Sep 07, 2018
He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver;
he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.
~ Malachi 3:3
Do you ever consider how many filters exist in your daily life?
Air condition filters in our homes maintain air quality. Our cars use air and oil filters to help them run more efficiently. Vacuum cleaners, washing machines and stoves use filters to trap grime, grease dust and lint. Filters remove leaves and bugs from our swimming pools, and utensils like sieves and strainers help to separate impurities and unwanted elements from our food. Filters are absolutely necessary to improve the quality and comforts of our lives and our world.
But have you ever considered the need for a love filter in your relationships?
Early on in our marriage, I often said to my husband, "God in me loves you." Well. That didn't feel too good on his love palate. He wanted to hear the good old fashioned, "I love you!"
But I had reason to say it that way. I had told many a past paramour that I loved them. Why were they no longer in my life? I wanted and needed to love my husband differently to the way I had loved the others—and lost. I needed a love filter. I needed a love filter to trap the impurities of my human love before they were ingested and absorbed by my husband to the detriment of the intimacy in our marriage.
The well-known love passage in 1 Corinthians 13 suggests that impurities exist in our human kind of love. We can flip the coin to examine what love is NOT. It is not impatience, unkindness, selfishness, jealousy, pride, lies and deception, weakness, unforgiveness—all of which we struggle with in our relationships. If you have ever loved and lost, I guarantee that you can identify one or more of these impurities that contaminated your relationship and possibly contributed to its failure. That's why we need a love filter.
A pervasive theme in Scripture presents Jesus Christ as an all-encompassing filter. The prophet Malachi speaks of Him as a Refiner and a Purifier. The apostle Paul speaks of Him as the great Reconciler, through whom all things must pass.
For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself,
having made peace through the blood of His cross;
~ Col 1:19, 20
Having a relationship with Christ is the first step towards removing impurities from the way we love. It is through Christ that the impure or unwanted elements—the dross, the dirt, the grime of sin, is filtered out of our lives, and we learn how to love purely and unconditionally. Allowing Him to do this refining work in us is truly the first step in healing broken relationships. It is the best love gift we can give to our loved ones: our spouses, our children, our families, our friends and to the world.