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Thoughts on Love
by Robert Flores

Last modified August 6, 2010

The following thoughts are on the subject of loving a woman with a Christ-empowered love. These notes are meant to be read by Christian men who are in a relationship, or are thinking about being in one with a Christian woman. I want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ and my wife, Jennifer, for teaching me the real meaning of love. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.Charity never faileth —1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

2008

• There is no entropy in love.

• When God gives you a beautiful, godly woman, you need to love her selflessly. You need to rescue her. Even when she hurts you, you need to be her hero. And, to be a hero, sometimes you need to fight yourself (i.e. pride, selfishness, the temptation not to forgive, etc).

• Love is desiring God’s will for the other person’s life. Love is the pointing out of wrongs to make her a better person. Love is worshipping God together. Love is forgiveness and a stubbornness to keep moving forward. Love is a deliberate choice. Love is to see the other person excited, happy and content. Love doesn’t exist in one gear. It can switch gears on a dime: passionate to quiet. Love drops everything to attend to the other. Love is a balance of wanting and needing the other. Love reminisces about the past and dreams about the future. Love always takes the other person with them. Love is the union of mind, spirit and bodies into one. Love is reality. Love is a blessing. Love is the adventure of a lifetime. Love is eternal. Love is that missing puzzle piece in your heart. Love is discovering God’s world together, laughing together and crying together.

• Love is a concerted effort to love another person. Love is more than a feeling. Feelings flow out of love, but love is not equivalent to a feeling. You don’t always feel like loving a person, but you love them anyway. Sometimes it’s hard to love, but you choose to love anyway. A person may not be loveable sometimes, but you love them anyway. Love is a commitment to love another person regardless of feelings, emotions, situations and circumstances. Love is a contract to love the other person unconditionally. What does unconditionally mean? Without conditions… Love says: “Without any fine print in this contract, I am going to love you until the day I die.” “Whatever we are going through, I am going to love you.” “Even if I don’t feel loved or loving, I am still going to love you.” Love is something to be fought for. Love has to be fought for, because us humans are not God. God’s love flows naturally from Him. He doesn’t have to force love out of Himself. But us sinful humans have to fight to love another person, because we’re not perfect yet. Someday in eternity, we will learn how to naturally love someone, but not now. Now, we have to fight for love. And love is worth fighting for.

• Love is the one thing in my life that I can’t control. You want irrationality? Look at love. You want unpredictability? Look at love. You want spontaneity? Look at love. Love is the most powerful force on the planet and yet it cannot be contained or controlled. That’s why it freaks me out.

• Love waits for the other. Love teaches the other. Love builds up, grows up and sucks up.

• If I didn’t have God’s example of love, I’d never be able to love my woman. God is love. God’s love for me is the love I want to give her: selfless, powerful, unique, self-sacrificing, innocent. What the world calls “stupid” is true love. It’s because we’re doing love in the right way, that the world can’t deal with us and thus tries to insult us. They can’t touch it though. They’re in utter amazement.

• Love is truth that reveals who I am.

• As a man, are you dealing with pride or selfishness issues? Is your woman worth more than rubies? Then how much is your pride or selfishness worth (Proverbs 31:10)?

• If you’re loving your woman, you’ll be calling her “blessed”. (Proverbs 31 woman’s husband rises up and calls her blessed (v.28).

• Forgiveness in a relationship is huge. And, I have a hard time forgiving myself even though my woman and my God have forgiven me. Why is it so hard for me to forgive myself? I feel I need to punish myself for my sins, but God doesn’t want that. He just wants me to give myself to Him and nail my sin to His cross. He has already forgiven me. Move on already! If you don’t take His forgiveness then His death on the cross was in vain.

• Selfishness can be a struggle for men, as it is for me. But how much is selfishness really worth holding onto? I can hold onto my selfishness and hurt my woman, or I can hold onto my woman and hurt my selfishness.

• As a man, it is not your job to control your relationship with your woman. It’s not your job to worry about how to do things. It’s God’s job. Let Him do HIS job. Your job is to obey God with zero excuses. Your job is not to worry about anything: about being a good man for her, about saying the right things, about negativity stopping, about the future, about things being perfect or keeping things perfect, etc. Give up it ALL TO GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s your choice: God’s way or your way. The way of happiness or the way of sadness. The way of forgiveness or the way of guilt. The way of love or the way of sin. Jesus died for your relationship to be good. Who are you to deny that to Him? Jesus says “abide in me and I in you” (John 15:4). That is abiding in love and love abiding in me.

