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The Beauties, Promises, and Rewards of Married Love!        Maria #442       CM/FM 3194       4/98
By Maria

My dear ones,
       1. I love you! In the last few years, more and more couples have been getting together. Knowing that this is a big step for many to take, a big responsibility with lots to learn and many challenges and obstacles to be overcome, I've been asking the Lord to give us counsel on marriage that we could share with you, our precious Family.
       2. In the first GN of this series, we will share general counsel on how the Lord views marriage. I think you will be very encouraged to see all the benefits and rewards there are for this commitment, which at times involves sacrifice, but which results in many great blessings as we follow the Lord and put His will and His love first.
       3. In the following prophecy the Lord explains some of the benefits of marriage and how it can help people. What are the reasons for taking this step, which can at times appear to be a big and even frightening one for some in its permanency and obligations?

       Why Marriage?
       4. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} The benefits of marriage are endless! Marriage multiplies love, and since I am Love, marriage multiplies and magnifies Me in the lives of the people involved and their children, which often result from such love. As those who are married are fruitful and multiply, they fill the world with My children, little messengers of love from Heaven. Marriage keeps people together and provides a good team for raising children. Marriage combats the great plague of loneliness that covers the world today.
       5. The Devil hates marriage because the combining of two hearts is a powerful force for good, so he tries to tear down the traditional family values that used to be instilled in people, preaching that independence means strength and power, when just the opposite is true. Humility, teamworking together, loving another as yourself, committing yourself to another person and to your children--all these are building blocks to a strong bond which helps you to face the problems of life.
       6. I'll list here some very good benefits of marriage. These blessings are like the fruits of My Spirit--love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. When you receive Me and My Spirit dwells in you, you receive a measure of these things. But the more you abide in Me and let Me abide in you, the more these fruits manifest themselves in you. The more they grow and ripen and come to full fruition.
       7. So it is with the benefits of marriage which follow. As you love each other and love Me with all your heart and soul and might, these benefits grow and blossom. The potential is there in every marriage, but it is up to you to tenderly care for each seed of benefit and nurture it along so it may take full root and grow strong. It is for you to search your heart and sift out any bad attitudes against marriage you may have picked up along the way.

