Build Up and Fight For Your Marriage and Family
Pastor Phillip O’Reilly
“Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. Love never stops loving.” [1 Cor 13:4-8]
Love is an action. It’s not a fancy idea, existing only in the movies or literature. It’s not something to use only when you’re feeling good and things are going well. It’s not meant to be brought out when it’s convenient. Love is an action – one we’re called to live by.
Jesus loves love. During His time on earth, He taught about it, walked in it, and passed on the importance of Love to all that would listen. He loved all the time, not only when it was reciprocated or when He felt like it. And we have to do the same thing.
The enemy hates love. He hates what it means and what it does to our hearts and he hates most of all when we live it out as an action. Because love as a verb means that the Kingdom is winning.
Since the enemy hates love, he tries to destroy it. This is most evident in marriage and in families. Families are under attack. Because a family that loves well is a threat to the Dark. We have to outlast. We have to stick it out, ride the waves, and stay focused on Love. Even when we are hurt and scared and wondering what the point is, we have to lead with Love.
Go through the valley together. A house divided will fall. It will crumble and separate and become weak. A house divided will become stagnant, weakened, and will give up to the world. Valleys are marked by feelings of emptiness and hopelessness. The enemy is good at tricking us into thinking that a season in the valley is a sentence that we are unable to get out of. But the truth is – there is a door of hope in every valley. Every. Single. One.
Go deeper. Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes and shortcomings. Pride blocks Love. We have to go deeper in Love, in the Word, in God, in worship. We have to hold hands and make the conscious choice to stand firm.
Believe in your destiny. Jesus created us to have relationship. He created us for Love. He created us to live in community, to form families, and to take on the Dark together. And we are the ones tasked with bringing Love to the world and Light to all the Dark places. “He called you out of darkness to experience his marvelous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world” [1 Peter 2:10]
Don’t give up the fight. Darkness is pervasive and sneaky and will come when you’re least expecting it. So don’t give up. Hold your families close, and decide together that Darkness will not win. Be willing to put time into the fight. It may not happen overnight. But we cannot give up. We cannot grow weary. We cannot give in. Because our families matter. And Love always wins.