This week I decided to add a marriage challenge to my plate this month. It’s for 31 days and is called “Husband in pursuit”. Today was the first day and I have to say it was quite humbling. The first challenge simply asked me to write down three scripture describing how Christ pursues me and how that influences my marriage. So I wrote down my scriptures and begin to think about how Christ loves me and how it’s influencing how I pursue my wife. I immediately recognized the word pursue isn’t a passive word. It’s the opposite and very persistent at best. I then reviewed my scriptures and thought how Christ waits for me to get right. He waits for me to repent and when I do he’s ready to hold my hand. There are no hoops to jump through. That had me consider the fact that at times I can be very conditional with how I love and pursue my wife. This was a humbling and scary thought to have. I believe that God gives us gifts such as love, grace, mercy, and other awesome things so we have enough to give to others. But what if we were accepting those things from God but not handing them out how he gave them to us.
I realize now that my love for my wife at times can be reactive. As in I am loving her after she loves or does something that pleases me. This isn’t at all how God intended us to love. He set the example of love by giving his son. We should give not expecting to be paid back and knowing it is God who rewards. However, it is easy in a sensory-driven society to look to others for what they can do to pay what you have given. This is a “what’s in it for me” perspective. Gods perspective is “What’s in it for the kingdom”. This is the perspective he requires of us. Matthew 6:33 says “ But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”. This made me realize that I have been seeking and expecting his kingdom to be added at moments. That wasn’t loving. Nor is this the right mindset.
There is nothing passive about God’s love. There is nothing forgettable about what he did. There was nothing he required from us when he gave his son. When we begin to withhold what God gave us and use it as a ransom, that isn’t love. It can be easy at times to believe that forgiveness, love, comfort, joy, peace, and happiness are ours to give and ours to withhold. That isn’t the case. They are Gods to give. Luke 6:38 says “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” To pursue Christ is to give for him, not for others. In society, we can easily begin to believe that we should give before we get but God is saying He will give to us after we give. We must remember love isn’t passive or reactive but proactive with no expectations.