Doesn’t Delight In Evil

..Love does not delight in evil. I Corinthians 13:6

Love does not delight in evil seems to be a reckless statement given to address something that is non existent inside of a relationship, but yet in still it is documented.  It’s documentation addresses what might be hidden to some, but is very visible to Him.

Its not that an evil action can not be committed in a relationship.  After all, we are all imperfect.  Even on our best days, evil is an accompany track, working to influence us; pushing us towards selfish actions, and inconsiderate decisions.  Paul said, even when I do good, evil is present.  Sadly, evil is present not to spectate, but is actively looking to play an active role in our relationship to carry out his desired purpose.

God has more than a birds eye view, hes able to see beneath the surface into our hearts and minds.  Sadly, he highlights, that some of our un-loving actions find their delight in the action being committed.  God says this can not be.  One who’s heart takes delight in wounding, harming, disappointing,

How can one truly love another if they find satisfaction in seeing someone suffer or find themselves unmoved by the pain of the one they are in covenant with?

Love finds delight in good, not evil.

As we have sat with couples, we have going that doing good is easy until the covenant has been dishonored by one party or both. Often people become illogical and respond in pain which mirrors immaturity.

God models for us what should be. With us He is Long suffering and Forgiving. Even when punishing us, he looks forward to restoring our harmony with us. He makes it simple for us to live at peace with Him, and so mush we.

#PastorJDO3

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A Flower Stands

A Flower Stands

Yesterday you were a seed!

I held you in my hand,

Potential,

Possibility,

Purpose,

Unfulfilled,

I realized there was a harvest,

others could see too,

As God used their mouths,

To form words to speak over your life,

Their tongues,

Little utters,

Steering you upstream,

Pressing you through every storm,

Maintaining your course and speed through ever wind,

Even the gentle breeze fills the mass,

I found from experience,

A steady gentle wind can alter lives,

Running ships ashore,

But Gods hand has remained,

His Spirit has maintained,

His community had proclaimed,

And your life has displayed,

What it is to be a flower in a garden of weeds,

Your leaves are green,

Your bloom full of life,

I smile,

Knowing that your gift will be used Pollenate,

New lands that will populate,

And celebrate you as we do today!

You started out as a seed in my hand,

And now your a beautiful bloom that stands!

Happy Birthday Girlie! I love you!

#PastorJDO3

Love Keeps No Record….

“…it keeps no record of wrongs…” I Corinthians 13:5

How is it that love can keep no record o f wrong?  We have brains!  They are portable super computers with plenty of RAM and a hard drive which is thought by scientist to only be using about 10%.  We have feelings, and our brains store events and details effortlessly, but we are informed that Love “keeps no record of wrong…”

We do know that relationships have history.  And history is a collection of past events.  This means, there is a running record of past actions and reactions!  But Love “…keeps no record of wrongs…”  jnq2018

Why didn’t God say Love keeps some record of wrong?  It seems unreasonable to expect anyone with standard memory (not even photographic memory) not to remember what has happened in a relationship.  Our minds, automatically, keep a running tab of every action.  And while some actions are easy to forget, other actions, particularly “wrong actions” might be challenging to forget and not easy to overlook.

Forgiving is significantly easier than forgetting. 

It’s one thing to deal with emotions, deal with the sting of hurt or betrayal, but to exist without a list seems impossible.  The memory of what occurs will always exist!  After all, it’s a wrong!!!

Still, God says, Love “…keeps no record of wrong…”.  When one is in love, somehow, one gets the power to either 1.  Focus on the Right and Ignore Wrongs  2.  Break all Sharpies and Pens, and List wrongs in Pencil.

  1.  FOCUS ON RIGHT; IGNORE WRONG

When one chooses to focus on right, their focus is on the deposits the person makes in the relationship.  It’s the 80% 20% rule.  Those that choose to focus on the  80% will survive, while those who are poisoned by the 20% will be consumed by its venom.  It is not that wrongs aren’t committed, but that the person chooses not to allow them to overshadow the power and commitment demonstrated from the good acts.

2.  List Wrongs in Pencil

When one chooses to list wrongs in pencil, they keep the eraser handy.  They acknowledge that a wrong has been committed, but are both eager and willing to erase the wrong committed.  To this person, the sharpie doesn’t exist, and the pen is not an option.  This person wants to restore peace and balance, and is eager to work on rebuilding trust.

How do you handle mistakes?

This is a great question, in that the way we “handle our own mistakes” is often different from the way we “handle the mistakes of others.”  Somehow, we can always find a reason to justify being forgiven and trusted when we commit errors the same error that we want others to eternally suffer for.

Relationship can survive offenses,
but can not survive un-forgiveness.