       8. Humility. Humility is love and love is humility, and getting married is the best way to exercise yourself in both of these very important qualities. When you are married to someone, you face them every day and night and must constantly manifest your love and My love to them, in the good times and the bad, when you feel like it and when you don't. They see you as you really are--the many hidden faults and failings which others do not see because they are not so close to you. This keeps you humble before your mate, and them before you. You can learn such things around others, but in married life it is a daily battle for love and humility and a constant learning experience.
       9. Strength. Two are better than one, for if one falls, the other can lift him or her up.
       10. Power. One can chase a thousand, but two can put ten thousand to flight. Merging your life with your mate doesn't double your power--it multiplies it many more times than you realize.
       11. Love. You're better able to love others because your needs for love are filled. You learn more about love than you ever could in a mere friendship.
       12. Security. Loving and being loved brings great security and peace of mind and heart. On that foundation you can accomplish so much more.
       13. Responsibility. Being married teaches you responsibility like nothing else can. You learn how to make decisions together that will affect yourselves, your children, and others for the good.
       14. Unselfishness. Today's world is so selfish, and it's the natural tendency of man to be selfish and look out for oneself. Through marriage you are in a way "forced" to learn to think and act unselfishly, and as a result you learn the benefits of unselfishness more quickly.
       15. Fruitfulness. Combining your life and goals and efforts with another person helps you to reach your objectives more quickly and easily.
       16. Safeguards. When you have no one to care for but yourself, it can be easier to fall into unhealthful physical and spiritual habits. But when you are married, you can be a strength to each other in your weak areas. You care more for yourself, as your life and health affects your mate's, and you care more for your actions, for they also reflect on your mate and your little ones.
       17. Children. Children are a great benefit! And My ideal is that children are born into a loving, secure environment, with both a mother and father to look out for them. Children teach you love, humility, compassion, sacrifice, joy and responsibility like no other gift in this life.
       18. Communication. Communication is important in any kind of relationship, but all the more so in a marriage. Because marriage puts two people in such close proximity to each other, they must communicate to remain close both physically and spiritually. Marriage can help you improve your communication skills, if you are willing to learn. This helps you to draw close to both your mate and others.
       19. Wisdom. Knowing another person's thoughts, feelings, and reactions so intimately, as in a married relationship, teaches you wisdom, as you learn more deeply how your words and actions can affect others.
       20. Responsiveness--sensitivity to others' needs. Marriage can teach you the ability to perceive and understand other people's feelings and needs, and respond positively to them. You learn to be sensitive to their feelings, in a good way.
       21. Sex! "Male and female created He them." I made men and women to be attracted to each other, to fall in love, and to want to live together, to fill each other's sexual needs.
       22. Friendship. Your closest friends are those who know everything about you and love you anyway. Thus your husband or wife can be one of the best friends you have ever had.
       23. Quality of life! I designed men and women to be together, to share their lives. When you follow My will and plan for you, the quality of your life is better. As you do your part, even though it may be hard work, I will supply the fulfillment and satisfaction you earnestly seek.
       24. Joy. "Joy that isn't shared dies young."
       25. Maturity. Marriage is a fast track to maturity, and teaches you many lessons that deepen your character. You and your partner begin to put away the childish things of youth as you learn and grow together.
       26. Enjoyment. When your needs for love, sex and security are filled through marriage, you relax a little more and are able to enjoy life and even help others to enjoy life more.
       27. Usefulness. Marriage can make you more useful to others, for you understand what it is to lay down your life for a mate and children daily. You learn lessons of love, unselfishness, concern and sacrifice that are invaluable both in ministering to your brothers and sisters and to the lost.
       28. Happiness. Being married to someone helps you to tap into the resources of unselfishness, humility, and love, which can all bring more happiness into your life.
       29. Understanding My love. You understand My love for you more than ever, as you experience the unconditional love, respect and devotion of your mate.
       30. Relating to others. It's difficult to understand people unless you walk in their shoes. Once you experience the trials and triumphs, the sacrifices and joys of marriage and raising children with someone, you will find you relate to so many more people.

       A Note to Singles!
       31. {\b \i (Message from Jesus continues:)} If you take all these above benefits to heart, you married couples can see your relationship in a new light, as you appreciate all the benefits of your bond with each other. But I can also see you others comparing, or feeling the worse for having no one special right now. Just remember that My timing is different for everyone, and there's no need to rush off and get married to the next person you meet. What is My will for another may not be My perfect will for you, as each person is different. And if you're not in My will, then all of these blessings [EDITED: "the benefits of marriage"] won't come to you. What brings happiness above all is being in My will.
       32. I have your life in My hands. And the fact that you don't have someone to call your husband or wife right now does not mean that I love you any less, or that you are unlovable, undesirable, or out of My will. I love you and I desire you deeply, as your Husband Who will never leave you.
       33. There are similar benefits in temporary yet mature love relationships. My love is not limited to a marriage ceremony, for I pour forth My love through you, and through others onto you, in whatever way I can. So don't give up on living or be afraid to keep loving. I love you. (End of message from Jesus.)

       34. {\b \i (Mama:)} That list was pretty good, wasn't it? I thought it was very sweet of our wonderful caring Husband to add the last little note to all you singles, telling you not to feel bad. I thought He might want to say a little more about that to both the marrieds and the singles, explaining why He's put this emphasis on marriage and how it can benefit not only those in marriage relationships but also the singles in the Family. Here's what He said:

