All week we've been looking at the characteristics of God's love. We've learned that God's love is unconditional, everlasting, and bigger than we can imagine. But you know what else God's love is? It's useful.
God loves us in a way that lets us fill ourselves up with His love. His love offers us strength and comfort. It allows us to love others, even when they are unloveable.
As parents, our first reaction might be to let God fill us up with His love, so we can love our children. And we certainly need that. But if you're married, the best thing you can do for your children is to allow God's love to fill you up so you can love your spouse.
Let's face it, we all go into marriage with some unrealistic expectations of the fairy tale that it is going to be. But marriage is hard work. It may be the hardest thing you'll ever do in your life. Waking up every morning and loving the same person for decades takes dedication, perseverance and forgiveness. Some days it takes more than we have to give. Only when we let God fill us up with His love can we continue to love our spouses the way God tells us we should.
Sometimes the bumps in the road of marriage are more than bumps -- they're mountains. We don't think we can take another step. That's when God's love and strength come in. That's when He provides what we can no longer conjure up on our own. 1 Corinthians 12:9 says "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'” It's when we are at our lowest point that God is at His strongest. When we have nothing left to give to our spouse, God can step in and provide the love, compassion and even forgiveness that we need.
If you're in need of some of that strength right now, check out the great series going on over at Inspired by Family, Loving Your Man When it Hurts. Six women are sharing their stories of how God worked in their marriages. When those bumps became mountains, God showed up. Let their stories encourage you if you've hit a rough patch with your spouse. God cares, and He shows up in the tough moments to provide everything you need to make it up the mountain and down the other side.
While you're there, check out Inspired by Family's other great posts, as well. From recipes to crafts to encouragement for moms, this site has something for everyone. Check it out and let Mari know you popped over from Everyday Truth.
As we finish off this weeklong series on God's love, remember that God's love is powerful. It can mend hurts, offer forgiveness and heal wounds. His love is all we need to make it through this journey of life.