The one offended is trusted with the responsibility to restore the relationship.  They must decide how to handle the offender, and  set the parameters for restoring trust in the relationship.  This is where it gets interesting.  The one who has honored the covenant finds themselves in a position that could restore balance to the relationship through forgiveness, or extend the brokenness, by not forgiving.  This hurt and anger does not restore balance to the relationship, rather is shifts the balance to the side of the offended, continuing to punish the offender, causing more hurt and distance to occur.  Again, relationship can survive offenses, but they can not survive un-forgiveness.

Forgiveness erases the record, while un-forgiveness maintains the record.  In discussions with couples, we have found that this continues to be a charactersitic of those that struggle.  We can not dwell in the past.  We must use the past to build a future.  The good and the bad serve as building blocks.  They both have the potential to strengthen couples.  As long as we keep God as our focus, we can see ourselves with sober judgement, and continue to treat each other with the compassion and grace that maintains our covenant with out Creator.

 

#TQAYMYM    #PastorJDO3 #DrQDO

 

 

 

Love is not EASILY Angered!

“…it is not easily angered,” I Corinthians 13:5 says.

This just in; Marriage involves Conflict!!!  Let’s restate that, Marriage involves Conflict Resolution!  Inside of the marital covenant, there are a number of decisions that must be made.  The actions and directions of the family are always up for discussion, some of which end with agreement, and others which end being agreeable.   Compromise is the name of the game, and each person, like in our relationship with God, is asked to put our will aside and allow the will of another.jnq2018

And while conflict can be handled without anger, as frustration sets into discussions, and emotions surround decisions and disagreements, it becomes easy to encounter pockets of anger along the way.  And this is not out of the norm or unreasonable; but in our anger, we are advised not to sin, and not let the sun go down while we are harboring feelings of anger.

I love this statement though.  It doesn’t say that love is void of the feeling of anger, but rather, it is not easily angered.  So what is easily?  I know you have experienced this with someone (not necessarily in marriage, but in relationships in general).  The focus is not on angered, but on easily.

“Easily” is found in those who are ultra sensitive, highly insecure, and very immature.  People that are inside of a covenant like this will always have a covenant that struggles.  One will always have words and actions to review and asses, and this can leave one open to offense.  We must work not only how we give and speak, but on how we receive what was done and spoken.

In a marriage, we must both work not to fly off the handle.  This is where the fruits of the Spirit must be evident in our lives.  We must be demonstrate self-control.   If not, our marriages will be like a beach with a steady tide.  If there is no relief, pretty soon the beach will become the bottom of the body of water.  And if the rage continues,  our marriages will not have a disappearing shore line, but will loose all we have build due to tsunami like activity.  We must fight to maintain a discipline walk with God as we interact with our spouse.  When one is easily angered there will be more disagreements.

 

#TQAYMYM #PastorJDO3 #DrQDO

Love Isn’t Self-Seeking

“…it is not self-seeking.” 1 Corinthians 13:5

Self-Seeking is defined as “having concern for one’s own welfare and interests before those of others; self-serving.” 

Our love is to model Christ, and what characteristic to adopt more than being selfless.  God’s love for us is infinite, and was displayed to us by death on a cross.  He stepped down from heaven and walked the earth with us, as it was in the beginning with Adam.

God created a man that He could display love too, and aide in experiencing creation and the creator.  In this, He did not hold back, giving man the freedom of choice, and a mind that could process, create, communicate, serve and most of all love.  He gave this, knowing that man could and would be selfish with the allotment of power and freedom.  In any love relationship, vulnerability is created because there is the potential for pain and disappointment.jnq2018

This is why this instruction to be selfless is a large pill to swallow.  When one enters a covenant and chooses not to have concern for their “…own welfare and interest…”, one makes themselves even more vulnerable.   This, because our instructions are to always place the needs of those we love in front of our own.

So what is your place in the relationship?  Sadly, because most of us would say first, we find the national divorce rate at 50%.  This is not new!  In the beginning, the adversary pressed Adam and Eve to make a choice: God First?  You First?  They chose to put themselves first, forever changing they relationship dynamic.

This continues today.  Couples continue making decisions as though they were individuals; choosing to please themselves, rather than to consider their partner.  Like God, we must face the partaking of the forbidden fruit from one another.  Even in this pain, God demonstrates to us the power of love by entering into a quest to build up our relationship with Him.  He makes the sacrifice to restore the relationship, giving opportunities for repentance and pouring grace and mercy where their should be judgement and punishment.  And because He made this type of sacrifice, so should we.