Tips for Love:

• Stay in God’s Word/Pray constantly.

• Quit trying to control love.

• Have more faith in God.

• Leave room for spontaneity. The less rules the better.

• Less Drama! Keep things simple.

• Don’t blame your woman (or make it sound like it!)

• Keep God first and your woman second and work third in your life.

• Quit being so stubborn.

• Find balance between all areas in your life! Don’t take things to the extreme.

• Be sensitive to your woman’s feelings.

• Be a good, strong leader for your woman.

• Quit being selfish, impatient, and having a pity party.

• Remember: you can always grow and you can always do better.

• Think through how you word things before saying things.

• Don't run away! Fight for your relationship!

• Don't be sarcastic.

• Take your woman’s feelings seriously and don’t laugh at them.

• Listen to your woman (I mean “really” listen).

• Do not neglect God.

• Give enough time for yourselves, both together and alone, even if it means missing other family and friendship gatherings.

• Get rid of your negative attitude.

• Take your time away from eachother and spend the time with God. • If you’re on a date night, don’t bring work into it.

• After a vacation, take alone time with God.

• Don’t be cold towards your woman

• Your woman needs to feel cherished.

• Tell your woman that you can only solve one problem at a time and to please be patient with your one-track mind.

• Surprise your woman!

• Don’t shut off your emotions to her.

• Don’t make your woman seem like she gets the last of your time.

• If you’re around other women, whether with your woman or alone, you should build up your woman publicly.

• Be aware of women being flirtatious with you. End the conversation quickly out of respect for your woman. Evil women don’t care if you are in a relationship, married or not. If they see a man that they want, they will go after him, immorality notwithstanding.

• If you start having negative thoughts towards God or your woman, you’re not loving God (the first commandment).

• Love Bears all things (someone’s past), believes all things (trusts the other person, hopes all things (for the future) and endures all things (for the present)

• My love for my woman is dependent on my love for God. If I’m not loving God with all of my strength, soul, heart and mind, it brings every other love down and causes useless issues and anxieties. I need to be loving and worshipping God for who He is: Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omni-loving, Omnipresent, Omni-humble, Omni-selfless, Omni-patient, Omni-classy, Omni-forgiving, Omni-creative, Omni-just, Omni-self-existent, etc. And only that will bring up every other love in my life.

• Your woman needs to support your work and your mission in life.

• You and your woman need to befriend other Christian couples, if you hope to grow in your relationship.

• Love does not rejoice in iniquity (i.e. lying), but rejoices in the truth (i.e. honesty).

• God doesn’t follow the path of least resistance and neither does love.

• Realize that you will make mistakes in a relationship, but “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” You are in Christ. You are forgiven and forgiveness frees. I don’t have to guilt myself for the mistakes I’ve made. That’s the devil’s lie. Fear of sin? No! “There is no fear in love (God).”

More Tips for Love:

• When your woman is having an issue, don’t try to solve it right away; just listen.

• It’s not your woman’s world or your world. It’s God world and He allows things to happen. But, those things should never affect your love for eachother.

• You need to appreciate and not take God’s daughter (your woman) for granted.

• Your woman is your mission. No one else can fulfill that mission except you. You were born to rescue her. You are her hero.

• Tell her how happy she makes you.

• Loving your woman is your duty. But you shouldn’t do it just out of duty, you should do it out of love.

• Do not let things get routine.

• Negativity from one person begets it in the other person. • If you are a very busy man, you need to make time for your woman before anything else. Woman, then work.

• Our great big love for eachother should be able to be expressed in the small things. Not big, extravagant ways.

• The Holy Spirit is in me: molding me, growing me, making me selfless, humbling me, loving my woman the way He loves her. I imagine the Holy Spirit as a sphere of light that obliterates all negativity inside of me.

• Love is a fight for the object of your desire.

• Cry out to God to help you! He will!

• I am to serve my woman out of love—not to be served, as Jesus taught.

• Lord, love my woman through me.

• I want what you want, Lord.

• If am my woman’s savior (which I am), I need to start acting like it.

• I am totally incapable of loving my woman apart from God. I beg for You to show me how to love my woman. Love is not meant to be apart from God.

• I (with God in me) cannot fail.

• God in me can love my woman like He loves the church and gives Himself for her everyday.

• I need to keep God #1.

• I need to be humble. Not selfish.

• Don’t compare yourself to others.

