If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—John 14:15-16 (NKJV)
As I observe people in their everyday lives and, more specifically, in their marriage relations, I was reminded of Jesus’ directive quoted above regarding our love for Him. We are often so quick to tell God and others that we love them, but I think we disregard or frequently forget the limitations and boundaries associated with love as defined by God in His Word.
Jesus was instructing His disciples that true love required more than a declaration but, rather, a demonstration of confirming and corresponding thoughts and actions. If we really love Him, we would find ourselves endeavoring to obey the commands He left for us. These commandments are found in Matthew 22:37-40 where we are told to first, love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and secondly, to love our neighbor as yourself.
In both of the scriptures referred to, we find boundaries included after the imperative to love is given. The dictionary defines the word boundary as 1) a limiting or dividing line or mark, and 2) anything indicating a limit or confine. The confines, mark, or limits of love were described as keeping His commandments, with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love to the degree that we love ourselves. We also find other constraints on how to properly express love in First Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT), 4Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” If you are like me, you probably said, “That is a difficult confinement for me to observe.”
But read, again, John 14:16 where Jesus says that He will pray that we will be sent a Helper, the Holy Spirit, who will be with us forever. Isn’t that just like God to always provide assistance or help to do anything that he ask us to do? Jesus said that if we love Him, we need to keep his commandments or respect His boundaries; and if we agree or confess that we love Him, he will provide the resources needed for our successful adherence to His definition of love. God will never leave us to our own devices but with every command, request, or challenge will commit to help us be victorious as devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
We will find that God’s limitations or boundaries are, actually, demonstrations of His love and grace in action. So, when you are challenged in your execution of love toward our spouse, coworker, friend, acquaintance, or neighbor, turn to our ever- present-help, the Holy Spirit, to provide the strength and ability to love like Jesus would. Help is available just for the asking if you can believe that you are loved with an ever-lasting love by God. (Adrian)