BIBLE READING: GENESIS 22:1-18; 1JOHN 3:18; EPHESIANS 5:22-33
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His Only Begotten (Unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have Eternal (Everlasting) Life. John 3:16 (AMP).
Many people in a relationship can proclaim that they love the other person but True Love has the following characteristics :
- THE GIVING TEST:
This is also called “The Sacrifice Test.” Where there is genuine love, there will be the willingness to sacrifice (1Jn. 3:16). True love involves the willingness to be inconvenienced and to displease oneself for another.
- THE QUARREL TEST:
This is also called “The Forgiveness Test”. Proverbs 10:12 (NLT) states, “Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love covers all offenses.”
1 Peter 4:8 (AMP) also says, “Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].”
One must always ask the question “How much am I willing to forgive the other person?” True love covers a 1multitude of offenses. Any love that is not tested by disagreements is questionable.
- THE ADMIRATION TEST.
When you are in love with anyone, you should be proud of that person when you are before others (1Pet. 3:1-7 AMP). You should be excited to introduce them to your parents, friends, etc.
You marry a person not just for today but for your future. This implies that you should have a vision before you look for a wife or a husband. Be sure that if they make you a president tommorow even though you are a mechanic now that you will still be proud of the person you intend to marry.
- THE CRISIS TEST:
It is also called “The Fire Test”. When the person you are truly in love with goes through trying times, will you still stand by him or her? (see Prov. 18:24). For instance, if the person you claim you love loses both legs will the love still remain?
When you truly fall in love with a person, it is not just the body (the house) but the occupant of the house (the spirit) that you should be in love with. Age, sickness, financial crisis etc., will test your love. Proverbs 17:17 (NKJV) states that, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
- THE HABIT TEST.
It is also called “The Nakedness Test.” This involves spending enough time with someone to know their behaviour or how they act. There are certain behavioral traits that time will expose (see 1Thess. 5:21).
Marriage is a place of endurance and tolerance. It is a place where you accept people the way they are. It is not a place for changing people. Let people change gradually on their own because of love. If you marry a person to change the person, that marriage will become a battleground.
Father, I pray that my love for my spouse may abound yet more and more in my marriage. Let it extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight that my love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment in Jesus’ Name. Amen.