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Love it, Don't List it!

I absolutely love... Love! I see it in every little the twinkling eyes of a baby looking at her mother and in the fuzzy, little, white airplanes floating from dandelion flowers. I smell it in the crisp smell of Spring; I feel it in the warm hug of Summer's breeze; I hear it in the warbles of morning birds and in the crystal peels of laughter from couples of all ages having innocent fun! I taste it in the promise of a kiss not yet given and in the burst of flavors in a whipped, mango-carob latte, after a long walk!

I used to watch a home improvement show called, "Love, or List It!" Couples would look for new homes while having their current homes renovated. The renovator's goal was to create such a beautiful space that the couple would choose to 'love' their home and not 'list it' for sale. God wants us to have a renovated view of Christian relationships. Though they are not without challenges and strong temptations may exist to just give up, God says "Christian" relationships are salvific. They invite heaven's problem-solving skills and our full cooperation!

My heart has been broken a plethora of times but who is counting?! Isn't God still good? Yes, He is! Every morning I deep breathe a fresh current of His love and it encourages me to remember that "perfect love cast out all fear"! I John 4:18. It erases all the lies that God's gift of marriage is a toxic prison, and exalts this union between a Christian man and a Christian woman, as the great liberating infusion of bliss, hope, warmth, safety, transformation, and renaissance that it is in reality!

I tasted the promise of this reality while on a vacation on an exotic Island, several years ago. Enveloped by the mauve dusk of a starlit night, the sounds of crickets, the delicate fingers of a light wind, looking into the eyes of one I deeply loved and who I knew also loved me, God shared with me something special. Listening to my then-beloved's sincere voice and hearing his confession of commitment, I experienced something beautiful. The reaction was punctiliar, but its effect was long-lasting. l sang for days "O Wonderous Love". My smile was incessant and I had to constantly make the effort to hide it behind the scenes!

Christian relationships are not fairy tales. They are NOT without stress or adversity. As a matter of fact, God uses them as great character builders, if we allow Him to do His job well. Eve was to be Adam's help-meet. A Christian woman's job in a relationship is the same. Her primary goal is to help her mate meet or maintain his relationship with God. My experience on the exotic island was one that was preceded by thoughts of separation, but patience opened the doors to an unexpected revelation! I experienced the seamless blending of love for God and love for man.

It was not the romantic, infatuation of heady lustful expectations, but a pure, holy, abnegation of bowing before God and seeing His desires for a relationship approved and corded by His will. Every time I thought about how much I loved *Paul, I automatically thought about how much I love God. When I thought of God's love for me, I thought about how much God loved Paul too. I could not separate the two. It was the three-strand cord of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 4:12. Though Paul and I had a love that was intimate, at the same time it demanded purity, humility, protection, honor, and selflessness. It revealed a standard for marriage to which God wanted me to attain. "O Wonderous Love."

Today single Christian men and women have seen the wreckage of marriages on the sands of time. They are scared that this will be their lot as well. They waste beautiful opportunities to unite with the special people God placed in their lives or wants to place in their path. Some see the pain and scars left by family members, friends, and foes and say emphatically, "No thanks"!

I have a problem with that. God gave two beautiful institutions in the book of Genesis: Marriage and the Sabbath (Saturday). Most Seventh-day Adventists advocate Sabbath-keeping, even to the letter of the law, but trample on its twin, marriage. God created both and gave them as gifts to promote, nurture and preserve His character traits within us.

Are you telling me, the God who created marriage, cannot find you and me, one better than

"Rebecca" or "Isaac"? By our stand-off approach, do we tell God He cannot spread a healthy table in the wilderness of wrecked marriages and relationships, AND also preserve it? Let's stop limiting God based on what we see... and empower Him with our faith in the gifts He gave in the beginning. Both gifts are a blessing... don't just limit yourself to one. If God offers it... take Him up on the offer. Venture out anew... your last relationship failed. So what? Love is still lovely, therefore try again... God is still able. Get out of your comfort zone and love God's way.

Today, Let go of Satan's lies. Healthy, beautiful unions still exist in this world...they may have challenges, but God's gift, rightly accepted, received, and used, will cause no sorrow (long-lasting regret). Marriage is salvific. So what are you waiting for? Love it...don't list it!

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

Proverbs 10:22

"O Wonderous Love." (with Lyrics)

Taste. Enjoy! Respond. Like! Share. Be encouraged!

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