September 19, 2017

Restoring Real Love: Part 2

They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock.  When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” Luke 6:48 (NLT)   

Storms are indiscriminate.  They come into all our lives!  The difference is in how we weather the storm.  Jesus tells us how our home (our relationships, our marriages) can remain intact even though a storm surge may flood our house. The key is how strong the foundation of love is in our home.

For the storm surge of stress, we need agape – God’s love to keep our relationships from being torn apart.  Human love at its best will always fail.  The storms of life are too great and we see the casualties all too often.  How can we restore real love, agape love, when the storms threaten our relationships?

First, stop the destructive flood of fear.  Did you know that the opposite of love is not hate?  The opposite of love is really fear.  That’s why the Bible says,

“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.  If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love.” 1 John 4:18 (NLT)

Only God’s perfect love can stop the destructive flood of fear from destroying our lives and our relationships.  It could be the fear of rejection that keeps us from being vulnerable and honest; the fear of loss, insecurity; the fear of being known, or the fear of never being known.  The flood of fear causes us to do damaging things in our relationships. If we are to stop the flood of fear, we need to take two specific actions.

Don’t take it out on each other….

Talk it out with each other.

Fear can be so easily expressed with anger, and anger is only one letter away from “danger!”  The Scriptures tell us: “Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.” Eph. 4:29 (GNT)

The next action takes you a step further:

Take it to the Lord.

One of the reasons we so often take it out on each other is because we look to each other to meet our deepest needs.  Most marriages are only about 10 feet above sea level so, when a storm surge of stress hits and floods them with fear, they look to their partner to bail them out and, when they don’t, they take it out on them.  Take it to the Lord.  Cry out to Him like Peter did. “But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. ‘Save me, Lord!’ he shouted.”  Matt. 14:30 (NLT) When we take it to the Lord, we give God the opportunity to rescue us.  A flood of fear can erode your faith.  When you feel fear, trust in God’s love to restore you.

His Word promises,

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”   Isaiah 43:1, 2 (NIV)