• Manage your time to make time with your woman.

• Be honest with your woman, but she doesn’t have to know every single thought that goes through your head.

• Do unto your woman as you would have her do unto you. (This is especially true for anxieties).

• Obey God. Picture His face in front of you.

• This whole life is about learning to love others.

• When your woman says, “Just love me!” That’s what God says, “Just love me! Don’t work for me—Just love me!”

• There is no Christian ideal for a love story. It’s either God’s love story or your love story.

• I love God in my woman. When you’re not loving your woman, you’re also not loving God (no matter how holy you think you are being).

• My woman is the only one I “get” and she is the only one who “gets” me.

• I love my woman for who God made her to be.

• God gives the most beautiful and the best. And He gave me my woman as a present.

• Fight any lies that are not the truth!

• I love my woman completely and unconditionally.

• You need a woman who is going to be a good mother to your children. You need a woman who is going to put God first—not her house, kids, career first. You need a woman who isn’t all plastic on the outside and hollow on the outside. You need a real woman—not superficial. Looks fade! You need a woman who is secure with her own image. You need a woman who is not materialistic. The love of things is a shallow life. You need a woman who you can grow old with! Will your woman take care of you when you can’t even wipe your butt or walk down the stairs? You need a woman who truly loves you and is not selfish! You need a woman who will take care of you and want to be your support in life—not just a friend. She needs to support your endeavors and want to go where you want to go in life. You need a woman who is going to tell you the whole truth, be honest with you and admit her sins to you. Lying destroys marriages. You need a woman who is going to respect you and not use you for her own selfish desires. You need a woman who truly loves God. Is she really a Christian or just a “Christian”? Your woman needs to feel and carry your pain. She needs to draw you closer to God. She needs to make your dreams come true, love you unconditionally, forgive you, be patient with you laugh with you and love God with you. You need a woman who isn’t flirty with other men. She needs to be absolutely faithful to you in heart, mind and spirit. She needs to love you passionately. You need a woman who does not have any addictions. She needs to forgive herself for her past and look forward to a future with God. She needs to be a woman who wants to be rescued by her man and admits that to you. You don’t need an “independent” woman. Will she love you to the death? My woman will.

• You need to forgive yourself for the lust you had for women in your past. And she needs to forgive herself for the lust she had for other men in her past. Both of you need to realize that lust can never compete with TRUE LOVE.

• Talk to eachother about your weaknesses, temptations, etc. Forgiveness and accountability frees.

• Your desire for your woman should only be: I want her to know Christ more.

• Ask the Lord to love your woman through you.

• The devil’s lie is that I should love my woman with conditions. You are to show true biblical (agape) love. Jesus loves His Bride unconditionally, as imperfect as she may be. Can you do any less?

• Love is the opposite of self-preservation.

• Love, in the form of forgiveness, is taking a wrong someone did to you and giving it up to Jesus. You don’t absorb the wrong, but you give it to Him so He can destroy it.

• You can never fear doing God’s will—unconditional love.

• Loving a woman with an imperfect life NEVER cheapens you. Love can NEVER be cheapened! It’s the most powerful thing in the universe!

• God has allowed everything in your life to happen for a reason. As imperfect as your past(s) may be, unconditional love is more powerful than any of that. God saw the sins in your lives, allowed them to happen and those events are grosser to Him than they ever would be to you. And, yet, He still let them occur. You are to be thankful to Him and obey with agape love in our hearts.

• Satan will try to point out all the imperfections in your woman. But, you know what, he does the same thing to Jesus about His Bride. He appeals to your pride and says, “You can’t love a woman like that! She’s a sinner!” But Jesus says, “It makes me sad that my Bride has sinned countless times, but I love her regardless. She is covered in love.” Love is the opposite of pride. Love is humble. Love is stronger than pride. Satan loses again.

• Jesus died for me and my woman to be together.

• Jesus gave me a mission that He trusted that I would complete—to love my woman for life!

• Do NOT fear your woman more than the Lord. You are to follow God to the death, then your woman.

• You are to love the Lord and your woman without question.

• You need to bow your pride to God’s plan. He’s the One in charge, not you. You don’t control your life. He bought you with a price. You owe Him everything

• Love is truth. Love is absolute. Love is free. Love is… because God is.

• Be faithful to your woman and don’t look at other women lustfully.

