“When we go places, he’ll talk to all the other women, but he never says more than 10 words to me.”
“I just can’t live with her anymore.”
“I don’t want him around the house; he’s a pain.”
“There are a lot of things I’d rather do than spend the day with her.”
As a pastor, I have heard all of these comments and dozens of similar ones from couples needing counseling.
At first glance, it may seem that today’s column is about marriage, but I want to take this much further for the Christian. Let’s suppose you and God went for some relationship counseling; what would He say about the relationship? Would He spout out any of the lines above? Would you? How does God perceive the love you have for Him?
How much do you love God?
There are particular things, signs if you will, in the Bible are real indicators of our love for God.
Remember as a teen when you spent hours every night on the phone with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Many of us sneaked out of the house or maybe were not 100 percent honest with our parents to gain the opportunity to spend time with our high school sweetheart.
Is your heart that way toward God? Psalm 84:2, “My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” When you love someone, you desire to spend time with them.
My wife hates tomatoes. When we go through a drive-thru if the sandwich she wants has tomato I will tell the person working the drive-thru, “no tomato” when placing the order for her sandwich. I do this automatically; she does not have to tell me. I love her, and I know her well enough that I know what pleases her.
God hates sin. The sandwich of our lives He orders is most desirable to Him without sin mixed into the toppings. The more we love Him, the more we want Him to like His sandwich. Psalm 97:10a, “Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.” Do you hate sin? What type of love sandwich are you serving God?
After 38 years of marriage, my wife still satisfies me. There are women decades younger with more youthful beauty, but my wife is still the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. My happiness level rises when she enters the room; fears and doubt are easier to bare when she is there. She is not perfect, but she is perfect for me. She would say the same about me. None of these things that we supply for one another is not possible without love.
Those that love God are satisfied with Him. He is the root of our happiness, provides our needs, calms our fears, answers our questions about life and the universe, and gives us faith to make it through the day. He bled and died for us, rose again the third day, and will be coming back someday. He saves our soul. He satisfies every need - spiritual, physical, and mental to accomplish His will on earth and in our lives. Jeremiah 31:14, “And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord.”
Do you love God enough that He satisfies you?
Lastly, love for God will cause us to prefer Him before worldly things. Philippians 3:8, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”
Many people will shuffle their priorities to meet the moment. Many a woman has been brokenhearted over a man who held her hand, gave her flowers, made her the center of his world (or so it seemed). Then for whatever reasons, he no longer talks to her or spends time with her, and the relationship is soon cut off. She realizes the love the man claimed to have for her was fleeting at best if it ever existed at all.
Does God float up and down your priority list? Is your love for Him fleeting at best?
Examine your love for God. Do you delight in prayer and reading the Bible? Does He satisfy your heart? Do you wish to please him, and therefore have a hatred of sin in your heart? Do you prefer Him over others?
How much do you love God?
Preacher Tim Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Ind. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit preacherjohnson.com.