This week has been a lot about soul searching for me. As I’ve mentioned, I have the distinct privilege of guest blogging at The Veil Of Chastity on Monday, and in preparation for writing that post, I really sat back and recalled the work of the mighty hand of God and the role he played in bringing Craig and I together.
I mean, honestly, I get chills (and not in a good way) when I think about my life before Craig – OUR lives before each other – or what life could be like if we hadn’t followed God toward each other. (You can read the whole story on Monday at The Veil of Chastity)The one God has chosen for you loves you like Christ loves the Church.
Meditate on that for a moment.
4 Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love. 5 For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [[a]because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]—
My “Drawing Near” devotion (By John MacArthur) this morning had the following to say about Christ’s love for us:
“Moses told Israel that God didn’t choose them because of their great numbers or any inherent goodness on their part, but as an expression of God’s sovereign will and sacrificial love (Deut. 7:7-8). That’s true of you as well if you’re a Christian.
The Greek word translated “love” in Ephesians 1:4 speaks not of emotional or sentimental love but of love that seeks God’s best for others at any cost. It is marked by sacrifice rather than selfishness–giving rather than receiving. It seeks to forgive rather than condemn–to dismiss offenses rather than count them.
Such love is epitomized in God Himself, who loved you so much that He sacrificed His Son on your behalf, who willingly laid down His own life for you (John 3:16; 15:13).”
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her
The love your holy spouse should have for you (and you, for him or her) is so magnificent, so powerful, so amazing, that it is life-changing.
Leon Suprenant, writes an article on Catholic.com, which says:
“…even more profoundly and positively, we are “pro-love” in the sense of laying down our lives for our beloved, which is a sign of contradiction for those who think love is merely about self-gratification. Love is the greatest of the virtues, the greatest of the Commandments, and it consists in giving of ourselves to God and neighbor.”
If you’re married, do you experience this type of love from your spouse? Do you give this type of unwanting, self-giving love to your spouse?
If you’re single, have you ever experienced this type of love or felt this type of love toward anyone you have dated?
If not, perhaps the the Lord has not lifted the veil which covers you. Cindy of The Veil Of Chastity, explains it this way:
“Think of The Veil as a simple metaphor: It is the idea that God places a protective veil over all of us and the purpose of the veil is to hide us from every possible suitor except the one that God intends for us to marry. I call the person God wants us to marry our ‘holy spouse.’
This protective veil makes us ‘unclear’, similar to looking through a Mylar plastic sheet, to those suitors who are not our holy spouse. These suitors may be attracted to us but they hesitate to pursue us fully because they can’t fully see us; we are hidden by the veil. This may feel like rejection but it is really God’s protection.”
How beautiful is that bit of insight? Christ loves you so much that He chose someone for you, and protects you – as much as you allow Him – until you follow His will and guidance to meet your holy spouse. I urge you, if you’re single, to call out to God for His guidance. Christ is the only way to this amazing sacrificial love. It is a gift, solely from God Himself.
Suprenant further writes in his article:
“Married couples truly are “made for each other.” Supernatural grace that comes with Christian marriage builds on the natural complementarity of man and woman. Through their mutual gift, the two really do become one flesh (Eph. 5:31), just as Christ completely identifies himself with his Bride, the Church (cf. Acts 9:4). This two-becoming-one of husband and wife is brought about, symbolized, and recalled in the marriage act.
Pope Benedict XVI, in his encyclical God is Love, calls us not to settle for a self-seeking erotic love, but to a Godlike, self-giving love that builds on and perfects all the lower forms of love. In this context, chastity gives us the strength not to be reactive or controlled by our passions and lusts, but rather the freedom that comes with self-mastery—the freedom to love as Christ loved the Church. This strength is the fruit of a lifelong battle in which we cooperate with the Holy Spirit as we strive to imitate the purity of Christ.”
Don’t settle for earthly ‘love’… It does not even begin to scratch the surface (and I mean that literally) of the love the one God has chosen for you will give. This type of amazing sacrifice and self-giving love can only possibly come from God above, who loves each of us in that same way, and beyond.
Reflect on love today – Christ’s love for you; your love for Christ; your love for your spouse… If you are unmarried, pray. Ask God to first create in you a pure heart for Him, and then to guide you to the one whom He intends.
I promise you, the blessing of sacrificial love in your marriage cannot be described in words, and there is no substitute for the fruits it brings. The love Craig and I have, the love we share for one another, is the glue that binds us when things don’t go as planned, perfects every good day, and grows each moment. Our marriage as THREE, with God at the center, is life sustaining.In Christ,