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Growing in Loving - How to love


The following is the answer I gave to a lady who wrote asking how she could translate Christ's love into action in regard to her estranged husband.


She wrote:

I have been actively pursuing peace with my (estranged) husband last year but he is now obviously off-loading all his guilt by blaming me for everything and has completely hardened his heart towards me, treating me with contempt. How do you demonstrate Christ's giving love by your actions to someone in that mind-set and with a divorce filed? Yours T.D.


I answered:

It's important you understand that God's love is not always demonstrated in direct physical actions towards someone. God's love is not a list of things we do but rather a list of ways we are!


This is so wonderfully expressed in 1 Corinthians 13 where Paul by the Holy Spirit describes - and thereby defines - God's love. William Barclay translates verses 4-8 of that chapter this way,

Love is patient with people; love is kind.There is no envy in love;there are no proud claims;there is no conceit.
Love never does the graceless thing;never insists on its rights,never irritably loses its temper;never nurses its wrath to keep it warm.
Love finds nothing to be glad about when someone goes wrong,but is glad when truth is glad.
Love can stand any kind of treatment;love's first instinct is to believe in people;love never regards anyone or anything as hopeless;nothing can happen that can break love's spirit.
Love lasts for ever.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 - Barclay's Translation


God's love is a posture of the heart. It's how we respond in our inner man to others. When God's love enters our hearts by the Holy Spirit then our hearts take on a loving posture towards other people. This then urges us or propels us into works of love towards them or on their behalf. (See 2 Corinthians 5:14.)

Wonderfully, this is what has been happening to you! You write,

"My main priority is to maintain a close relationship with the Father, so I freely confess my sins and forgive both of them (my husband and the woman he left with) because they really don't seem to know what they are doing and I pray for both of them too."


You are expressing God's love! You are forgiving those you might have cause to have something against and you are praying for them. This is just what Jesus exhorted us to do. First He said,

"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you..."

Luke 6:27-28 - NKJV


Then - in the same breath - He said,

"And pray for those who spitefully use you."

Luke 6:27-28 - NKJV


Jesus also said,

"Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him."

Mark 11:25 - NKJV


Prayer for others - for their salvation and their coming to the knowledge of the truth - is one of the greatest expressions of God's love.

Jesus declared,

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."

John 15:13 - NKJV


You can lay down your life for someone in praying for them. Jesus does this for us even now. The Bible tells us,

"He (Jesus) always lives to make intercession for them (who come to God through Him)."

Hebrews 7:25 - NKJV


May you continue to follow Him in His example of prayer. May you continue to pray earnestly for your husband. (See 1 Timothy 2:1-4)

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