God's word in today's world

A recipe for healthy relationships

I’d just lain down on the couch for a rest when a woman called in tears. She and her husband have had a fight and he rushed out the door. She wanted me to call him. He didn’t want to talk, but said that he was on his way to Grand West.

I found him at one of the tables and watched him for a long while as he put his plastic money on the green felt table top one by one, only to see it being confiscated by the dealer. I could see he was not in a good place. It was a long evening.

I wonder why marriages and relationships no longer survive. Is it because we’ve become used to things being disposable? If something no longer works, we throw it away and get a new one. When the smallest challenge come knocking on the marriage door, one partner simply moves out.

Maybe it’s because we’ve even made love cheap. Love has become so diluted that it is no longer a strong glue keeping marriages together in the storms. At times like these, some storm out of the house and go looking for something in a casino or in other places.

There is only one solution to keep relationships standing. 14And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Such a simple solution, but so difficult for many of us to do. Ella (not her real name) and her husband got it right:

My husband died after we’ve been married for 39 years. He was in intensive care in hospital for 40 days. I couldn’t cry, because I know the Lord, and strangely enough, last night before I fell asleep I got my one-minute meditation book and read here and there in the book, a daily devotion for every month.

How amazing that I opened the book at 30 November and read: Love never dies.”

While my husband was in hospital, I continued to ensure him of my love for him, and every time I had to go home or to work after visiting hours, he held onto my hand and didn’t want me to go, and every time I ensured him that I was not leaving him all alone in the hospital, but that I was leaving him in Jesus’ hands.

As I read the devotion, this thought came into my head: “Love conquers the pain of death.” For us, God’s love will also conquer death.

The climax of our earthly life is when we find the kind of love that makes the fear of death go away.

Love is the one big thing that makes us believe in immortality. God is immortal and God is love, therefore, love is immortal.

Now I understand why I couldn’t cry — it was because I loved him so much that I was prepared to let God have him.

Ella and her husband put on the right clothes in their life. Love clothes that were so strong that it drove out the fear of death. It’s these clothes that my friend from the casino and his wife should put. All of us have to put on those clothes. It is the only recipe for healthy relationships.


Colossians 3:12-17



How strong is love in your relationships?

What needs working on?

How will you do it?


Father, You show us what love is. Love is the answer to so many of our problems. If we love one another, we do what You expect of us. Please help us to do it, Father. We struggle to do it on our own. Amen.

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