Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired out by the trip, sat down by the well. John 4:6 When I dated Shirley, I began realizing that I needed her. She supplied qualities I didn't have. She balanced my life. I was the spontaneous, quickly decisive, easily involved type. Shirley preferred to look a situation over thoroughly, think about it a few days and then make a decision. She slowed me down. And in those occasional moments when life tumbled in on me and I doubted myself, she was always there to reassure me. Lovers, no matter how strong their personalities, always need other people. When we love another, we instinctively (and usually unconsciously) select a person who possess the qualities we lack. We need that other to be whole. God never created any of us to be self-sufficient. God made us with weaknesses and strengths so that we could learn interdependence. A common need becomes the basis for human relationships. Only recently I saw Jesus as a needy Person. In the story found in John 4, He had been with his disciples and He was physically tired. He sat down by the well and they went into the city for food. It struck me as I read that passage: Jesus had a need! For Him, it was to rest His physical body, but it was a need nonetheless. And an outcast woman came by at just that time Jesus rested. She had a need - to hear the Good News. That's often how God works. In this case, a tired Jesus, needing rest, sat at the place where the guilt-laden woman came. He found rest; she found peace. Both had their needs met. One of the great things about lovers is that they meet each other's needs - and often without being aware of it. They do it instinctively, because they care. And caring enables us to meet the needs of the other person.
Devotions for Lovers
Above everything, love one another earnestly, because love covers over many sins. 1 Peter 4:8 When reading the Old Testament, I used to marvel at the way God talked about Israel and to Israel. When He talked to them, He scathingly pointed out their failures and meted out punishment. Yet when God talked about Israel, it was always as His special people. If they had failures, outsiders would not know it. It was a family matter. Love protects its own. It doesn't protect by denying shortcomings and failures. Love knows reality, but it doesn't nag. Mature lovers find ways of sheltering the other from criticsm and rejection. Wayne told me that after he had been married for four years, he had an affair. One night he was out with the other woman, a car hit them head-on, and the woman died hours later in the hospital. The incident happened in a moderate-sized town where Wayne held a responsible position. He called his wife, Janet, from the hospital, blurted out the whole story, and hung up before she could reply. He expected that when he eventually went home, Janet would be gone. Instead, she rushed to the hospital and sat in the waiting room with him. After the other woman's death and as the story circulated, Janet never criticized Wayne. From her lips, no one knew it had been an extramarital affair. By her constant presence at his side, no tongues wagged. Janet's love was strong enough to stand by her husband and protect him. Because of Janet's consistent love, she was able to get him to attend church with her, and eventually both of them committed themselves to Christ. That's the protecting love true lovers understand. They know that their love can overcome all obstacles. They remain steadfast in the midst of trials and even rejections. The covering of sins may not be this extreme. It doesn't matter what the failure, true love protects its own from criticism.
. . . for He has said, I will never fail you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5 I was involved in an automobile accident four years ago. A man in another car ran through a red light and hit me. My car was severely damaged, and I did not have another vehicle. Several friends told me how sorry they were about my situation. Many of them added, If there's anything I can do . . . One friend, Bob, never made such a statement. He heard about the accident, called and said, For a few days we can get by with one car. We'd like to lend you our second car. Bob's love was available to me. Often we want to spend time with our friends, but only at our convenience. There are times when we wish to be alone and resent the intrusion of other people and their problems. We like to choose our availability. Yet true love is available at all times. That doesn't mean I always feel loving, or that I always feel good about being disturbed. But if I really love you, I am available to you. True lovers make themselves available to each other. Available to listen, to talk, to touch, to hold. Available lovers echo the words from Hebrews: I will never leave you. We understand that promise because Jesus Christ gives us the perfect model. God says He will never leave us, and that He will never fail us in any way. True lovers work at imitating that ideal.
"It does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right." 1 Corinthians 13:6 True lovers want each other's success. They're not competitors, even if both share the same occupation or have similar goals in life. True lovers can rejoice when the other gets a break, wins recognition, or advances at work. True lovers genuinely feel sad when the other has any setback. True lovers encourage, wanting only the best for each other. I saw this clearly with one couple who had a new baby. The wife, not the homemaker type, had executive ability and held down a good job. Three months after the baby's birth, she returned to work. Her husbnad, a teacher, became a househusband until the child entered school. He was willing to let his own career slide into the background so his wife could advance herself. The husband was often teased about his choice. When he joined the work force again, he had trouble explaining to prospective employers why he had not worked for six years. Was it worth it for the couple? They both said, "We're happy. We would do it all over again if the situation arose." while that's an unusual incident, it illustrates rejoicing love, which is happy when the other has a chance at advancement or success, and is willing to let personal desires move into the background. Lovers find happiness with each other and they are happy because they make each other happy.