Love-ology - David Ledbetter

They’re needed on the baseball field, in the classroom, at work, at home, and every other part of our lives. Especially in the marriage field: Ezers!


I’m reading this book called Love-ology by John Mark Comer right now. He has some incredible words of wisdom for those who are looking for love, in love, out of love, daring to love, and even those who think love is out of the question for them.


Below is an excerpt from the book where John is going over the second of four points about marriage: Gardening. (You read that right—gardening!)


It gives an interesting perspective into a few questions you may want to consider when looking for a future spouse (if you’re not already married).


For me, it pressed me to think of ways that I can make Elizabeth’s and my marriage better—for us and for the Kingdom.


Read on below:


“The word helper is ezer in Hebrew. It sounds derogatory in English, like God made Adam a personal assistant. But it’s not that way at all in the original language. Ezer can be translated “partner”—one who comes alongside to help achieve a goal.


The exact same word is used for God in the Psalms. The psalmist sings, “The Lord is with me; he is my helper.” In other places it’s used for military reinforcements without which an army would be crushed.


A helper is not an employee—someone who works for you, someone you boss around.


A helper is an equal. Genesis uses the adjective suitable, meaning “on the same level.” It’s someone you love and respect. And it’s one who comes alongside as a partner in a project, as an ally in a war. We all need that kind of helper. Or, put another way, we all need help.


Women, don’t marry a man without a gardening project.


No matter how charming or romantic or handsome or spontaneous or stylish he is, if he isn’t a gardener, how will you “respect” him? If he isn’t doing anything with his life that matter for God’s kingdom, how will you partner with him? If he isn’t going anywhere, how will you follow him? If his life is just about the day-to-day kind of pleasures, how will you entrust your future and your calling to him?


Men, don’t marry a woman who doesn’t want to be your ezer, your partner in life.


No matter how smart or sexy or funny or interesting she is, if she doesn’t want to help you in kingdom work, how will your marriage be about more than your marriage? If she doesn’t believe in you, how will you ever trust her? If she doesn’t want to follow God’s calling on your marriage, how will you dream, try, fail, and succeed with her? How will you leave the world a better place than you found it?


If you ignore this and get into a marriage with no sense of calling, it’s only a matter of time until you start thinking, “What now? What’s next?” It’s implanted into your humanness. God created marriage for you to do something. To put on your gloves, pick up your shovels, and, hand in hand, go make a world.”


Love is an emotion, but it’s also an action. And the longer you stay in a relationship the more you see that to be true. Just like you can fall into love, you can fall out of it—if feelings are the only thing that made that love work. When Jesus loves us, it’s not a feeling. He does it. Whether that’s rubbing and cleaning feet, breaking bread, or dying on a cross. He did that. For you!


Love demands action. Feelings are fleeting—so we know that there’s more there. There has to be! We know that love requires commitment. And, by golly, that’s a lot of work! But work in love pays a hundredfold. It profits the spirit, not just pockets.


That’s why I loved the above piece from his book, it reminded me of the serving aspect of my marriage. We need to do things together that are beneficial to others and the Kingdom if we want to be beneficial to each other as well. Our relationship is important, but our relationship with Him is perilous—threatening to our entire marriage if not taken seriously.


There’s a lot of relationships we need to keep track of, but let us not forget to work for our Creator as we do for others we love.


—David Ledbetter


David Ledbetter is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.


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