Marriage is tough. There are many crappy things that spouses do to one another, but Paul wrote, “Love bears all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7) What exactly does that mean? Stego is the Greek verb for bears, which is from the root word steg meaning to cover and conceal. The idea behind the verb stego is that first we are to cover and then to conceal. It is the idea of covering over by maintaining silence. WOW! That is a large pill to swallow and very difficult to do. So we are to bear all things and do what is necessary to defend and protect the covenant made to our partner by maintaining silence. AAGGHH! Our love should cover, conceal, and protect our spouse, meaning we should maintain silence instead of exposing their fault. We should do nothing to embarrass or disgrace our spouse. Impossible! Right?
Not exactly. When we follow Christ, we are given the power of the Holy Spirit, which allows the genuine ability to carry out this action. It may not always be a two-way street with your spouse but you must do your part. Ephesians 5:25 states that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church, which seems like such a huge request to make but it’s not when husbands are fully submitted to following God first. The same can be said of wives in submitting to their husbands. Everything comes back to the same source, God being the center of our marriages. Without Him, we end up broken.
You can look at stories throughout the Bible and see hurt being healed when God was the center. I think of Ruth and Boaz. Ruth refused to accept the rejection that kept her from following hard after God. Then there are Mary and Joseph. They were to be married when it was discovered that Mary was pregnant. What a disgrace. This could have ended so badly for Mary but because Joseph was a righteous man, he obeyed the angel of the Lord and married Mary. Joseph defended and honored her. What a beautiful picture of love and obedience.
God’s convicting definition of love says, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” It is so simply said, yet we fail. How often is our love conditional?