       35. The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. Married people sometimes yearn for the old days when they had more time to themselves and more freedom, while single people ache for companionship and someone to share life's joys and trials with.
       36. The secret to happiness is, "Be content!" I have ordained your life to be the way that it is, and as you thank Me for even the seeming "stones" of your life, you will find them transforming before your eyes into the bread they have been all along.
       37. The singles should not feel left out with all this new marriage counsel. It's been years since the married couples in the Family have had any special New Wine about how to improve their relationships, and you should be happy for them. And not only for them, but you should be happy for yourselves too!
       38. I have made you all one wife, and in your communal living you affect each other by your words and your actions. By helping the married couples to improve and strengthen their relationships, you will feel many benefits also. As people feel more secure and loved in their relationships, they will be more at peace and easier to live with. There will be less tension in your Home and more unity, as everyone benefits from better communication skills.
       39. Not only that, but as husbands and wives learn how to better communicate and understand each other, they will become even more fruitful and productive in their ministry or calling than they already are.
       40. And I'm saving what many of you will consider the best benefit for last: As their marriages are deepened and the cords of their love are strengthened, they will find more strength to reach out to others in love--to you, the single brother or sister in the Home, and to bring you into their family circle, into their friendships and even into their beds. So support them in spirit and pray for them, that they will have some quality time together in their busy missionary lives, and you will find yourself, your Home, and even the sheep reaping the benefits of that time. (End of message from Jesus.)

       What Is Most Important for a Happy Marriage?
       41. {\b \i (Mama:)} With many young people getting married, I had a burden to ask the Lord what they should strive for in a marriage. What are the most important factors for having a happy marriage? What should newlyweds expect, and what should be their standard as they set out in a new married relationship with their loved one?