2009

• Quit trying to be perfect in your relationship. Perfection and loving perfectly are God’s attributes; not yours. He will show you how if you put your faith in Him. You’re not perfect, but “Christ died once for ALL”!! All what? All sin. All guilt. All worries. All anxieties. “Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

• No one has ever challenged me like my woman has. She has challenged me in ways I’ve never been challenged; in ways that are making me a strong, godly, man.

• No other woman has ANYTHING that I want. My woman has everything that I want and need, because God is inside her and me!

• Bodies are inconsequential to love-making. The best love-making can only be shown when Jesus is in between two. It’s only the love that God has given two of His people that will work. Everything outside of that setup (i.e. marriage) by God is NOT love-making.

• Don’t doubt God’s sovereignty and His power. You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you. You can love your woman selflessly! You let Him worry about the details. You worry about taking the first steps He told you to take.

• The truths you should know: God created your woman exactly how He wanted. God doesn’t create anything not beautiful. God doesn’t give “second bests”. He only gives bests. Satan doesn’t want you to love your woman selflessly. You are to be loving your woman like Christ loves the church. You need to put your whole faith in Jesus to love her. Jesus died for you and your woman to be together.

• Keep loving selflessly. Keep doing what God wants you to do. Jesus will NEVER fault you for doing what He Himself has done! “He made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant… He humbled Himself…” Ph 2:7-8. If God could do that then I could do that. He will never blame me for following in His footsteps.

• God doesn’t love you for your accomplishments. (Just like how you don’t want your woman loving you because of your accomplishments.) He loves you only for the sake of Him wanting to show His love to you. He doesn’t love you because you’ve earned His love or that you’re innately wanting to be holy. He loves you, because He can’t not love you.

• Never fear that your love will stop someday for your woman. You have God’s strength—not your own—that makes that a reality. Never fear that other women will entice you away from your woman! It’s true that everyone on Earth is in danger of falling out of love with someone—if they’re loving in their own strength. That’s scary, but not if you’re trusting God. God is trustworthy! He won’t let you down!

• Just because other people criticize or don’t appreciate you or take you for granted, does not mean that you continue the tradition and do that to your woman.

• My woman’s face is the face of Jesus.

• My woman is my true friend who will NEVER use me.

• To be content is to be humble. To be humble is to love. She and the Lord Jesus are the only friends I need.

• Is your woman a sinner? Is she imperfect? Is sin more powerful than love? NO! It isn’t! It doesn’t matter what sins your woman has committed! God’s love for her and your love for her should be more powerful than any of them. God’s love isn’t ruled by events. God’s love is self-sustaining, not based on circumstances, issues, ideals, sin or perfection. God’s love for your woman truly is unconditional. “Love does not rejoice in iniquity” could be said, “love does not let iniquity reign over love.” Sin is NOT more powerful than love. Sin is easier and seems very powerful, but love is harder AND more powerful than sin. You have to put your faith in God, that He allows sin to happen for a reason! He wouldn’t allow anything to happen unless it brings about His ultimate good. True love rises out of the ashes of a sinful life.

• Your love for your woman is not based on her perfection; it’s based on Jesus’ perfect love. “Love covers all sins (i.e. anxiety, issues, the past, negativity, self-inflicted or inflicted by others).” Proverbs 10:12b. “Love will cover a multitude of sins.” 1Pet 4:8b

• God created the world in love. Love’s power created the world, or, to put it another way: love to the fullest extent can create worlds (which is beyond faith’s ability to move mountains). That’s why when the fall came, nature fell with men. When everything exists on the power of love, nothing can exist when sin enters. Sin and love are mutually exclusive. When there is sin in someone’s life, it’s almost as if God just doesn’t see them. Not because He doesn’t want to, but because sin hides the sinner from God’s view. Sin (i.e. pride, selfishness, envy, anger, covetousness, etc.) is the cutting off of the life that God is giving you—the only kind of life that exists. Sinning, or being cut off from the source of life, can only be called “death”.

• Our love for eachother is greater than (>) the sum of our pasts.

• The triangle of love shows God’s perfect love (at the top) loving both me and my woman. At the bottom (of the triangle) is our imperfect love for eachother. But, it has the ability to be perfect if we’re obeying and putting our faith in Christ.

• The love that you have for your woman should overwrite any pain that she causes you.

• My love for my woman is greater than any temptation Satan can throw my way.

• You need to pursue your woman with a passion, with the strength of Jesus.

• You can never fail doing God’s will. You can only do God’s will in love and love never fails.

• There was never a time that Jesus didn’t love me.

