How to Have a Love Like No Other

About twenty-six years ago, a handsome young man in a tux stood before me and recited loving words of commitment that began like this:

About twenty-six years ago, a handsome young man in a tux stood before me and recited loving words of commitment that began like this:

“Michele, joining my life with yours in the covenant of marriage . . .”

And so our love story began with strong promises about loving and listening, respecting and revering.  By God’s grace the covenant is still in effect, and after all these years, the more I learn about myself and my all-too-obvious weaknesses and failures, the more a love based on strong promises sounds really good to me.

God’s love is like that, too – based on strong promises that have been recorded in His Word, and as I read through the book of Hebrews, I’m reminded that God’s covenant with us, His people, is firmly based upon grace.  Rather than giving up on us in our stubborn disobedience, He perseveres in relationship with us and makes these stunning promises:

  1. “I will put my laws in their mind and write them on their hearts.” (Hebrews 8:10)   This is a promise of internal change.  Since God’s commands were written on tablets of stone, any attempts to uphold the law in our own strength will only leave us crushed and without hope.  However, in Christ, the standard is written with love on the lining of our hearts, and the Holy Spirit directs us toward true righteousness.
  2. “I will forgive and remember their sins no more.”  (Hebrews 8:11, 12) On the basis of grace and mercy, God “forgives and forgets” our failures – not because of any deficiency in God’s memory, but because He chooses not to hold them against us any longer.  Given that experience of having been forgiven, it is possible for me to uphold my promise to “forgive and forget” in my relationship with my husband and to extend grace to my children when they are the repeat offenders, for certainly this is what I have experienced from the hand of our forgiving God.

I also made a series of strong promises to my husband on the day that I wore satin and lace and was surrounded by the scent of gardenias.  Standing in the kitchen in my jeans and surrounded by the scent of garlic and St. Bernard, I may (occasionally) forget those promises “to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving, as God in Christ has forgiven me.”  However, reading Hebrews 8, I am reassured that God will never break His promises.  The strength of my covenant relationship with God is based upon His faithfulness – not my own.

Furthermore, the love of our covenant-keeping God which never fails has made possible a relationship like no other.  Throughout history and around the world, humanity seeks the divine.  In the search for meaning or significance, there is a struggle to somehow transcend the mortal “box” and to commune with the higher power.

By contrast, the truth of the Bible is that the God of the universe has already entered our “box,” becoming like us through the incarnation.  Then, rather than demanding our obedience through fear and threats of punishment, He has offered to write His law – not merely on our doorposts, or on our Sunday-morning smiles — but on our hearts.  We follow Him and live in obedience out of love and gratitude – not because we are looking for a way to heaven.

This is a love like no other.

Amy Carmichael said it well:

“Love of all loves, in Thee I know Love Divine.”

“Behold, what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we should be called children of God!”  (I John 3:1)

27 comments

  1. Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says:

    Michele,
    Congratulations on so many years of keeping covenant with your husband. That is to be celebrated!! Thank you for reminding me of the beautiful covenant God made with me…to cast my sins as far as the east is from the west and remember them no more. So thankful I don’t have to strive under the law, but instead, am covered under the blanket of grace. I always love your wise and wonderfully woven words.
    Blessings sweet friend,
    Bev xx

  2. Becky says:

    Beautiful reminder about our covenants (And God’s!) I’m with you…pretty glad we have those promises to stick to after all these years 🙂

    • Michele Morin says:

      Yes, there are stars in our eyes at the outset, and we run pretty hard on emotion (I’m talking both marriage and our relationship with God, interestingly enough), but it’s the commitment that carries us through. Strong promises!

    • Michele Morin says:

      I am being flooded with truth in my study of Hebrews. So thankful for my Sunday School ladies — and for the fun and challenge of working things out on the blog so that they (and I) get a mid-week Hebrews boost! Also very thankful for people like you who read and encourage!

  3. Debbie Wilson says:

    Michelle, wonderful applications to the verses in Hebrews! “Since God’s commands were written on tablets of stone, any attempts to uphold the law in our own strength will only leave us crushed and without hope. However, in Christ, the standard is written with love on the lining of our hearts, and the Holy Spirit directs us toward true righteousness.” Praise Him for His work in our lives!
    Debbie Wilson recently posted…Why I Quit Working for GodMy Profile

  4. bluecottonmemory says:

    You write this: “the more I learn about myself and my all-too-obvious weaknesses and failures, the more a love based on strong promises sounds really good to me.” I am continually awed that the more my husband knows me and the more my God knows me, that they love me despite my weaknesses. We’ve been married 32 years. I’m blessed to have a husband who mirrors God’s unconditional, never-giving-up–on-you kind of love! I am so glad that God never stops writing his laws on the “lining of our hearts.” Such sweet, unconditional encouragement you have given here! Shalom sweet lady!

    • Michele Morin says:

      Yes, I’m amazed at the love of my patient husband as well as the love of God. And isn’t it a blessing for kids to grow up seeing the push and pull, the forgive and go on, and the wonder of a glorious and mundane love!

    • Michele Morin says:

      So often I have been encouraged by that very truth: this business of believingly following Jesus Christ is based upon the faithfulness of God. Thanks for reiterating that precious truth today!

  5. Tiffiney says:

    Hi Michele!

    Thank you sooo much for your wonderful words about God’s love for us and the eternal covenant he makes with us. This message really blessed me.

    I particularly liked points 1 and 2 from Hebrews. I could print this out and read it over again and again to be reminded of how great our God’s love for us is. Love it! Thanks again.

    Stopping over from 100 Happy Days link up.

    Love,
    Tiffiney :o)

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