Love is the joy that comes from God when we put the benefit of God, and the benefit of other people, before our own benefit.

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Love

Love is the joy that comes from God when we care about the benefit of God, and the benefit of another person more than our own self.

General Guidance for All Relationships

(Mark 12:30) 'And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. 

True love is a decision that begins with giving your heart to God. God desires that you love Him with all of your heart. We are only to give our whole heart to God, and not to any other person. (Proverbs 23:26 NKJV) My son, give me your heart, And let your eyes observe my ways. The most important commandment given by God to us, is to "love the LORD your God with all your heart" We put God first in our lives by giving Him our heart; our mind and body will follow our heart. As we give God control of our heart His love will fill us and flow through our heart touching other people. 

The most important relationship you will ever have is with God; it is an eternal and infinite relationship. The greatest love relationship in the universe is between God the Father, and His Son, Jesus the Christ. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Love, is what unifies the Father and Son; they share the same Spirit, making them One in each other. 

For those who are in Christ Jesus, God also gives us the precious gift of His Holy Spirit, to be with us and in us forever. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Love, is what unifies us with God and with others who are part of Christ' body of believers. (John 14:15-17 NIV) "If you love me, you will obey what I command. {16} And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- {17} the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 

The quality of your relationship with God will directly affect the quality of all your relationships with people. Although life is short, the rewards of loving God, and of letting His love flow through you to other people has infinite benefits that will keep on blessing you, now and forever. The only thing that you can take to heaven with you is the people that you love. The only rewards that you have in heaven are for the times that you express love to God through obedience to Him, and the times that you allow Him to express His love for others through you. (1 Corinthians 2:9) But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 

Our love for God increases as we get to know Him more and more. (1 John 4:19) We love Him because He first loved us. Jesus prayed for all believers in (John 17:25-26 NIV) "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. {26} I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." As the revelation of God's love for us increases through knowing God more intimately, so also our love for God increases. In each of our lives Jesus promises to continue to give us greater and greater revelations of God the Father, so that the same love that the Father has for Jesus will be in us, and that He may be in us.

Jesus in the Middle of Every Relationship

In every relationship that we have with other people our relationship with God must continue to be our most important priority. Jesus says in (Matthew 10:37) "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. When we keep our relationship with God as the most important relationship in our life then we will have supernatural wisdom on how to express true love to other people because the Spirit of love, the Holy Spirit, will guide us.

In every situation that we come together with another person, or a group of people we are to do so in Jesus name. (Matthew 18:20) "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the middle of them." Every relationship should have the purpose of glorifying God, Jesus should always be in the middle of every relationship. In every relationship a good question to ask yourself is; does this relationship bring me closer to Jesus? Does this relationship bring the other person closer to Jesus? 

The glory of God is the manifestation and revelation of His love. Jesus prayed to the Father for you to have unity in your relationships. (John 17:22-23) "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: {23} "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. In a good relationship, with Jesus in the middle, each person is coming closer to Jesus becoming one with Him and thus one with each other. Many relationships go bad because people leave Jesus out of the relationship and give their heart to another person instead of God. This will always lead to disaster. Whoever you give your heart to, is your God. People do this out of ignorant selfishness, seeking to get their needs met through another person, which is impossible. Only God can give us the love, joy, and peace that we all are seeking. When you keep Jesus in the middle of the relationship, you will maintain your inner source of love, joy and peace, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Even if the relationship with the other person does not work out, you will have inner stability, because God is your source, not the other person. 

Relationships go bad because one or both people loose their focus on Jesus in the relationship. When this happens selfishness takes over, instead of caring about the benefit of God and the other person. (James 4:1-3 NIV) What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? {2} You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. {3} When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 

The greatest relationships are when two people come together in the name of Jesus. In such a relationship both people have an inner source for love, joy, and peace so that they are both free to be givers to each other, because God is their source of happiness and not the other person. Jesus says in (John 15:7-14) "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. {8} "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. {9} "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. {10} "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. {11} "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. {12} "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. {13} "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. {14} "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

Relationships with Friends and Other People

(Deuteronomy 13:6-8 NIV) If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, {7} gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), {8} do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him.

(Proverbs 12:26 NIV) A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

(Proverbs 13:20 NIV) He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

(Proverbs 17:9 NIV) He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

(Proverbs 17:17 NIV) A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

(Proverbs 18:24 NIV) A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

(Proverbs 22:11 NIV) He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.

(Proverbs 27:10 NIV) Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father, and do not go to your brother's house when disaster strikes you-- better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.

(Proverbs 27:17 NIV) As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

(Micah 7:5-7 NIV) Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with her who lies in your embrace be careful of your words. {6} For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-- a man's enemies are the members of his own household. {7} But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.

