There are different degrees of love and yet each degree is only fulfilled when it is an expression of all of the heart. In every love relationship there is a lover and a beloved. There is an initiator and there is the one who learns to wait until the initiator initiates. There is a pursuer and there is the one who is pursued. There is one who takes more of the responsibility and there is the one who responds. There is the leader and there is the follower. The one with the greatest love is the lover who initiates, pursues and leads and who also has the greater responsibility in the relationship.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16
God’s love is the greatest and our love for Him is a response to His love for us.
We love, because He first loved us. I John 4:19
God pursued us when we did not pursue Him. God looked down from heaven to see if there was anyone who pursued Him. There was no one.
God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there is anyone who understands,
Who seeks after God.
Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one. Psalm 53:2,3
God sent His only begotten Son into the world when the world did not want Him that the world might be saved through Him. Christ died for us, not when we loved Him, but while we were sinners and had turned our back on Him. We did not love Him but He loved us. We did not pursue Him but He pursued us.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
We are His beloved and He is our Father, our Lord, our Savior and our Lover and Friend if we have given our life to Him and have come to know Him in a personal way. We become His child, His follower and disciple, His beloved, His servant and friend when we respond to His great love through faith and obedience.
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. I John 3:1-3
God’s love for those who have responded to His love is a great love in that He has given them His name and adopted them as His children. God’s love is the greatest love ever expressed. Those who are His children have fixed their hope on Him for they have trusted in Him.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Revelation 19:7,8
The church is the bride of Christ and she is preparing to see Him as His bride. Her clothing will be her righteous acts that she has done in faith and obedience to His Word. Jesus Christ is preparing a place for His bride and will come again and receive her to Himself.
for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:2b,3
In the same way, a man is to pursue a woman to be his wife. A woman is to wait for a man to initiate and pursue her. She needs to learn how to be a responder. She needs to use the time of waiting to become the kind of woman that a man would want as a wife. Every man wants what God has designed for a woman to be; a faithful, loving, pure companion and lover who will do him good all the days of her life and one in whom his heart can trust. He will have great gain if she is a woman who fears God.
An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10-12
She will also be a good gift to him and he will have obtained favor from God.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22
The man is to be a picture of Christ in the marriage and he is to take the greater responsibility. He is to have the greater love and is to die for his wife as Christ died for the church. He is to be the lover, the pursuer, the initiator and the leader before the marriage and in the marriage. The wife is the beloved, the responder, the follower and is to belong to her husband, just as the church belongs to Christ.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, Ephesians 5:25
Belong means that we are to be longing for the one whom we belong to. The wife is to be longing for when her husband comes home and when she can be with him. She is to delight herself in her husband as the church is to delight herself in Christ. She is to allow her husband to be the head of the family as Christ is the head of the church. The husband is the lover and the wife is the beloved. She is to be loved by her husband.
For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:23,24
When a young lady understands that she is to be the responder, follower, beloved one and the one who is to be pursued then she is more ready for marriage than ever before. When she understands God’s incredible and wonderful design for love and marriage between a man and a woman then she will not want to manipulate, initiate, speculate or expect. She will understand that God’s plans for her life are so much greater than what she could imagine and she will want to trust God for the amazing gift that He has in store for her.
but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” I Corinthians 2:9
When a young man understands God’s amazing plan for love and marriage then he will want to wait on God’s timing and live according to God’s ways. He will not want to defraud a girl and take something that is not his to take. He will understand that she will be a gift to him and something more wonderful than he can imagine. He will understand that if he does not treasure and keep pure what the Lord is giving to him then he will robbing himself and his future wife of much happiness and joy.
The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
In them He has placed a tent for the sun,
5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; Psalm 19:1, 4b, 5a
The young man who fears the Lord and trusts him will outshine the sun on his wedding day. He will want to praise God and tell of how wonderful He is. He will also realize that God’s ways are perfect and there is nothing to add to them or take away from them.
I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him. Ecclesiastes 3:14
Both the young man and the young woman who loves the Lord and loves righteousness will be filled with great gladness and a great love for each other for they will have lived life according to God’s ways, which are the right ways to do life.
“You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness above Your companions.” Hebrews 1:9
The young married couple who has trusted the Lord and allowed Him to give them His amazing gift of love and marriage will truly experience the life that the Lord came to give us. They will not have allowed the devil to rob them of the joy and happiness that God sent Jesus to give to us.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10
The Lord came that we might have life in every area. A great marriage for those whom He calls to be married is a part of the life that God designed. His gifts are good and wise are those who love Him, who trust Him and who keep His ways.
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8:32
The Lord wants to give you His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the gift that God gave to all of mankind that they might know Him. Jesus Christ died for everyone in the world. Those who believe will have life. Those who disbelieve will not only miss out on life but they will be condemned. Jesus Christ came, died and rose again for all of us. Jesus Christ came to take away our sin that we might be forgiven and restored to a right relationship with God.
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29
This message is the true meaning of Easter. There is no greater time to give your life to Jesus Christ than today. He will take not only your sin and guilt and give you forgiveness and life but He will take your fears, He will understand your deepest longings, He will pray for you when you don’t know how to pray, He will never leave you and He will protect and save you in this life and for the life to come if you surrender your life completely and totally to Him.
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-13