There are verses in the Bible that when we read them, we ask (probably to ourselves), “Why in the world is he saying that?” One such verse, in my opinion, is when Paul tells Titus to …teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands … (Titus 2:3-4, NIV). It puzzles us because we are nearly 2000 years removed from that time, and because we live in an age when the courtship and marriage traditions are completely different.
Often we read that verse, and we may think — that they shouldn’t have to be taught to love their husbands, that’s why they got married in the first place. Of course, we then stop and think that their marriages were arranged by their parents, and that the couple that got married may have barely known each other.
I don’t know enough history to be able to tell you when the customs changed to the present system. I’m pretty sure that there are still places in our world, where the marriages are still arranged by the parents. If the truth were told, I think that there are arguments that can be made for the strength of either system. BUT, we live in a society where people are guaranteed the right to pursue happiness, and we will never go back to arranged marriages.
One of the problems with the way that our society goes about choosing a mate — is that as a suitor, parent, grandparent, sibling, or just a caring individual; we have to endure the pain of broken hearts of rejected individuals. Rejection is a terrible feeling. Individuals become convinced that this is the one for them, but the one being pursued is not convinced of that. Breaking up has become a phrase that we hate to here, especially from those around us that we care about.
Sometimes, I believe that in our relationship with God, we pursue Him as we would a “romantic” interest. We have convinced ourselves that we have to do everything that we can do, to convince God to love us, or “earn” his love. That the love of God is as fickle as that of in the relationship of a teenager.
Read very carefully what the psalmist has to say: Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! (Psalm 66:20, NIV)
It is entirely possible that we need to go back and “re-study” the love of God. We would learn that He loved us before He created the world; that He loved us when He chose Abraham to be the father of the faithful; that He loved us when He made a great nation of Israel; that He loved us when He sent Jesus; that He loves us now; and, will continue to love us!
I believe that Scripture teaches that I can love myself and my wants, more than I love God. That I can choose not to love God, and never have the relationship with Him that He desires. That I can allow my desires to supersede His place in my life, and walk away from my relationship with Him. I also believe that Scripture teaches that my relationship with God will never be broken, because He quit loving Me. Peace.
(This was first posted on Facebook on June 7, 2016. A few minor changes in the text have been made, and it is being re-posted here as a part of our “Psalms for Saturday”. It is my prayer that it will be a blessing to you. Bill)