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"An Unquenchable Quest for Redemptive Love"

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"Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it." A favored scripture verse of many, certainly of all who have ever been in love and know the bible. It's been shared at weddings and is found in a book of the bible that is almost dangerous to read if you are unmarried and longing for a spouse. Song of Solomon is a beautiful gift. Some interpret it as a love letter from Yahweh to Israel or Christ to the church, but historical view holds that it is lovely and ancient, Oriental love poetry. Verse 8:7 in this book of the bible speaks loudly of true, devoted love. Even healthy marriages, free of abuse or unfaithfulness, can see many things come to overtake it and there are many ways human flesh can cause harm to it. Still, true love will find a way to weather the storm. But the winds will surely blow and the waves will undoubtedly crash onto our shores of affection and adoration.

That very scripture verse implies an attempt will be made to quench and drown something so beautiful as love. As wonderful as this flowery book of the bible is and as immune the strongest couples think they are to adversity, love for a spouse will be challenged. Often times in very minor ways. Once the fiery moments of anger have passed and the smoke has cleared, it's also often all too evident the challenge was merely an opportunity to sharpen one another. The argument was foolish and over something ridiculous. Other times, a great breach of covenant may have occurred. The latter will take much more prayer, strength, wisdom, good counsel, resolve and the power of the Holy Spirit to work through. In both situations, however, it can be such sweet comfort to know you really do share unquenchable love.

Patience, character and endurance are just a few of the qualities that get developed as each partner learns to modify behavior in the face of confrontation, and modify we must. An affinity for forgiveness grows as we look in the mirror and see how much we need to be forgiven ourselves. We know we have God's unconditional love, grace and forgiveness, but when we receive such by a devoted spouse or other human being who chooses to love us through our ugly and not give up on us nor the relationship, Christ like love really hits home.

Redemption is what Jesus came for and it is truly best learned, proved, taught and modeled through Godly spouses. That is why marriage is often portrayed as a picture of Christ and the church. Spouses were meant to be Jesus in the flesh for our mate. As we redeem the other's ugly, God redeems the time and can bless us with a lifelong journey of unspeakable joy. We've learned much of this from the marriage ministry of Jimmy and Karen Evans. I encourage you to check out their resources at www.marriagetoday.com

When marriage is good, there is nothing better on this planet. Frankly, I can't imagine my life without my best friend, my Husband. Good, bad or ugly, we love each other with fierce devotion. Throughout our 11 courtship and married years together and as my wedding anniversary arrives again in a few days, though we both have much more learning, growing, developing and redeeming to do, I'm very grateful to have entered into my marital adventure with a truly devoted man of God who has an unquenchable quest for redemptive love. We still bicker at times, but we are better for it as we pause and reflect long enough to tap into the latest lesson God is trying to teach us.

Many waters, outside pressures, other influences and Satan himself cannot quench love, if we choose to stay true to Jesus and each other. Striving to be imitators of Christ and redeemers of every ugly or broken thing in our spouse isn't easy, but what better way to ascend the hill of the Lord? From whom our help comes.

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