Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:35-39.
Fred and Olive Hodges are both 102 years old, and have been married for nearly 77 years. They are the longest married couple in Great Britain. They have two children, 11 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Olive Hodges says, “It is all about love, give and take and considering the other person. Love is the main thing. When the Lord came into our lives it made all the difference.” Their long-lived marriage is even more remarkable in light of the fact that the average marriage in Great Britain only lasts a little over nine years.
Fred and Olive have been inseparable for almost 77 years, and in their love we see the modeling of the love of their Lord. Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” Paul goes on to say, “So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh (Ephesians 5:28-31).”
To have a successful marriage takes both the husband and wife striving to demonstrate the love of Christ toward each other. This is not just the role of the husband, and it is not just the role of the wife. Paul ends chapter five of Ephesians by saying, “let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband (Ephesians 5:33).” Think of the example of Christ, and in Him we see the example for how the husband and wife should conduct themselves in marriage. Jesus so loved the church, that He suffered and died on the cross, so that we would have a Savior. How far should we go in our self-sacrificing love for our spouse? Christ went to, and through the cross. If we demonstrate that kind of love for each other in marriage, our lives too will be inseparable.
The closeness, and inseparableness of marriage is a small taste, a shadow of the inseparableness of our relationship to Christ. Once we know Christ as our Savior, nothing can separate us from the love of God. Paul makes it clear that when he says nothing, he means nothing, as he lists everything that he can think of that we might think could separate us. Paul says, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What can separate us from the love of God? Nothing!! Once we know Christ as our Savior we are forever inseparable.
(The closeness, and inseparableness of marriage is a small taste, a shadow of the inseparableness of our relationship to Christ.)