• Men, you need to ask yourself, “What sin is in my life that is keeping me from loving my woman unconditionally?”

• Sometimes I can’t even look into my woman’s eyes because I don’t want her to see the sin in my eyes. But, that’s where the power of love, shown in forgiveness, is shown.

• Love is beyond reason. It’s beyond bullet points. It’s beyond a list of positives and negatives. It’s beyond flow charts and spreadsheets. I love my woman because I feel the need to. I want to. Sometimes I just feel so lost and I don’t even know which way is up, or what love is. But love is beyond feelings. It presses on. It sacrifices. It wants to put a smile on the other’s face. It wants to fulfill another’s heart. Pride goes out the window. Same with selfishness. My life isn’t about me anymore. It’s about her. And I’m still learning that.

• I don’t have much to give in love, but all that I have, I give to you, Lord. (Like the widow who gave her last two widow’s mites).

• God’s ideal for me is to love my woman! Forget about your ideals!

• Satan can’t stop anything that He doesn’t understand. He doesn’t understand love and therefore can’t stop it. He has no idea of the power of love. All he can do is twist it into “lust”.

• It’s not easy being selfless. But God does it flawlessly. Being selfless just flows out of Him. He’s never done anything NOT selfless. He’s never asked us to anything that He Himself hasn’t already done.

• God can ONLY give the best. He can ONLY make the best. He can ONLY do the best. Because He can ONLY do those things in love!

• Sometimes God is the pursuer. Sometimes God is the pursued. Sometimes I am the pursuer. Sometimes I am the pursued. Sometimes my woman is the pursuer. Sometimes my woman is the pursued. God exhibits both male and female personality characteristics. Sometimes He chases after us; other times we have to chase after Him (“Draw near to me and I’ll draw near to you.” When you are the pursuer, the first choice is yours. When you are the pursued, the second choice is yours (whether or not you’re going to be taken away by Him). Either way, there is a choice. And, I feel, on my end, I need to be pursuing God. Then that would lead to me pursuing my woman. Men have to be proactive. We have to win the King’s heart AND the heart of his daughter. We have to pursue God AND our woman. No wonder we feel drained a lot of the time. That’s when I need God to pursue me and refresh me and rescue me.

• Satan’s lie is that “lust opens up more options.” “Lust isn’t constraining, it’s freeing”. Sure, once you choose to believe that lie, then all sinful women are at your disposal. Your options seem limitless at that point. “You get all the women.” But, unfortunately, you don’t get “all the women”. In fact, you don’t get any of the women. You don’t get true love. Your freedom is nothing but emptiness. You are free: free from ever finding a woman who truly cares about you. You’re free from ever growing old with a true woman. You’re free to never know how to love a woman else. Is that the kind of freedom you want? Those aren’t options for life, those are options on how to have a meaningless life—death. There is true freedom in true love. There is real happiness to obtain in true love. There is exclusivity in true love. I am ONLY God’s and ONLY my woman’s.

• You’re supposed to love your woman for her heart. The further away you get from that (bodily appearance, how she dresses, how much money she has, what kind of car she drives, etc.) the more materialistic your gods become.

• You are NOT better than your woman. Both of you are sinners saved by grace. The foot of the cross is level ground.

• The greatest incentive for loving my woman selflessly is the fact that it is pleasing to God.

• I’m beginning to realize that I feel insecure in myself; that I don’t possess the ability to love my woman. I don’t, but God does. My insecurity or criticism of myself should ONLY turn my heart to faith in Christ. He’s the One that needs to do it.

• God is the binoculars by which I see my woman. He is the means by which I love her unconditionally.

• My daily prayer: Lord, give me the love for my woman today as I need it. Help me not to judge her or criticize her. Help me not to judge or criticize myself. I put my faith in You. Guide my words, my thoughts and my hands to do Your will today. Keep your kingship in my mind at all times. Amen.

• When I fail, she always has God. When she fails, I always have God.

• Ephesians 5:25, 28: Unconditionally love your woman, just like Christ unconditionally loved the Church and gave Himself for her…So, you ought to unconditionally love your woman as Jesus’ own body. When you unconditionally love your woman, you love yourself.

• Loving God means that I forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made. Loving my woman means that I forgive myself. Loving myself means that I forgive myself.

• You are to love your woman regardless of past issues, outcome, your desires or your comfort. God loves me regardless of my faith, temptations, holiness, etc.

