Give the Fruit of Love, Day 15
Fruit is an essential part of a healthy diet. The old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has truth to it. In addition to tasting so good, fresh fruit is filled with important nutrients, fiber, potassium, and vitamins and have high concentrations of antioxidants which help prevent disease and help repair the damage done by disease and injury.
There’s also a sensuousness to fruit which is why Solomon and his wife often compares intimate body parts to pieces of fruit such as apple tree, pomegranates, and figs.
Adding fresh fruit to your marriage bed nourishes your intimacy with life-giving nutrients and protects and prevents corroding sexual, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual intimacy.
Adding the Fruit of the Spirit to Your Marriage Bed: Love
Your marriage bed needs to start in a place of love. You may be saying, “Duh!” or “Why of course!” but we don’t often have a great definition for love and in turn, don’t know how to love others around us, even our husbands. I certainly have struggled with understanding how to love my husband, and what that should look like practically in my marriage, and on the marriage bed.
Jesus tells us, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
Interestingly enough, Jesus says this to His disciples after He washes their feet. Jesus just practically demonstrated that love is sacrificial. Love is selflessly doing things and living for the benefit of another person. Now, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have wants or needs in the marriage bed. But it does mean that you need to be humble and willing to put your husband before yourself. I get the greatest pleasure when my husband is pleased, and I’m blessed knowing that he is satisfied.
I have two examples from my life that I’ll share about love. I’m sure I’ve shared them before, but they bear repeating.
When Adam and I began dating, I can’t tell you the number of times ran away instead of trying to work through our problems. One night, not more than four weeks after we were dating, I stopped talking to Adam. I didn’t give him any warning. I figured it would be best to just break up, but I didn’t know how to do it. I’m not even fully sure why I wanted to break up, just that I did. Adam gave me my space, even though he had been panicked after he hadn’t heard from me for a full day. He respected my distance. I finally called him after a few days, ashamed of my stupidity. I expected him to want to leave me and to break things off after the way I had treated him. But instead, he came running toward me, crushed me to himself in a hug, and said, “I will always come for you so help me God.” He ran out to meet me like the father does in the story of the prodigal son. Instead of rejecting me, he loved me unconditionally and welcomed me back with open arms.
When Adam and I were still engaged, I was at the apartment while he was at work trying to get some studying done, trying to get some quiet away from campus. I was upset about something, and I remember being frustrated as I couldn’t remember the last time I had showered. My feet were black and dirty from walking around in flip flops, and on top of everything, I lost my engagement ring. I panicked and started crying as I searched high and low. I was convinced that this was some kind of sign that I wasn’t supposed to marry Adam, and I remember crying out to God, begging Him for a sign of clarity and asking Him to forgive my lack of faith. When Adam came home, I was lying on the floor distraught. He didn’t say a word, but he picked me up, carried me to the bathroom, and washed my feet.
Twice, Adam has demonstrated Christlike love toward me. Both situations were beautiful pictures of how much Adam and Christ love me. No matter how many times I’ve rejected him or pushed him away or been mean to him, Adam still loves me. And this is exactly what Christ does for me. Yes, it pains Him when I reject Him and push away from Him, but He always welcomes me back when I’ve strayed. Like the parable of the shepherd who leaves his entire flock and comes looking for the one lost sheep, Jesus keeps lovingly coming for me. Adam’s love is a tiny picture of what Christ does for me, and I’m so honored to get a glimpse of God’s holy love through my husband!
How can you guarantee that your love is genuine and selfless?
Jesus speaks of being the True Vine in John 15. He says,
Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing… As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep My commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love” (vs. 4-5, 9-10).
Remain in relationship with Jesus Christ. Love thrives and grows when we’re connected to Jesus. Deep marital intimacy branches from the Vine of Christ.
Today’s 30 Minute Challenge (Nov 12th): Love on Him
*These ideas were originally from this post back in February.
1. Give of yourself absolutely! Love him by allowing and inviting him to enjoy your beauty. Give without reservations of your time, energy, heart, and body. Be open with your husband and share the deepest parts of yourself with him – the places no one else sees. Love your husband in the most intimate way possible – with all of yourself.
2. Embrace often. Show your husband love by giving him hugs and kisses regularly. Plant one on him in public. Come up behind him and hug him unexpectedly. Greet him with a hug and kiss when he arrives home. But don’t just embrace physically. Embrace one another emotionally – share your home and heart. Open up about concerns, struggles, fears, worries, ambitions, dreams, achievements, questions, beliefs, joys, pain, pleasure, etc.
3. Initiate! Show your husband love by being the first one to make a move. Your husband will love you for it! You give your husband confidence and build him up when you let him know you desire him, you want him to enjoy your beauty, and you want him to join with you. Captivate him confidently!
4. Offer your hands. Show your husband love by holding hands. Hold hands when you’re walking places. Take his hand when you’re in the grocery store or drug store. When the pastor prays in church or when you’re praying at home, reach over and take your husband’s hands. When you’re sitting next to each other, put your hand around his neck. There’s something so sweetly intimate about holding hands, something that transcends the physical and says, “I am here with you and for you no matter what.”
5. Unleash holy intimacy! Show your husband love by being physically intimate regularly and passionately, without holding back. This is so crucial for a marriage for building closeness, creating unity, and experiencing beautiful pleasure and passion. There’s nothing dirty or wrong about married sex, married sex is not just a duty to fulfill, and just because you’re a godly married couple doesn’t mean sex isn’t fun. In fact, married sex is holy, honorable, and beautiful – drawing each partner into a deeper physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual communion with each other.
5 Minute Marathon
Ask your husband this simple question: How can I love on you today? You can choose to keep it open-ended or specifically steer the conversation toward sexual intimacy. Then follow through and do it.
Lord, I praise You for Your holy, pure, undying, never-ending love and faithfulness to me. Thank You for loving me even when I don’t love You. Forgive me for the times when I’ve strayed away from You and haven’t loved You or my husband as I should. Give me a love like Jesus for my husband. Help me to love sacrificially and selflessly and without expecting things in return. Help us to grow and deepen in our love for one another. Help us unleash holy intimacy! Amen.
Take It a Step Further
Give up one thing you can cut out of your schedule today (or this week) to make more time to be with your husband (intimately or otherwise).
This post is Day 15 in of the 30 Dates in November Challenge. See related posts: Broken – Love Poured Out, Looking for Love in All The Right Places, and my series on 1 Corinthians 13 for the 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge.
Share with Us
How do you incorporate the fruit of love in your marriage? How does having a relationship with Jesus Christ help reinforce your love for your husband? How has your husband demonstrated Christlike love to you?