(Luke 21:16 NIV) You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.

(John 15:10-14 NIV) If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. {11} I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. {12} My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. {13} Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. {14} You are my friends if you do what I command.

(Romans 12:9-18 NIV) Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. {10} Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. {11} Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. {12} Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. {13} Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. {14} Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. {15} Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. {16} Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. {17} Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. {18} If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

(Philippians 4:4-7 NIV) Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! {5} Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. {6} Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. {7} And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

(1 Timothy 2:1-4 NIV) I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- {2} for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. {3} This is good, and pleases God our Savior, {4} who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

(Titus 3:1-2 NIV) Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, {2} to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

(James 2:23 NIV) And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend.

Marriage Relationships

(Genesis 2:23-24 NIV) The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman, ' for she was taken out of man." {24} For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

(Genesis 3:16-17 NIV) To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." {17} To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.

(Proverbs 31:10-31 NIV) A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. {11} Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. {12} She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. {13} She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. {14} She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. {15} She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. {16} She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. {17} She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. {18} She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. {19} In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. {20} She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. {21} When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. {22} She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. {23} Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. {24} She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. {25} She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. {26} She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. {27} She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. {28} Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: {29} "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." {30} Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. {31} Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

(Mark 10:6-12 NIV) "But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' {7} 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, {8} and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. {9} Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." {10} When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. {11} He answered, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. {12} And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery."

(1 Corinthians 7:2-6 NIV) But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. {3} The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. {4} The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. {5} Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. {6} I say this as a concession, not as a command.

(1 Corinthians 7:10-15 NIV) To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. {11} But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. {12} To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. {13} And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. {14} For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. {15} But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.

(1 Corinthians 11:3 NIV) Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

(Ephesians 5:22-33 NIV) Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. {23} For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. {24} Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. {25} Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her {26} to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, {27} and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. {28} In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. {29} After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-- {30} for we are members of his body. {31} "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." {32} This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church. {33} However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

(Colossians 3:18-19 NIV) Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. {19} Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

(1 Peter 3:1-4 NIV) Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, {2} when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. {3} Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. {4} Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

(1 Peter 3:7 NIV) Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Parent / Child Relationships

(Genesis 6:18 NIV) But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark--you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you.

(Deuteronomy 6:5-7 NIV) Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. {6} These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. {7} Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

(Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV) Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. {19} Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

(Psalms 103:17-18 NIV) But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-- {18} with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

(Psalms 112:1-4 NIV) Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands. {2} His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. {3} Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. {4} Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.

(Proverbs 22:6 NIV) Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

(Joel 1:3 NIV) Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.

(Malachi 4:6 NIV) He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."

(Luke 11:13 NIV) If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

(Ephesians 6:1-4 NIV) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. {2} "Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise-- {3} "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." {4} Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

(Colossians 3:20-21 NIV) Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. {21} Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

(Hebrews 12:6-11 NIV) because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." {7} Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? {8} If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. {9} Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! {10} Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. {11} No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Work Place Relationships

(Leviticus 19:13 NIV) "'Do not defraud your neighbor or rob him. "'Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight.

(Deuteronomy 24:14-15 NIV) Do not take advantage of a hired man who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother Israelite or an alien living in one of your towns. {15} Pay him his wages each day before sunset, because he is poor and is counting on it. Otherwise he may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin.

(Proverbs 22:16 NIV) He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich--both come to poverty.

(Matthew 20:1-15 NIV) "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. {2} He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. {3} "About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. {4} He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' {5} So they went. "He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. {6} About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?' {7} "'Because no one has hired us,' they answered. "He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.' {8} "When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.' {9} "The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. {10} So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. {11} When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. {12} 'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.' {13} "But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? {14} Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. {15} Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?'

(Romans 4:4 NIV) Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.

(Ephesians 6:5-9 NIV) Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. {6} Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. {7} Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, {8} because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. {9} And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

(Colossians 3:22-25 NIV) Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. {23} Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, {24} since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. {25} Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.

(Colossians 4:1 NIV) Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

(1 Timothy 5:18 NIV) For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain," and "The worker deserves his wages."

Relationships with Government

(Matthew 22:17-21 NKJV) "Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?" {18} But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, "Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? {19} "Show Me the tax money." So they brought Him a denarius. {20} And He said to them, "Whose image and inscription is this?" {21} They said to Him, "Caesar's." And He said to them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

(Romans 13:1-7 NKJV) Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. {2} Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. {3} For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. {4} For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. {5} Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake. {6} For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing. {7} Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

(Titus 3:1-2 NIV) Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, {2} to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

(1 Timothy 2:1-4 NIV) I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- {2} for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. {3} This is good, and pleases God our Savior, {4} who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

(1 Peter 2:13-17 NKJV) Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, {14} or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. {15} For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men; {16} as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. {17} Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.


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