live with, but finding that person with whom you cannot live without.”