Live Love Out Loud

<strong>Live Love Out Loud</strong>

Build a Love that Withstands the Tests of Time

Dear Friends,

                What is love? That’s a very good question, almost as old as time. Answers have varied, but only God tells us what it really is: Him. God is love (1 John 4:7-9).  Our best way to understand love is through God’s love for us. Since God is love, we also ought to love one another (John 13:34-35). How much more so should married couples love each other. This is a lesson I’ve learned by observing God’s love displayed in Christian marriages that have withstood the tests of time.

My Boaz and I were talking about complete love a few days ago. Since he’s been divorced, he knows what broken love feels like. Certainly, true Christian love isn’t broken. The devastation from a bad marriage is the worst of all. I also knew what broken love feels like from my mom’s two failed marriages, neither of which was based on Christian faith. My first marriage with my late husband was centered on Christ. Our marriage ended, not because either of us wanted to end it, but due to death. My Boaz feels like he is lavished with love, the type he’s always wanted. What if we loved each other as Christ loves us?

Living a Lifetime of Love with Each Other

Christian marital wellness means that our love remains secure. It will never give up or fade away. It is committed, even when we don’t have that loving feeling. As we walked through the historic district of St. Augustine, admiring homes from centuries ago, we came upon a Love Tree. A woman in a van stopped us, “Are you visiting St. Augustine? If so, you need to check out the love tree!” She pointed just ahead of her and behind us. “An oak tree has grown to wrap itself around a palm tree. The two are intertwined. Supposedly, if you kiss under it, your love will last forever.” She smiled with a twinkle in her eye and drove away. So we walked over to check it out. Sure enough, there was an oak tree that had a palm tree growing through its center.  If one died, a great hole would remain in the other. This particular love tree grew up on church property with a church school behind it. There are seven of them in the city, and one of these love trees is around 600 years old! 

An elderly couple, also walking along, came up to us. We shared what we learned about the love tree. Excited, they wanted to take our picture for us and asked us to take their picture together. Both of us couples have a mental image of how committed love stands the test of time, especially when nurtured by a loving Christ-centered church.

A Lifetime of Marital Love

God’s Word tells us that Christian covenant marriage, the lifetime union of a Christian man with a Christian woman, symbolizes our union with Him in eternity (Ephesians 5:31-33). Not so much in a sexual way, but a spiritual one. So, as long as we seek love from God, He expects us to unconditionally love our Sweethearts for the rest of our lives, being an example of Christ and His Bride, the Church. Our marital bonds are spiritual, emotional, and physical. All of our beings are intertwined with our spouses because Christ is the center of our marriage. If we are both focused on Jesus Christ, we can order our priorities as a couple to align with each other. It doesn’t take away from who we are as individuals, but gives a fuller depth to us we would never have alone.

Christian Marital Wellness

The foundation of Christian marital wellness is loving each other as Christ loved us. It means making daily sacrifices for each other by never letting the other feel unloved. My sweetheart tells me his “cuddle tank” has a leak, and he needs a fill-up—often. We both felt drained dry of love recently, not because we intended to neglect each other, but because of the demands of our grueling prolonged move. Just because he’s retired and we see each other 24/7 doesn’t mean we get always quality time together. We decided it was time to fill up each other’s cuddle tanks.

We took a belated anniversary trip recently, and then we ran away for a day trip to St. Augustine for Valentine’s Day. We chose it because it’s a place we visited together as newlyweds. The time spent enjoying each other’s company minus outside demands helped filled our emptiness. We realized those needs, so we made time just for our relationship. We reminisced over the time we’ve spent together exploring,  looked through Valentine’s cards we’ve given each other, and poured over our photos together. What’s been normal for me in marriage has mended his heart, filling it to overflowing. I recognize his love gaps and teach him how to love me, and he eagerly steps up his game. Love means meeting each other’s heart needs so we never run dry.

5 Ways to practice Christian Marital Wellness

  1. Give love unconditionally. It’s easy to hug, kiss, hold hands, and make love when you are happy with each other, but not so much when you are angry. You might need time to cool off before you hug each other in the heat of an argument but come together later to hug and express love to each other. Of course, work together to resolve the disagreement.
  2. Read Bible devotions, pray, and go to church together. Without Jesus, there isn’t a forever bond. Keep your couple focus on Him, and He will keep you headed in the right direction together.
  3. Pray over each other. Satan attacks us when we are vulnerable. When we go to battle on our knees for each other, God blesses our marriages and our spouses.
  4. Show love to each other in ways that speak to each other’s hearts. Most couples have different love needs within the relationship. Focusing on what your spouse needs to feel love from you will enhance the health of your marriage. Is it hugs and touch? Gifts or acts of service? Is it verbal affirmation? Chances are you want to give them what you need, but it’s imperative to give them what they need.
  5. Spend quality time together that focuses on intimacy, a mutual interest, your relationship, and build a healthy couple history together. Avoid letting your marriage die from neglect. Find ways to date each other regularly, whether weekly or monthly. At the end of each day, find ways to appreciate each other.
  6. Take care of yourself and each other. By eating healthy and staying active, you increase the quality and longevity of your marriage. You also look better and feel better, which also enhances your marriage.
  7. Never let the “D” word enter your conversations. Divorce should never be an option, except for infidelity. If you both keep that mindset, you will likely work out issues, avoid infidelity, and curb your anger responses. God meant marriage to be “until death do us part”. Special note: Leave immediately if you feel you are in danger with your Sweetheart! Love doesn’t harm the other. Get help.
  8. Set couple goals or work on together projects that you both enjoy. Whatever would have a purpose for both of you together, seek it out. Work toward it, whatever that is for both of you.
  9. Get Couple Health check-ups. Go to marriage retreats,  or meet with your pastor or a licensed Christian counselor to work on smaller issues before they blow up into bigger ones. Read a book by a Christian expert on marriage. Invest in your marriage to safeguard it.
  10. Live your love out loud. Show Jesus in your marriage without showing off. Be a witness for Christian covenant marriage because the world is starving to see and know the security that can only be found in Christ.

May God bless your marriage, if you are married, or your future marriage, if you aren’t.


Char & her Boaz

(aka. Mouse & Squirrel)

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