• Love God and Love others. These are the two commandments. One is for loving God and the other is for loving others as much as yourself. That is a combined commandment that can also be said, “If you’re not loving others, you’re not loving yourself.” It can be said still another way, “To the degree you love others, you will be loved.” And, also, “You can’t love yourself, if you’re not loving others.” The “Love of others implies ministry, community and relationships. Love of others triggers love for self (Notice that you’re last in the equation: God, others, you). And God triggers all of them.

• Women express themselves in words and relationships. Men express themselves in actions and accomplishments. Both ways are valid expressions of God’s will, but it takes great patience in learning the other’s way. These are the languages we speak. Just make sure that they’re not idols. Make sure to translate for the other and to compromise and give to the other.

• There is a balance between being around my woman and feeling holy and being around my woman and feeling sinful. God, too, makes me feel holy and sinful. Lord, help me find that balance between who I am made to be vs. who I am.

• My Personal Beatitudes Blessed are those who forgive themselves as Jesus has forgiven them. Blessed are those who don’t drum up issues. Blessed are those who don’t lust after knowledge, “what ifs”, and don’t worship the mind. Blessed are those who love their woman as they love themselves. Blessed are those who don’t succumb to temptations, but with the temptation, turns to God to fight it. Blessed are those who bow their will to God’s will. Blessed are those who have peace even when there is no peace around them. Blessed are those who have no other idols before God. Blessed are those who stand up for God, righteousness and holiness. Blessed are those whose only fear is God. Blessed are those who don’t try to earn their salvation or their forgiveness by works. Blessed are those whose ideals are destroyed. Blessed are those who call out to God for help. Blessed are those who do not trust in their own strength, wisdom or riches. Blessed are those who are content and thank God continually. Blessed are those who love others as Christ loves them. Blessed are those who kill sin before it kills them.

• To have a godly woman in your life is to see evidence of God’s eternal grace and forgiveness.

• If you want to know the evil of your heart, just look at how hard it is to forgive a woman.

• You are my only God, and my woman is my only woman. I have no other gods and I have no other women. I desire only God and only my woman.

• You cannot be ruled by your sexuality. It will inevitably turn to evil desires 100% of the time. You need to hand your sexuality over to God. It’s His. He knows how to use it. Your sexuality is NOT Satan’s to play around with.

• To love a woman is to destroy pride.

• You are not your own! Your sexuality is not your own, for you were bought with a price!

• There is no “Christian ideal of relationships”. Quit comparing yourself to the other “holy” relationships around you. “God is no respecter of persons”. God doesn’t favor anyone! He gives everyone their lot in life; a lot custom-made for them and no one else. There is NO Christian ideal. You’re either in God’s plan or you’re not. Oh, and you can forget envying others since no one has or is inside of an ideal. The happiest couples are the ones inside of God’s will.

• If I had to earn God’s love, then the love that He was offering wouldn’t be worth it to me. But what kind of love DOES He give me? Unconditional love, apart from works. That’s the kind of love I want from Him! And He can show me how to love like that, too! (Anyone that you have to earn their love, isn’t worth the works you would have to offer to them)

• Your allegiance to God is shown in how much you love the woman He has given you.

• God’s blood leaves nothing untouched, nothing unclean, nothing unholy. His blood can wash any relationship 100% clean. Jesus’ blood deep-cleans better than microabrasion, acid or Gojo. He makes His children nothing BUT holy.

• Christ loves His Bride beyond the mistakes she has made. Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. He is my example of how to love my woman.

• Don’t fail to do the things your woman likes, even though you don’t understand why those things make her happy.

• I pray that my woman grows closer to God when I fail. I pray that God is glorified even in my failings.

• Men fear talking about “love”, or, even buying into the concept of “love” because “love” is “feminine”, “weak” and “useless”. At least, that’s how the world has defined it. Men don’t want something feminine; they want something masculine. They want something strong and powerful; something that will make a difference in the world. Is it any wonder why the culture’s definition of love is such a turn-off to men? Who cares about a “feeling” that changes with the wind? That kind of “love” is weak and useless to men. Ah, but that’ NOT the definition of love that the Bible gives. The Bible says that love is powerful, masculine, relevant, hard work, a commitment, godly, strong, has grit and can make things happen. God Himself is love. He “agaped” (gr. love) us to the death and has given us a new life! That doesn’t sound like a very weak kind of love if you ask me! That sounds very powerful. That doesn’t sound like an emotional feeling. That love sounds like it can take on the world, slay some dragons and rescue a princess! That love sounds heroic. It sounds like it can take on hordes of enemies even when the odds are against you. That love sounds like an adventure. That love can get things accomplished. What we men need to realize is that the world’s concept of love is a lie and God’s concept of love is truth. We need to realize that love is the language God speaks in. It’s holiness. It stands up and wants to be counted for righteousness. Love is stronger than us men realize. It was out of love that the world was created. Out of love that God chose to make you. Out of love for you to know God intimately. Love isn’t weak and it isn’t feminine and it isn’t useless. It’s the only way to live a godly, manly life. No other foundation is strong enough to build upon than love—Jesus Himself.

