When the Apostle Paul wrote his inspired letter to the Corinthian church he had a lot of
ground to cover. Were there issues? YES! He addressed their selfish, immoral
thinking, matters of sin and righteousness, salvation and sanctification, and he also
discussed the Spirit’s indwelling and gifting which are essential to effective ministry
within the church.
Because He created us, the Lord knew our human nature would
result in attitudes and behaviors that would lead to confusion, frustration and possible
derailment. He knew we would lose our way and in His grace, delivered a beautiful
map: 1 Corinthians 13, the “theology of love.” The right understanding and expression
of genuine, godly love was mandatory to the right use of Spiritual gifts and even the
right knowledge about all things of God (The MacArthur Study Bible, pg. 1727).
Not only do we need these foundational truths for effective personal and church
ministry, they are essential in navigating our marriage relationships. When faced with
conflict at home which way should we turn? When dealing with difficult family issues,
how should we respond? When forced to make a decision to either serve my husband
and/or family or myself, what should I do? Thankfully that beautiful map drawn for the
early church so long ago is still available and relevant today! Let’s take a look:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a
noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and
understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to
remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I
have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not
arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or
resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the
truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never ends.
As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as
for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in
part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a
child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a
mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know
fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of
these is love.
So there you go! Isn’t it beautiful! How do I confidently navigate my relationship with
my husband in the good times and the bad? Simple answer? LOVE must be my
compass! LOVE never fails! LOVE never ends! And what does LOVE look like?
Patience, kindness, humility, service, honor, respect, honesty, and forgiveness. And
who does this sound like, y’all? Jesus, the True Vine! Let’s abide in Him, bear much
fruit for His glory, and harvest a lasting, fulfilling marriage.
John 15: 5, 8-11
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that
bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. By this my Father is
glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father
has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my
commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's
commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy
may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
1 Corinthians 10:31
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Tracey Dykes is wife to Pastor Jim, mom to their four adult children, mother-in-law to three, and “Mama T” to Ellis and Reagan, her darling granddaughters. She enjoys welcoming her family and loved ones into her heart, home, and kitchen where she’s usually cooking or baking up something savory or sweet to share. The GOD of HOPE fills her with JOY and PEACE and she serves Him and His people alongside her husband and best friend of almost 35 years.
This is the 2nd post in S2S's INSPIRE: Relationships series. We hope you will join us April 9th, on our Weaverville campus as we hear from women in all stages of life from late teens to retirement share relationship insights. Light refreshments and childcare will be provided. Please register by April 5th at www.brookstonechurchurch.org/inspire