Love and faithfulness are fruit of the spirit. Neither can come out of us apart from Christ. We may claim we love someone without having a relationship with Christ but what happens when the other person isn’t loving us back? Are we still loving them? What if they don’t make us happy any more or don’t supply our needs? How do we react? Are we faithful to stay or do we turn our hearts away?
True Godly love only comes from the spirit of God and it cannot be manufactured without him. The same goes for faithfulness. Some might say, well I’m faithful in my marriage I’ve never cheated on my spouse. A physical line might not have been crossed but has emotional one?
In our marriages, our first love must be God himself. He is loving and He is faithful to us. He will meet every need we have when we place him first. When we do this, It opens us up to love our spouse rather than feel needy toward our spouse desiring them to fill a hole only God can fill. But if we do not have God first in our lives our sin nature is to be self seeking. We turn our backs on God first. As we become unfaithful to him this unfaithfulness trickles down into our marriages.
Unfaithfulness doesn’t start off as a torrid affair. No, if that was the case we could see the enemy’s schemes and temptations and run. It comes slowly and slippery. It comes comfortably and what seems to be justified. We all have different ways we desire to be loved and when it is not fulfilled by our creator through a relationship with him and is not met by our spouse (which is impossible for them to do fully) we will begin to seek it out in other ways.
Maybe you desire quality time and the opposite sex lends a listening ear. So we cross the emotional line and begin to desire that time with someone else rather than God or our spouse. Maybe you like gifts, and the kind coworker brings in thoughtful tokens of appreciation and you begin returning the favor in kind and your heart moves from your spouse to another. Maybe you are the physical touch person and you begin desiring to see someone else because of the small physical gestures they give you. The pat on the back the hug across the shoulders the rub on the arm and your heart begins to turn away from your spouse. You could prize acts of service and delight in the person that is always so thoughtful in helping you out and begin to turn your heart away from your spouse. You might need words of affirmation. Where you might not get them at home, you seek to get them else where. Where ever the need is being met, our selfish and unfaithfulness will cause us to keep craving it from that place. We will invest more of our time, our heart and our mind there. We will desire to be where the need is seemingly being met rather than being with God or our spouse. Our desire for God and spouse will fade. Where we once cared, we will no longer care, we will just keep going where we think the need is being met. There may never be an intentional thought of hurting our spouse but the selfishness and sin that is in everyone of us only brings destruction and separation.
How is your relationship with God? How is your relationship with your spouse? Have you been emotionally faithful to them or have you began to walk down the road of unfaithfulness? We won’t see the devastating effects of unfaithfulness until we are well down the road. I pray that if you are on that road that you turn first back to the Lord and then back to your spouse. If you are a hurting spouse, I pray that you seek every need you have in the Lord. Allow Him to restore you and love you. Allow Him to heal your broken heart and help you to forgive and love as he loves despite the situation and circumstance.
“He replied, ” You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
“I say be guided by the Spirit and you won’t carry out your selfish desires. A person’s selfish desires are set against the Spirit, and the Spirit is set against one’s selfish desires. They are opposed to each other, so you shouldn’t do whatever you want to do. But if you are being led by the Spirit, you aren’t under the Law. The actions that are produced by selfish motives are obvious, since they include sexual immorality, moral corruption, doing whatever feels good, idolatry, drug use and casting spells, hate, fighting, obsession, losing your temper, competitive opposition, conflict, selfishness, group rivalry, jealousy, drunkenness, partying, and other things like that. I warn you as I have already warned you, that those who do these kinds of things won’t inherit God’s kingdom. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the self with its passions and its desires. If we live by the Spirit, let’s follow the Spirit. Let’s not become arrogant, make each other angry, or be jealous of each other.”
Galatians 5:16-26 CEB