       42. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} When a young couple first begin their married life, there are certain things they can do and principles they can keep in mind that will ensure they have a happy marriage in the years to come. A young married couple can set certain criteria within their relationship that will keep it on the right track of My will. If they start off with the right expectations and standard, they will be happy and grow stronger in their loving relationship, secure in their love for each other. But if they start off with the wrong expectations, the wrong ideas and standard, it will weaken their chances of having a happy marriage. That will result in greater difficulties, battles, and trials which could be avoided.
       43. Young couples need to start off with the right expectations, realistic expectations of what a happy marriage means. To do this they should look to the Word and what has been said about marriage in the Family. They should read the Letters about marriage and relationships, the counsel given in the Word, and understand that this is what they should expect. [EDITED: "Note: See the Cat Book or Daily-Dex."] They can look at the marriages they see which are happy and fulfilled, loving and fruitful. Through this they will get a realistic picture and idea of a happy marriage and what it involves and doesn't involve.
       44. It's a mistake to model your expectations for a happy marriage after movies which tend to romanticize marriage in an unrealistic way. It's not that marriage isn't romantic, but the type of romance that most married couples experience on a long-term basis is not the same as the movies portray.
       45. For example, if you expect your wife or husband to always be ravished by your presence and ready to romance you with words of passion, or to even always be excited to have you around, then your expectations are not realistic! It is not wise to set your standard for married life according to the movie industry, novels, or soap operas, or to feel that if your mate doesn't live up to some such standard that you have in your mind, they or your marriage are failing.
       46. Even a young marriage that has romance and passion, and where the partners are deeply in love, will also experience human failure, human weaknesses and mistakes. It is wise for young couples to be willing to accept this as part of life, and not be discouraged just because the mate they once thought was practically perfect suddenly starts showing signs of being imperfect. People must understand that no matter how much they love each other, their loved one is not perfect and never will be perfect.
       47. A big part of their happiness and continued loving relationship will depend on whether or not they've based their expectations on the Word and set their standard according to it. It will depend on their willingness to be patient, kind, and ready to forgive the mistakes that will be made. It will depend on their faith to believe, their faith to turn to the Word and to Me for the help they will need, and their willingness to work at making it work.
       48. In order to do this, the most important factor in any marriage is Me, My love, and My Spirit. People must start their relationship realizing that I must be in the center from the beginning, as well as throughout their years together. A marriage is happiest when both people start off with the premise that they belong to Me first of all, and that each one is Mine.
       49. I have bought and paid for your life and your love with My Own life, and I desire your love to be set upon Me most of all. You must realize that although I am giving you to each other and I have blessed you with a relationship and marriage for life, in essence you still belong to Me more than to each other. You do not belong to your mate, you belong to Me, and it is My will that should be supreme.
       50. The reason that this is so important for people to remember is because it will help you to keep your priorities straight, which is My will above all else, obeying My voice, and doing My bidding. In doing this, you will be guaranteed happiness, fruitfulness and growth.
       51. I set people in marriages to help each other to do My will, to uphold, to support, to complement each other, and to help each other to be even more fruitful in My service. You join together as one because of your love for one another, which is a gift from My hand, in order to be a more fruitful team for Me, and because you realize that you can do an even better job for Me together than you could apart.
       52. In order to keep Me first and foremost in your lives, you must take the time needed to love Me, to pray together, to hear from Me, to read and study and absorb My Words together. You have to fight to keep Me in the center of your lives, fight for your spiritual connection with Me, fight to hear from Me, fight to bring your questions and problems to Me in prayer and receive My personal direction for you.
       53. Just as you had to fight for your Word time, quiet time, and link with Me when you were single, you have to fight as a couple, as a marriage, to do the same. You are one, and as one you must come to Me together, seek Me together, learn to suck in the spirit together to hear My answers and receive My love and comfort. You do this through reading My Word together, through your prayer and prophecy time together, through your communing with Me and fellowship with Me together, and by making Me a part of your everyday lives.
       54. This might sound easy to do when you're first in love and can see no wrong in your new mate, when you are experiencing the honeymoon stage. But it's very important that you expect your mate to make mistakes, to be human, to get upset sometimes, to have trials, to be hard to understand, to do things you don't like, to even hurt you sometimes, because these things will happen. This is when you must remember that love covers a multitude of sins. You have to fight to love and stay united, to forgive and forget, to come to Me in prayer for the strength and help you need.
       55. It's very important that you be willing to follow the new moves of My Spirit and to implement the New Wine to the best of your ability, because this will keep you challenged and revoluting in your married life, and will keep you from getting bored or familiar with each other. You will see as time goes on that My Spirit will be the most important factor in your marriage. Your conviction to keep Me and My Spirit in first place will be very important to your happiness, your growth and progress, and your inspiration as a marriage and as individuals.
       56. So you still need to do many of the same things you did when you were single. You still need to keep your connection strong with Me--even more so, because you are now responsible for helping each other to stay close to Me. You're responsible to be a sample to each other and set the standard high of following Me closely and pointing each other to Me. You still need to pray just the same as when you were single. You can't let your pride or any other reason stand in the way of holding that standard high, of reminding each other to acknowledge Me, to seek Me and to keep Me first.
       57. It may seem like such a simple principle--that of keeping Me in the center of your marriage. But those who fight for that closeness with Me, who fight to uphold My Spirit and follow Me closely, are the happiest. Those who slowly let it slip away, who don't bother to pray and hear from Me together, who put off reading the Word together, who stop fellowshipping with Me together and are too busy for that sweet intimate communion with My Spirit, are the couples who soon start feeling dissatisfied and start having bigger problems.
       58. For you belong to Me and your marriage is in My hands. The more you look to Me, acknowledge Me, and keep Me in first place, the more I will pour into you and through you, and the more I will use you mightily. I will anoint and bless and empower you and prosper the gift that I have given to you, and you will be happy. (End of message from Jesus.)

       Qualities of a Good Marriage
       59. {\b \i (Mama:)} We asked the Lord to summarize some of the main qualities of a good marriage, and I pray you find the following prophecy a blessing. However, please don't take the summary below as an "end-all," as I hope and pray that you are able to use it as a springboard to further study in the Word for those areas you feel you're weak in.
       60. I pray that as mature adults, each of you will wisely balance what is given below and all the summaries in this present series of Letters with Dad's very good counsel in past Letters, as well as the good book summaries in the Marvellous Marriage book and our other pubs.

       61. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} There are so many qualities that are a necessary part of a good marriage relationship, but they're not unattainable. I didn't make marriage so hard that only the experts could successfully marry, but I ordained it for most people on Earth. I'd like to list, once again, some of the main qualities needed in a good and stable marriage. Don't be discouraged if you find that you don't attain in every area. Just try as hard as you can.

