A few years ago, I met a couple at the Salvation Army. I met them through my Blankets for the Homeless ministry. Childhood abuse, poverty, bad relationships, no real godly training growing up, and then teen-age rebellion on top of that – with poor health and some poor choices added in – have led Nicole and Mike to homelessness. I think there have been a lot of hurts and without a relationship with the Lord, they did not know how to handle difficult situations.
Between the two of them, there have been four relationships, three marriages, three divorces, and four children. They do not have custody of any of the children.
Nicole and Mike seem very sweet, and I think they were lonely, feeling desperate and depressed when they found each other. Love sprang sweet through understanding how the other was feeling. They hold tight to each other. My prayer is that they will learn to lean on the Lord, holding tight to Him and asking Him into their hearts soon. I pray that they would bring Him into this relationship, so the cycle of broken relationships can stop here.
The same week I met them, I met an older couple at the hospital when I was doing hospital ministry. I wish I had their picture, but bringing a camera in to take pictures of patients is frowned upon! The husband happily told me that he and his bride had been married for 69 years. He teared up as he told me about his special lady. He still sounded so in love with her. I asked him what their secret was to such a long marriage. He immediately answered, “Love purely.”
That phrase has been rolling around in my head ever since. You could say I’ve been pondering it. Around the same time, my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. I love him with all my heart, and I know he loves me the same. But we are certainly not perfect, and I’m certain this older couple is not either. I’m sure they have had their arguments, the little irritations that come with living with someone day after day. So in daily living, and in daily familiarity, how do you love someone purely?
It has to come from the Father above. He is the only One who is pure love, therefore the Giver of pure love. His pure love rains down on us when we invite Him into our hearts and lives. When we invite Him into our marriage and live by His ways, we are blessed with pure love. We may mess up, we may argue, selfishness may creep in; but when our foundation is built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ, forgiveness is always available, grace and mercy are showered upon us, cleansing us, renewing us so that then we can offer these same gifts to our spouse.
And yet, without Him, so hard.
My heart goes out to Nicole, Mike, and their children. I pray for them. They need guidance in so many ways. If they would just open up their hearts to the pure love of the Lord, I know they could make it. I pray for those four children involved, that the cycle will be broken soon, or else the children just might end up in this same situation someday… or worse.
[Dearly loved ones], clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5)
Do you know couples who are not loving purely?
Let’s pray for them. Let’s get on our knees for them and enter the battlefield with the armor God has given us, and help fight this battle in prayer before our Heavenly Father.
Do you have children in your life that will be entering into a relationship some day?
Let’s pray for them and their future spouses.
Let’s claim victory over any broken relationships.
Let’s pray God’s blessings over new relationships that will be sprouting up some day.
I want there to be more couples saying, “We’ve been married for 69 years” and tearing up sweetly over their love.
© Kris Bridgman. All rights reserved. Used with permission.