Your Marriage is a Light
By Rhonda Stoppe
It all comes down to this: the key to having an all-out love for your husband and experiencing fulfillment in your marriage does not lie in how well your husband measures up to your expectations, but in how well you love God.
It is humanly impossible to love selflessly because we are all born with a sin nature that seeks our own good above anyone else’s. The only people who are able to love the way Jesus intended are those who have a personal relationship with God through Christ, are filled with the Holy Spirit and are pursuing a deeper love for the Lord. Because God provides His supernatural love to those who love Him, He offers hope for true love to anyone who would follow Christ. Romans 5:5 says, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (esv). We talk more about hope for a happy marriage in chapter 11 of The Marriage Mentor.
Loving your husband amounts to so much more than your emotions and feelings for him at any given moment. Love is a choice. And God’s love gives you the ability to love your husband even when he doesn’t measure up to your expectations. Listen to what the Bible says:
Above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony… Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins (Colossians 3:14; 1 Peter 4:8 esv, italics added).
Did you know God loves you in this way? Psalm 139:17-18 says, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand.”
Are you really taking in what this scripture says? The perfect Creator of heaven and earth makes it a point to think precious thoughts toward you—you!
Let’s be honest: you and I both know that if God wanted to, He could write a long list of all our flaws and the ways we fail Him every day. Yet because of His great love, God says, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).
What kind of love is that? A love that chooses to forget your sins and focus on precious thoughts toward you. I know I do not deserve this kind of love. Do you?
Do you see where I am going with this? If God loves you so overwhelmingly even though you don’t measure up to His expectations, and you are called to love others as He loves, then you are to have that same kind of love for your husband.
Jesus said, “By this, all will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Why do you think Satan works so hard to destroy Christian marriage relationships?
Your genuine love for each other will be a light that tells your children—and a watching world—that knowing the Savior really does make a difference in your lives. Letting this light shine does not happen by accident. In fact, if you make marital love all about your feelings, you will certainly miss the opportunity to shine Christ’s light.
When life is hard, your hormones are acting up, the bills pile up, and the kids get sick—this is when the light of God’s kind of love has the potential to shine the brightest. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
As a young bride, I was drawn to some happily married couples in our church because their love shone as a bright light to me. As I began to look to more mature couples who seemed to delight in one another, do you know what I found? An untapped resource of wisdom that was exactly what I needed to teach me how to have a happy marriage!
Titus 2:4 instructs older women to teach the younger how to love their husbands. e Greek word translated “love” in this verse is phileo, which refers to a friendship love. And that is just what these older women taught me—how to enjoy my husband for who he is, not who I wished he would be. Through these godly mentors, I learned how to become his closest and dearest friend. Isn’t that what you want for your marriage?
In writing our new book, The Marriage Mentor it is my husband, Steve and my sincere desire to be godly mentors to you as a couple. Because when you learn the secret of becoming your husband’s closest friend, you will become your husband’s greatest treasure—and he will become yours as well.
Listen to Rhonda Stoppe teaching: Your Marriage is a Light
Rhonda Stoppe, the No Regrets Woman, has mentored women for more than two decades. Steve Stoppe has pastored First Baptist Church, Patterson, California, for 19. After 37 years of marriage, they’re still head-over-heels and ready to share their secrets to building a no-regrets marriage. They’ve appeared on Focus on the Family and together write books, speak at marriage conferences and rescue troubled ministry marriages at their ranch in Northern California. They have four happily married children and ten grandchildren. To invite Steve & Rhonda to speak at your next event, and for more resources & videos, follow their social media links and connect with the Stoppe’s at NoRegretsWoman.com.
Rhonda is the author of 6 books and appears on numerous radio programs including FamilyTalk, Focus on the Family, Family Life Today and hosts The No Regrets Hour. She speaks at women’s events, Pastor’s Wives Conferences, MOPs and homeschool conventions. Sharing the gospel is her sweet spot––she’s an evangelist at heart.