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Objective Love

  • January 4th, 2010 by Pastor Darryl Curtis   |  0 Comments

       If you have any questions, comments or criticisms on this or any other topic, please feel free to let me know. It is easier for me to pick topics if I have your feedback. Thanks again for reading. I hope that this blesses your relationships, and may the Lord be with you.

     I spent the first part of my last sermon, “The Biblical Design of Gender, Part 6″, defining the word objective. My definition of objective does not exactly match the definition given in the dictionary, which is “not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased:  i.e. an objective opinion”.

            My definition of objective is similar to that of the dictionary, but rather than “based on facts”, I believe that the definition should say “based upon the Word of God”, because, when it becomes to behavioral issues, the Word of God is the fact. If our actions are objectively in line with that which the Word of God instructs us, we are doing the right thing, and if we act differently than the Word of God instructs us, we are doing the wrong thing, our personal circumstances notwithstanding.

            One of the things that leads people, Christian or not, into sin is that rather than referring to the Word of God for instruction, we take polls of the people around us and conform to the norm, as though the popularity of an action makes it either correct or not.

            In counseling, I often hear, “Well, I know what the Bible says I should do, but the Bible doesn’t take my situation into account. My situation is unique.” The fact of the matter is that none of our situations are unique, except for the fact that we are personally involved in the situation. God knows all things, thus, God was aware of every situation with which we would come into contact, and He took all of them into account when He developed His instructions. We may find ourselves reluctant to follow God’s instructions, not because our situation is unforeseen by God, but because following God’s instructions they may cause us temporary pain or deny us immediate pleasure, and we don’t want either of those to happen. That sounds sort of harsh, but it is true, nonetheless, that we can’t vote right and wrong into existence.

            The protagonists of the popular Christian movie, “Fireproof”, are a husband and wife that are growing apart because neither of them was being sensitive to the other’s needs. After their situation deteriorated to the point that they were seriously considering divorce, the husband’s father sat his son down and suggested that the son could solve his marital problems by treating his wife as though he loved her deeply for forty consecutive days. At first the man resisted because he did not actually feel any emotional attachment to his wife, but he finally agreed to follow his father’s suggestion because he respected his father, who had been married to his mother for forty years.

            When the husband started improving his treatment of his wife, neither the husband nor the wife felt any closer to each other, and no love actually developed between them. When the man told his father that the plan wasn’t working, his father instructed him to maintain his forty day commitment for forty actual consecutive calendar days, because it takes time to break through the resistance of a wife that has lost her emotional attachment to her husband. Eventually, the consistency of the man’s efforts prevailed, his wife recognized and responded to his love, renewing the mutual love in their relationship and cooperating to restore the closeness of their relationship.

            The father’s advice was objective truth. It takes time to lose love, and it takes time to overcome a loss of love. But, unless your spouse is a sociopath or a narcissist, emotionally supportive treatment and time is all that it takes to overcome a simple loss of love. Of course, “Fireproof” is a just a movie, but the principle that the movie espouses is objectively true.

            If your objective is to restore the love in your relationship, you are going to have to put the past behind you and ignore the present while working toward the future. As long as you are still retaliating against your spouse for past or present hurts, your efforts will fail. But to be successful, you need to act as though you love your spouse with your last breath for at least forty days. Listen to that which Jesus tells us, in John 13:34:
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
            Jesus says, “Love as I have loved you.” Jesus’ love is self-sacrificial. Jesus knows that we are sinners, but chooses to keep no record of our wrongs and to love us anyway. And that is the way that He tells us to love one another. Although we are all sinners, we can develop Christ-like marital relationships if we choose to love one another self-sacrificially, as Jesus loves us. It is only by self-sacrifice that we can prevail. And that is the objective truth about love, so let us choose to love one another as Jesus Christ has loved us.

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