       62. * Putting Me first. It's a simple spiritual law that when your priorities are right--that is, when you're putting your personal time with Me first above all other people and things --everything else falls into place. It's the number one requirement in your marriage, because all the other efforts you might make at improving your marriage will come to naught if you don't have things sorted out in your heart and in your priorities.
       63. I don't just mean putting Me first personally, but also putting Me first as husband and wife, acknowledging Me and allowing Me to be with you during your private times together, as well as acknowledging Me with your family, if you have children.

       64. * Putting your mate first, before yourself. I won't prioritize all the points I'm going to share with you, but this point deserves a close second place, because a marriage can't work unless you are truly preferring the happiness of your husband or wife to your own. Selfishness is one of the leading causes of marriage problems today, because people have the woefully mistaken idea that they got married so that someone could take care of them. As a result, their attitude is, "What have you done for me?" rather than, "What can I do for you?"

       65. * Willingness to address problems. Many of the keys to a good marriage lie in rooting out the subtle negative attitudes you form during your life. While it's a little more difficult to recognize the need for change in attitudes, half of the solution is recognizing the need for a change.--And the other half is seeking Me for My help as you make sincere efforts to change any wrong attitudes.
       66. One of those unhelpful attitudes that is easy to form is that problems will go away if you just ignore them, or the excuse that things will change soon on their own, as soon as you move Homes or move countries or get better finances for your Home or get a better rooming situation. But those people with the strongest marriages are those who learn to face their problems head-on and take active steps to unite and overcome them.

       67. * Willingness to communicate. Closely related to the last point, in order to unite and overcome problems, whether in your relationship or with your children, etc., there must be a desire to communicate openly together.

       68. * Forgiveness. Just as I taught you to pray, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us," forgiveness is a key to a good, solid, secure marriage. Never let the sun go down upon your wrath. You can't afford to hold a grudge for more than a day. If you do, it's like punching holes in your own house; soon the chilly winds of hurt and indifference will find their way in.
       69. Make a point to kiss and cuddle when you say goodnight, and apologize for any hurtful words or actions you may have directed at your mate that day. Of course, it's better if you apologize as soon as the offense is committed, but if there isn't time to, then don't miss this important appointment.

       70. * Being Supportive. You and your mate are one, and you should avoid the temptation to gossip or say demeaning words about the other behind their back. It will weaken your relationship in the eyes of others, and even if it doesn't get back to him or her, your own words will defile you.
       71. It's also very important not to say things in front of your mate that would hurt or humiliate him or her, which is sometimes done by contradicting them, belittling them, arguing with them, siding with others against them, interrupting them, finishing their sentences for them, etc. This is very embarrassing and humiliating for the person, as well as for all who hear it taking place. It's very damaging to a marriage. It's bad enough to do this in front of each other in private, but to embarrass your mate by belittling or humiliating them in front of someone else is even worse and shows disrespect, familiarity and lack of love.
       72. With some couples this kind of behavior happens more in public than in private, because one of the mates feels like they have to save face or defend themselves or put down their mate in front of others in order to make themselves look good. Sometimes the motive in correcting their mate in front of others is that they don't want to be embarrassed in having others think that they've married someone who is ignorant or doesn't know the score. Much of it stems from pride.
       73. This is not to say that you cannot disagree with your mate. It is the manner in which you disagree that shows your love or lack of love, your consideration or your pride. The loving and considerate mate will disagree or debate in such a way that they give their loved one the benefit of the doubt and an easy way out if they are wrong, rather than in a self-righteous, humiliating, belittling way that makes the other feel bad.

       74. * Teamwork. Like two oxen pulling a cart, one can't be trying to go fast while the other is going slow, nor can they get anywhere by pulling in different directions. So it is in a marriage. Since your every action can and will affect your mate in a great way, it's important to counsel together before making big decisions, and even smaller decisions that would be better made with your mate. You don't need to discuss every little thing, but wise husbands and wives know how much it means to their mates when they ask their advice or their preference or their opinion, even if it's not absolutely necessary.

