Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. 1 John 4:7 (NIV)
In the years before we had county water, we replied on an old well put down in the 1950s.. While the well did fine for irrigating crops and a citrus grove, it was not really meant for household supply. The water smelled and tasted of sulfur and contained a lot of iron. It was not appetizing to drink something that reminded us of rotten eggs and the rust in the water stained the inside of our appliances and bathtubs. So, we fell prey to one salesman after another who promised to freshen our water. At one point, the well water went through an aerator that sprayed it around in a tank to release the gases from the sulfur, a salt softener to remove the hard water, a chlorinator to purify it and finally, through a distiller to remove any lingering chemicals. We never could make it taste good enough to drink. Doing laundry was a nightmare. The chlorinator frequently got out of whack dumping a huge amount of chlorine into the system and bleaching our clothes. Sometimes, everything came out stained with rusty spots. The worst part was never knowing when the pump on the well would break down. Usually, it happened when it was dark, either first thing in the morning or at night. We could also count on it being right after you got your hair full of shampoo. Then, someone would have to go out by flashlight and manipulate and bang around until the switch could be reset. Sometimes, it would be caused by a power failure, but usually it was because wasps built a nest in the switch. That meant not only were you soapy and frustrated, but dodging wasp stings as well. It was a great day when we hooked into county water. Our appliances don’t have to be replaced every two years, our tubs and sinks stay cleaner and our clothes last longer. We have a source of fresh water that is steady and reliable. That old well just couldn’t supply what we needed. The same thing happens when we try to love someone on our own strength. Without God supplying us with His love, a love that is unending and never gives up, our own efforts are not enough. I am sure that there are relationships that work but are not based upon a commitment to Christ, but for us to have the stamina and strength to make it through the rough times which are guaranteed to come, it is so much easier with that fresh, continuous source of love that God pumps from His heart through ours. We just saw the movie, Fireproof, and if you haven’t already gone to see it, do so. It is very well done. The whole premise of the movie is that marriages can be saved. It takes work, but when God is at the center of the relationship, there is a bond that cannot be broken and a source of eternal love that will never fail.