The Dancing Puritan

Friday, February 5, 2016

14 Days of Love: Day 5: Read, Journal, Share, Remember.

Day One:Write a Song/Poem: Here
Day Two: Pray, Tell, Pray: Here
Day Three: Kiss: Here
Day Four: Meet: Here

A happy marriage is a wonderful gift but a terrible god. It is only when God is supreme in one's life, that His gifts can be received and enjoyed. Marriage, like everything else, is for the purpose of glorifying God. A godly marriage, glorifies God by positively displaying the gospel of Christ.

If you make a happy marriage the ultimate treasure of your life, then your marriage will never be as happy as it could be and your treasure will not satisfy. If God is the treasure of your life then, happy marriage or not, you can bring the aroma of God's joy and the sweetness of the gospel into your home, regardless of how your spouse responds to your acts of love. This is important to remember as you participate in the 14 Days of Love. Love flows from the gospel. When did Christ set his love on us? Christ loved us while we were sinners and enemies (Romans 5:6-11).
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also out to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us (I John 4:7-12)

The only way that you can truly love your spouse is by embracing the gospel of God's love for you in Christ. The motive for loving your spouse is the gospel and not a response that you may desire from them. In other words, regardless of how your spouse responds to your acts of love, you are to keep on loving them. Ultimately, love for your spouse is not first of all about them, it is about God. You love them for God's glory, and you trust that God will supply your need for love through Christ.

With that foundation, here is today's activity.

1. Read chapter one from a godly book on intimacy in marriage. Several years ago I wrote a book, The Marriage Bed (available Here in paperback). You can also download it HereThe Marriage Bed is a very brief booklet that includes a seven-day-plan for cultivating intimacy in marriage. Ask your spouse if he/she will read the book with you. Perhaps you could read out loud before bedtime each evening.

Also read chapter one of The Song of Solomon.

2. Journal. For several years I have kept a marriage journal. Much of my journal is devoted to my reflections on The Song of Solomon (SOS). In days ahead, I will share with you practical ways to use SOS to cultivate joy and intimacy in your marriage. Some couples see SOS as a help to "Save Our Ship [marriage]." Others see it as a means to "Strengthen Our Ship." Everyone can learn how to "Sweeten Our Ship" through reading and applying Solomon's Song. Write your thoughts from SOS and from the marriage book in your journal.

In my journal I have personal notes to myself, thoughts about my wife Lori, various other applications from SOS, and poems.

3. Share. Share some of your affectionate thoughts with your beloved. Read to them a selection from your journal or write them a note with a few "nuggets of gold"  from your day's reading. Let them know of your love and of your desire to love them better.

4. Remember the Gospel. Look to Christ to supply your needs and from your faith in Christ, serve your spouse. What is one thing that you can do today that would encourage him/her? It may well be something that you do not want to do (Ladies: Shine his shoes. Guys: Vacuum the Den). Remember that your worth, hope, and life is found in Christ alone. Such knowledge frees you up to love and serve your spouse joyfully and sacrificially.

Tomorrow: A 30 Day Challenge.