The Love That Acts


When my wife and I were courting, I had such ideals about being the perfect husband. I believed so much in those ideals that I told my wife what I look forward to doing after we become husband and wife.

I remember telling my wife how I would on some days give her rest days while I do all the housework. I remember telling her how I would make sure I am always at home for her and the children any free time away from work. There were so many other things I looked forward to doing which I have forgotten – but my wife never forgot.

A few months after our wedding, we began to have quarrels. I began to ask myself why I could be upset with someone I loved so much that I sometimes found it difficult to sleep just thinking about her? I know I didn’t make a mistake marrying the woman I loved so why could we not agree on some issues?

We finally got down talking. I was amazed when Maris (my wife) began telling me how I never lived up to the ideals I glowingly talked about before we got married. She began to point out things she expected from me that I wasn’t doing. I was stunned! I felt like she was talking about someone else and not me. My feelings were at overdrive. I was initially shocked and could not believe what I was hearing my wife say about me. Then came anger and I wanted to get back at her. I said a few unintelligible things and kept quiet because they were not even making sense to my ears. A sense of shame washed over me because I realized that she was telling me the truth.

Over the years, things are better even though sometimes I still need to be reminded that I am slipping back, but I realize that my wife knows that I could not in reality do all of these things I so much believed in. She just wants to see some effort on my part. She wanted to know that I loved her enough to want to do the dishes even after having a long day at work; she wanted to see me try doing the baby’s diapers even if it falls off her after a few minutes. She would have loved me to insist that I would cook even if all I do is to put the pot on the stove and she completes the cooking.

This brings me to our relationship with Christ. When we became born again, we wanted to do everything we thought was right as a Christian to do. We wanted everyone to know that we had given our lives to Christ and would gladly welcome any opportunity to do so. We would gladly serve in any group or committee in Church and would attend all meetings. Along the way, we began to fail in these ideals. The more we struggled to keep up with them, the more we failed.

Christ said, “ If you love me, keep my commandments ” John 14:15 . From this, I learnt that the ‘doing’ part is what shows that we love the other person. If I was doing or at least showing an inclination to do what my wife expected, I show her that I love her. It doesn’t have anything to do with feelings. The way we feel is quite subjective but the things we do, send messages of what we feel. Christ could have said, “If you love me, make sure you feel love towards me” but He knew that we don’t always have the feelings of love towards others; neither do we feel loved all the time.

However the expression of love can be seen in the things you do. For example, if your boss told you to do an illegal thing, what you would feel is not love for Christ but surprise and possibly fear of the repercussion of saying “No” to him. However, your taking a godly stand against your superior's demand, shows the love you have for Christ.

Let us begin to act the love we have, for others and especially for Jesus. The best place to start is from the little things and then we begin by faith, to reach out and do the greater and mightier things. May the Lord give us grace to act in love towards God and towards men.

Steve Popoola (c) Biblepraise Fellowship Online, 2004

Steve Popoola was born in London but currently reside in Lagos , Nigeria with wife Maris and their two children, Praise and Stephanie. He works in the IT dept of a bank. Formerly an active singer, he still sings occasionally and speaks at invited forums. He is moderator of the Biblpraise Fellowship Online and editor of Biblepraise Newsletter, a weekly Christian e-zine.. To subscribe, send blank email to biblepraise-subscribe@yahoogroups.com . He can be reached through His email address, steve@biblepraise.org , or visit his website at http://www.biblepraise.org

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