• Don’t undermine your role in how your woman sees God. She sees God in you. You are His ambassador, and you either show His love and power, or the lack thereof.

• Have you ever felt guilty over stealing something? Well, adultery is the theft of another person's spouse.

• Only the infinite God can give my woman the love she needs. Her need for love is SO huge, beyond what I can give her. But God is giving me an opportunity for Him to use me as an instrument of His infinite love. His huge love can flow through me to my woman if I let Him.

• Have you ever heard someone say regarding a Marriage certificate, “It's just a piece of paper”. Usually this kind of statement is used to undermine the importance of the definition of marriage. Now, I disagree with the motives of people when they say those kinds of statements, but as far as regarding the actual piece of paper—of course Your marriage is not based on a piece of paper! Your marriage, most definitely is NOT based on the official declaration of the State, Church, Court or anyone else! Young married couples look to the State to validate their marriages with a piece of paper! So, I would like to ask a question: So, when the State of California no longer exists, does that mean your marriage is null and void? My marriage is between myself, my woman and God-- not myself, my woman and the State of California. Our marriage is based on a higher Authority than the State. Our love is a love that does not need the State's approval. The institution of marriage is ordained, created, validated and sustained by God--not the state. “But what about all the tax benefits of having a marriage license?” someone will ask. (And, actually, I asked this, too, as my first objection to Pastor Matt Trewhella's essay). What about the tax benefits? If you're inviting the State into your marriage for TAX BENEFITS—your god is MONEY! It is the same reason why couples don't get married and just live together: they worship the State and its tax benefits. The State of California has NO business being in my marriage. Only God does! The State of California doesn't even know what “marriage” is! They have been trying to destroy the God-ordained definition of marriage and have sought to replace it with a homosexual, humanistic, liberal definition! The State is incompetent to define my marriage, let alone enter into a contract with me, defining my marriage to my wife. The State is in no position to define true love or true marriage. They're trying to usurp the role of God and His institution of marriage! But, by NOT bowing to the State or asking them to enter into a contract with me and my woman, I am giving God His rightful place in this marriage. He is the ONLY ONE that can keep it together! I bow to His Authority—not the State or anyone else's! Taking marriage out of the hands of the State and putting it into the hands of God is an act of obedience, trust and sanctification.

• Marriage is a gift you give ONLY to God—not your wife. When you marry your wife, it is a gift of love and obedience to God, who THEN gives it to your wife. Your whole heart, mind, soul and strength should do it for God—no one else! It is a sacrifice of humility, selflessness and unconditional love for God—not your spouse. • I would encourage all men in a relationship to write a “Declaration of Faithfulness”. It is your declaration to the world that you are going to be faithful to your woman, no matter what. It is a declaration that states that no woman will ever come between you and your woman. And, if you are a woman and you are reading this, I would encourage you to write a similar declaration, stating how faithful you are going to be to your man. The world needs to see that Christians mean business and we will NOT back down, even in the midst of temptation.

• I submit my love only to You, Lord. I submit my body only to You.

• Sexual satisfaction in this life is but a drop in the bucket to the pleasures God has for us in eternity with Him. My relationship with my woman is temporary, earthly. It is meant for me to learn about God and draw closer to Him, so that I may be prepared for eternity.

• Is Christ divided? No! He's the same in both me and my woman.

• There is NO fear in love. That goes for loving Jesus and loving my woman.

• Imagine if I could get rid of my woman’s free will: she would be a robot, would have the perfect past, never take chances, never learn, never dream, never appreciate or be thankful, she never would’ve turned to God freely and never would have loved me freely. If she didn’t have free will, she could never truly love me.

2010

• “You have been freely given to, now freely give.” God’s grace in your life is meant to be shared with others.

• The parable of the talents is a parable of grace. God gave grace to all 3 men and only one of them didn’t share that grace with others. His grace was meant to bear fruit. So, don’t be selfish with the grace God has given you. He has forgiven you, therefore you need to forgive others around you. “Whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.”

