Love Over the Long Haul

By John Fischer

Did you ever stop to think about what a bad deal Jesus got when He chose us to be His bride? No one would blame Him if He gave up on us. Good thing He doesn’t think like we do or He would have left this marriage a long time ago.

Listening to our culture, one might get the impression that a good relationship is something for which we all have an inalienable right. This conclusion comes from observing how quickly we look for the back door on any difficult relationship, and how that exit is usually justified on the basis that the current relationship is just too hard – the assumption being, there’s someone out there with whom a good relationship is a much easier proposition. That’s a far cry from realizing all relationships are going to have their challenges, and even the best will be severely tried.

This is when you have to think of Christ’s marriage to us. As Dan Haseltine, of Jars of Clay, wrote in Relevant magazine, “Look at the marriage of Jesus… the one with the bride who sleeps around, never listens, disowns, scorns, dishonors, runs away, intentionally proves to be more interested in anything but her husband, is selfish and bears the children of every affair and the scent of every escapade. It was a marriage that killed Jesus. And it was the Gospel that brought Him back to life to love once more.”

Does God have a right to a better relationship? I suppose so, since He’s God. But does He take it? No. And thank goodness He doesn’t, or we would all be out on the street for sure.

We could stand to think a little more like Jesus when it comes to our relationships. He never allows Himself an out. He is in this for the long haul including whatever suffering is involved. He is able to do this because He isn’t thinking about Himself or His own rights. He is thinking about us. He even sees us as holy and blameless, yes, as even beautiful. He makes it so. We become beautiful in that He sees us that way, even now, when we know darn well we are not. He sees the finished product that He paid for and washed clean through the blood of His forgiveness on the cross. And if He can see us that way, we should be able to see each other that way as well, at least enough to be more patient with the process. This is love over the long haul, and there’s just no way any of us can be in fallible relationships without this.
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JOHN FISCHER, as Senior Writer with, has specialized in a daily devotional that now reaches an audience of over 400,000 people five times a week. John’s career spans over thirty-five years of distinctive ministry, first as a singer/songwriter, recording artist and pioneer of\ Jesus Music, then as a best-selling author, and currently as a popular speaker at conferences, retreats, churches and colleges/universities nationally.
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