To keep our marriages healthy and whole, we must model God.   If we approach our relationships in an abusive manner (abusive; using the other person), then our marriages will suffer the strain of selfish behavior.  Our minds must place our individual will aside, and consider the will of God and the desire of our spouse.  Though this could lend one to abuse, if both individuals would seek to serve one another, we could experience balanced unions that reflect the divines love in and for us.

 

 

#PastorJDO3  #DrQDO  #TQAYMYM

 

Love is NOT Rude

Love; “It is not rude,” 1 Corinthians 13:5 says.

What an important revelation this is.  It would seem a little unnecessary to state on paper, but upon watching and listening to the state of married couples everywhere, it has been determined that instruction is very needed.

Marriage includes many ups and downs, and amidst these highs and lows, couples are still interacting with each other.  During these times, men and women will continue to communicate, and must be careful to watch and measure each word, especially during the lows.

Rude is a default setting for many.  When covenant has been broken or strained,  it can be challenging to restrain the old man, and respond with the new man.  Our relationship is defined by love, which is compassionate, and considerate, selfless, and refreshing, not rude and or destructive.   jnq2018

Why then is rude an options?  Because covenant requires trust, and trust requires one to have a level vulnerability with the covenant member.  It is this vulnerability that makes the pain felt and the frustration experienced more intense, and stirs passion and damages and destroys hope, which extinguishes faith.

This abrupt shift can cause one to swing from the left to the right; leaving one pendulous between love and its opposite pole hate.  Swinging between these emotions can cause one to guard their tongues in the morning and loose it at night.  God warns us about the power of the tongue, and instructs us about the purpose of our words.  A broken heart, left without a filter, can relive and release emotions from the past enough to cause one to bypass forgiveness and place all their chips on vengeance.

Worse, many continue forward in covenant, with the wrong guard over their heart.  As opposed to guarding ones heart against offense, one can because to guard against hurt and pain.  One hurt in the past can place barriers in place to keep them from being vulnerable again.  This prevents not only forgiveness and healing, but wont allow for love to exist and to thrive.  One can not rest and find peace in trust, if their heart is protected by being removed from the equation.

We must understand that a heart removed for the equation is broken covenant.  In addition, a tongue and actions seasoned with the spice of rude, will lead to further offenses.  One can not maintain covenant and can not heal hurts where there is either an abundance, or regular actions.

 

#PastorJDO3  #DrQDO  #TQAYMYM

Love is not Proud

“…It is not proud…” 1 Corinthians 13:4

Man, this was a tough one to read. Much like love being not a “boastful”, God reminds us through Paul that Love is not proud. Proud is defined as “feeling deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one’s own achievements, qualities, or possessions or those of someone with whom one is closely associated.”

While I looked at boastful as outward displays and actions, I thought we would look at proud as more internal. It is similar to boastful in that it often is directed towards an audience, and is reflective of what one has in their hearts. But it also be the cause or the effect. It is a cause in that self pride can cause one to boast, and the effect because boasting can create pride.

Pride can also be dangerous, in that it can halt growth. Pride can cause one to be neglectful. Pride can cause one to be comfortable. When we admire our relationships to the point of pride, we can find ourselves believing that it if flame retardant or at least stain resistant.jnq2018

In pride, our marriages can also lead to idolatry! Yes, your marriage can be an idol. You can worship, cherish, and value your relationship with your spouse to such a way, that it stands before your relationship with God. We can experience distance from God, and find ourselves consumed and challenged in intimacy with God.

In 21 years of marriage, 25 years of friendship, we have found that the strength of our bond, and the pleasure and satisfaction found within it requires full time attention. And shamefully, we can also attest that there are periods where it has received part time attention and at other times is neglected all together.  We have also had to fight to maintain a balance between honoring our covenant, and worshiping our love for each other. We fight to maintain this balance, because its our love and commitment to God that allows us to experience 25 years of friendship and 21 years of marriage. Without God first, the stage for a broken relationship would be set.

But God, in His power, through His Word, and by
His Grace has sustained and directed us such that
we have been able to maintain purpose and perspective,
understanding that its not our love for one another
that seals our bond, but the love received from
Christ that allows us to look past faults,
and appreciate the full measure of who we both are.

It is His sacrifice and example that we seek to mirror, and in our flesh, our individual foolish actions that should destroy what God has joined together, yet we remain. We remain because God’s sacrifice is the model by which we are guided, and His interaction and treatment of us as His individual children that allow us to find comfort in that which is an earthly representation of His spiritual provision.

Knowing this makes us much like Paul; boasting in our weakness, and knowing that we about in grace. Because of this, we have very little room to boast. We cannot boast because with God most of marriages would have end years ago. It is through our faith that we have learned forgiveness and grace and practice it in our marriages.

#TQAYMYM #PastorJDO3 #DrQDO