The Big Race

Joining in
What is the race like?
Can I make it?
Does it really matter?

Getting Ready
Getting in Shape
Your Trainers
Distance Training
Course Overview

Crossing the Line
Readying the Mind
Mastering the Course
Deciding to Win
Feel for winning
Building blocks
Design of marriage
Relevance of marrriage
Life changing truths
1) Loving or lusting
Choice of love
Fulfillment problems
Sources of love
Questions of love
Overcoming lusts
2) Filled or empty
Finding fulfillment
Problems of fulfillment
Sources of fulfillment
Questions of fulfillment
3) Enduring or broken
Choosing security
Overcoming loneliness
Clarifying our destination

Our Battle Plan

Running the Race
Gaining stamina
Overcoming hurdles
Roadside cheer
Feeling overwhelmed
Thoughts controlled!

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1) Unconditional love

The two choices
The choice of love
Problems of fulfillment
Sources of love
Questions of love

Love overcomes lusts

Before we go on to the summary and application, we need to answer a few questions that are often used to distract us from the commitment God asks of us. You might think that you need no commitment because you are not married. Wrong. The commitment to sexual purity as a single means you acknowledge you are God's agent of love in the world and must live a sexually pure life if you are going to be able to love others. Your love to others prepares you generally for your love for a possible future wife.

Doesn't the wife need to love?!
After hearing all this about the husband's responsibility to love, the guy might begin to get a bit insecure and speak out the question on his mind, "What about the wife's turn for love?!"
First of all, we need to remember that even if she doesn't love in return, our commitment to love never changes. Of course, we all desire our wives to love us. This makes it ever so much easier. I sometimes wonder though, whether the Lord often uses the wife we choose to chastise us. In other words, He uses difficult wives for difficult husbands. When sharpening a tool, the rougher parts of the job require a rougher instrument; the final touching up requires a much more delicate tool.

But secondly, let me go on and say there is a life truth from this teaching for all of us, men and women, single and married, that we do not want to miss. God establishes marriage so that all of us can familiarize ourselves with God's kind of love. We understand from Jesus' teaching that we all ought to devotedly love one another. The truth that everyone is called to love is true, but why?

What is this life truth then?
The life truth is a truth of God's person and ways that man need to observe for joy in life. In this case, the essential nature of God is love. God in His love, loved us. God first loved us. This is where love started. This is how love entered such a horribly sick world. God was committed. God overcame the obstacle of our deserving judgment by pure love and grace. God sent Christ Jesus to be judged instead of His people. We as His people, not only have observed this love but have had this seed of love born in our lives. In response we are simply overtaken by this constant, joyful spirit of giving. God in a general sense is like the husband taking the initiative in loving this undeserved bride. And so He calls all of us, young or old, male or female, husband or wife to respond to His love by loving others as He has loved us.

Are we very responsive and trusting of His love? No. Not at all. We learn so slowly. How many times does God have to specially provide help, guidance, strength, protection for us to be convinced of His love? Are we not forgetful, stubborn and unbelieving?! But His love is based on principle and not what we deserve. His giving has set love in motion on earth. The divine love of God through Christ is the sublime example of love that greatly touches the hearts of those enabled to understand. Every husband is called to replicate this sacrificial love to his wife. Ephesians 5:33 says, "Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself..."
The command is given to the husband so that even if he does not feel like loving, he still does.

Questions for reflection
  • Have you taken steps to live by the principle of love?
  • Have you felt cheated by following the path of lusts? Why?
  • Have you experienced the enrichment of God's love?
  • Have you experienced God's love?
  • How has God's love changed your life?

  • Are you a husband?
  • What kind of commitment have you made to your wife?
  • Have you kept that commitment? If not, where have you failed? Add these to your confession sheet.

How does this relate to those who are not married?
What if you are not married? You still need to love others, especially fellow Christians. Living is the land of practice. Marriage requires a greater love because it is intense and an ongoing love. When we choose to live by love instead of lusts, it will certainly make us think twice who we would marry! Since love is a ruling agent for all Christians, it is love that needs to shape a man's thoughts toward women in general. We cannot think of them in terms of how they delight our eyes. No. no. This is not good. That woman is reserved for some other man. God has not given that woman to us. Love respects that. We stand back and simply pray for her future husband. Other principles will be given later, but the key is focusing on loving one another. For example, a simple test is to see if we would be ashamed if others knew our true thoughts of another person. When ruled by love, one only thinks what is good and lovely.