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Keeping Love Alive!

Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit

 

by John & Sara Vogt - April 14, 2020

On today’s broadcast, we take a few brief moments to focus on keeping love alive. Many of us have been couped-up together for days. This can put stress on relationships. But, if we use this time wisely, we can also take advantage of this unique time together. Please take a few moments to watch today’s feature and share with friends and family.

Over these last couple of weeks, we remembered our first year of marriage and the challenges that we faced as a young married couple. It was a different kind of crisis but also life-threatening as we went through the floodwaters during Hurricane Agnes in Corning, New York.

There were eleven of us in all, including children and an elderly lady. There was also a dog and cat and a pet rabbit. The National Guard came through to try to rescue us at the last moment, but the water was too high on our street to stop the trucks. The vehicles were filled with people, and they did not want to risk stalling out. The Guard sent back a young man who said that the trucks would try to wait for us on higher ground a few streets over. So, with no guarantee that we would make it out, we pressed on and tried to get to those trucks on foot. But, it was no use. The waters overwhelmed us and quickly rose over our heads. At one point, Sara slipped under the current and could no longer be seen. As John began to go under the water to find her, she popped back up, struggling for air. Thank you, Lord.

Exhausted and realizing that we were not going to reach higher ground successfully, we crawled up unto a back porch and broke into a house to escape the currents. The water continued to surge as we splashed through the kitchen area into the dining room. We began to suffer electrical shocks in our legs from the wall sockets. Finally, a staircase took us upstairs, where we remained for eight hours until a boat pulled up to the second-story window to rescue us. God made way for us that day. Even the dog, cat, and rabbit survived. In fact, during those eight hours, we saw so many miracles. We will never forget that Hurricane Agnus and the flood of 1972!

As we look back on those moments, we see that God used it to bond us together and help us grow closer. In our marriage of 49 years of marriage, the Lord has rescued us many times since that first year. Once again, we are trusting and depending on God’s love and protection during this pandemic. And, instead of complaining, couples can make the most of this time to grow closer together. Just spending time with each other positively and lovingly can help us keep love alive.

So, here is a list of some things that may help. First, we are called by God to love each other deeply from the heart. LOVE is a powerful force. The dictionary defines love as

  1. An intense feeling of deep affection.
  2. A deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone.
  3. To like or enjoy something very much.

That’s good, but how does God define love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Love always hopes – we do not want to lose hope. Hope is a feeling of trust. All of these attributes are summed up in the very nature of God. Scripture says that God is love. So, when we love each other following God’s definition, we bring His very presence into our relationship.

Joy strengthens our relationships and our love for each other. Laughing together and talking about the good that is happening during this pandemic moves us closer together, not farther apart. This is an area where I need to grow. I can take things way to seriously and make everything A VERY IMPORTANT PROJECT. That can be a joy killer. Remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Our friends and families want to get through this time in peace, not falling apart in pieces. We are all dealing with situations during this time; some merely disappointing while others are quite serious that rob our peace. To maintain my peace when I feel anxious, I read Philippians 4. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

This requires our willing participation. Do your best to move in peace with one another. This includes the tone you use when talking to each other. Let me say that there is very little room for sarcasm here. That usually takes us out of peace and stirs up strife.

Forbearance is to show patient self-control, restraint, and tolerance. This is helpful when my family wants to watch Star Wars, but I would rather watch a family or fun movie – taking turns and forbearing with each other. ( A list of the family movies John found for me is also listed below)

Forbearance requires self-control and a willingness to give your partner a break when he or she is not having the best moment. Overlook the insult. Disregard the sarcasm or that snarky remark. This is where silence can be golden. But, not a passive-aggressive, NOT TALKING – relax and hold your fire.

Kindness or goodwill; benevolence; that temper or disposition which delights in contributing to the happiness of others, which is exercised cheerfully in gratifying their wishes, supplying their wants, or alleviating their distresses. I see my lack of this when I need to share space in our home at this time – doing it cheerfully! I am asking God for help in this area, especially if I want to take a nap while John wants to play his drums located under our bedroom. Do I gently tell him about my desire to take a nap, or do I allow him to do what he desires at this time? Either way, If I do it with kindness, it will help keep our love alive.

Goodness. This is the quality of being morally good or virtuous. It also has to do with being motivated by kindness and generosity rather than the hope of personal gain or selfishness. Most women respect a good man. Goodness is a very attractive character quality. It also helps your spouse and family to feel confident and safe.

As women, we can build up or tear down the life of our husbands and families at any time, but now, during this time of challenge, it may be even more essential for us to build up. God helps us as we journey through this time of letting go and letting God as He gives us the grace to be our best. I want my husband and children to look back at this time with good memories – not how we survived but how we thrived during this challenge.

Be faithful. Keep your marriage vows. Keep your word. Do not say you will do something and then not follow through. Keep your eyes from evil. In this digital age, it has been said that pornography is every man’s battle. It can become addictive to women also. Pornography is a form of adultery. It re-wires our brains and destroys true intimacy. Instead of keeping love alive with your spouse, it can cause us to drift apart. It damages our ability to bond as we objectify each other.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Being slow to respond when something is said to us at this time helps us to evaluate the situation and respond in love.

The final ingredient for today is self-control. Self-control when your spouse is acting unloving, self-control when instead of JOY, you are feeling stressed and depressed. Self-Control when the peace has been broken.

Self-control when your spouse does something that really ticks you off. Self-control when that unkind word is spoken.

Instead of reacting, be self-controlled enough to respond in love. If you need to say your sorry and ask forgiveness, do it soon – don’t put it off. And, never let the sun go down on an argument. Get things right before you go to sleep.

We are still learning every day how to do better these things to love each other. But, after almost 50 years of marriage, we can say without reservation that if you do these things you will definitely, absolutely, without question… KEEP LOVE ALIVE.

Credits:

Idea/Concept: John Vogt

Videography: Andrew Moore

Video Editing: Andrew Moore

Writing: John & Sara Vogt

Anchor: John Vogt, Sara Vogt

 

Produced by Vogt Media

Funded by C&N, Jim & Mary McIlvaine

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