• My woman doesn’t need MY love, she needs Christ’s love! I want to be an open vessel for Christ to love her through me.

• When I love my woman, I am loving you, Lord. And when she feels loved, I want it to only be your love, Lord. I want her to feel Christ’s love only.

• Love keeps no record of wrongs, especially when Jesus has paid both your sin debt and other people’s sin debt. Justice is already paid. Why bring up debts that are already paid?

• Show mercy to me, Lord, that I may show mercy to my woman. Show love to me, Lord, that I may show love to my woman. Show compassion on me, Lord, so I may show compassion to my woman.

• 1 John 2:12 says, “… your sins are forgiven you for HIS name’s sake.” Whose namesake? Ours? No, Jesus’! The only reason my woman and I are forgiven is because of Jesus’ name, Jesus’ blood, Jesus’ obedience, Jesus’ sacrifice, Jesus’ humbleness, Jesus’ strength and Jesus’ grace. Oh, how I long to be like that: to love my woman without conditions.

• Jesus’ crucifixion was the worst punishment EVER pronounced on ANYONE. It was the worst pain anyone has ever had to go through. But, it is also the most satisfying payment of all time. Justice was satisfied. The Father’s wrath was quenched perfectly. To say Jesus payment of our sins was inadequate is blasphemy. In fact, it was MORE than adequate! He bled his very last drop of blood for us. He took his last breath for us. He went above and beyond what we needed. It was a perfect payment. Untarnished. Mint-condition—for what? Our sins. He bought us back. Now we will love Him for the rest of eternity.

• Good Friday—the Ultimate Sacrifice ever made—was how Jesus showed His love for His Bride. He gave everything for her, with no guarantee (but faith) that she would return His love. To sacrifice your life for your wife is faith. Marriage is sacrifice; it’s a turning away from the past towards the future. It is where I show my love to my wife. It is where I lay it down. It is death: death of self, death of sin, death of pride, death of my will, ideals, wishes, death of the past sins for both of us, death of justice, etc.

• This life is only temporary. Our bodies are only temporary. Our marriage is only temporary.

• Don’t get caught up in the physical. To be fleshly minded is death; to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

• I want to be a conduit for God’s love for my woman. God loves the God-part in her and so do I.

• Fast and sacrifice for your wife.

• I would never want a woman based on her body. That’s not love, that’s lust. I would never want a woman who didn’t love God, who didn’t love me, who had no self-respect, who would be unfaithful to me, who wasn’t a hard worker, who didn’t care for her neighbors, who didn’t love herself, who didn’t love her family, who was selfish and pushes everyone else out of her life. I’m so thankful I have a woman that is none of these things. Thank you, Lord, for giving me a true, faithful, loving, godly, hard-working woman.

• What makes you think that you can just take God’s good gift of forgiveness and hold it to yourself and not give it to others? God gave you forgiveness to pass it forward; not to horde it. Forgiveness is something that is limitless and is meant to be given away generously. God feeds you forgiveness so you can shower others with it, especially your spouse.

• Men, like God, are independent and don’t “need” relationships because of their self-sufficiency. That’s how God made men! Women, like the church, are dependent upon men (who represent God). That’s how God made women! Without God’s leadership, the Church would not have any direction. Likewise, a wife, without her husband’s leadership would not have any direction. (I’m not saying she can’t navigate through life without a man, but just ask any woman if that would be her preference). Therefore, the leading and loving of a wife starts with the husband, though he is made to be more independent.

• The life of a husband is a life of sacrifice.

• Imagine your wife pushing you up to God. Imagine also, God, pulling you up to Himself. Also imagine on your other leg, are all the other people in your life—the devil included—that are trying to pull you back down.

• To say that love is a feeling is to completely miss the fact of what love really is. Love isn’t a wishy-washy feeling that you’re either “in” or “out” of. Love is a person; a real-life person. Love’s name is Jesus Christ. Love is defined by Christ—not vice-versa. Love is who He is. He invented love, but before He invented it, He already was it, living it out for all of eternity past. Go back into eternity past as far as you can, like 100 Trillion years. He is still there loving. Go back further, like 100 Quintillion Millennia ago. God’s still there loving. God has always existed, therefore love has always existed. Love made the universe. He made you and I. Even after we burst onto the scene, rebelled and turned our hatred towards Him, He still loved us and continues to do so.