       75. * Consideration. I'm referring to what it is that makes you put yourself in your husband or wife's shoes before you say or do something that might hurt them. Since marriage is the most intimate kind of relationship you can have with another human being, where you share your life, your thoughts, your bed, your closet, your children, your bathroom, and sometimes even your clothes, it can be easy to get familiar with each other in your words and actions.
       76. When you're tempted with familiarity, though, just ask yourself, "What if my husband or wife had to leave on a long journey tomorrow? Would they know that I love them, value them, appreciate them, and don't take them for granted?" After being married for a while, you'll learn your mate's preferences and the way they react in many situations, so it can be easy to answer for them or just assume you know what they're going to say or do. But it's a special token of respect when you ask anyway and give them the benefit of expressing their feelings and preferences.

       77. * Affection. Yes, this seems an obvious one, but how many marriages have gone down the drain for lack of affection? Touching and kissing are human manifestations of love that send comforting signals of warmth, love, loyalty, devotion, security and respect. Affection tells your mate you not only love them but you like them. You want to touch them. You even want to be around them when you don't quite agree about something.
       78. Affection has to be give and take. You can't insist on always being the one to initiate affection and then refuse to respond when your mate does. There will be times when you won't be quite in the mood, or the timing will be a little inconvenient, but you can always give a squeeze with your hand or a little kiss and a smile, to reassure your loved one that everything's okay.
       79. Make sure you don't just expect your husband or wife to always give you reassurance through affection without initiating it yourself sometimes, otherwise they may feel you don't love them or care about them, if you only hug when you are hugged.

       80. * Equality. I'm not talking about the women's liberation movement here, and I'm not even talking about the husband and wife doing exactly the same amount of housework. What I'm referring to is an outgoing, helpful concern for your mate to make sure they're not overburdened in their ministry or with the kids. Maybe one of you is better with children, but the other one should also help with them. Maybe one of you is more tidy in the bedroom, but it just means that the other mate needs to make more of an effort to keep tidy also.
       81. You may have different ministries that keep you apart and on different work schedules, so it's important to help bear each other's burdens. It's important to be willing to see the need when your mate is especially tired and still has work to do, and respond even if you've put in a full day's work and now want some time off.

       82. * Respect. Respect for your mate's feelings. Respect for their opinions and decisions. Respect by not interrupting when they're speaking. Respect for their things, caring for them as well as you do your own. Respect for their walk with the Lord. Respect for their emotional needs. Respect for their quiet time. All these forms of respect are important and necessary for a mature relationship.

       83. * Admiration. Yes, admire your partner. Hopefully you didn't marry someone for whom you do not hold a deep admiration of some spiritual strengths or personality traits, or just who they are as a person. Refresh your memory if it's been a while, by thinking about all the wonderful qualities in your partner that you were drawn to and deeply admired. Sharpen your appreciation of the wonderful person whom you have the privilege and the pleasure of sharing your life with.
       84. Sincere admiration for a person does wonders for their whole mentality. To know that there is someone who overlooks your many faults, sees your deep and praiseworthy qualities and loves you for them, gives you hope that life is worth living because somebody loves and admires you. It also gives you incentive to be a better person, worthy of the love and admiration you so appreciate.

       85. * Responsiveness. Nothing can throw a damper on a relationship more than not talking to each other, ignoring each other's questions, or giving the cold shoulder. Since you live so closely together, it's important that you respond lovingly to your partner, whether you are talking in the car, passing in the hallway, having Parent Time with your children, or lying together in bed.
       86. There are always going to be times when one of you needs to be alone for a bit, or perhaps one of you is being a bit moody due to poor health or extreme tiredness. At these times communication is necessary to indicate that you would like to respond better but you just aren't physically or emotionally able at that moment. If those times are the exception rather than the rule, then you won't risk hurting your partner's feelings in this way, and they'll be more likely to understand and give you the space you need.

       87. * Reaching out to others. A good marriage consists of intimate sharing, talking, holding, playing together, loving, nurturing your children together, serving the Lord together, making decisions together, and living your lives together. But even if you are the most compatible couple in the world, get along in every way, and are satisfied with each other's company, in order for your marriage to stay healthy and alive and growing, you both need to reach out to others. Your husband needs time off with the guys and your wife needs time with another woman or women, having "girl-talk" time.
       88. I designed marriage to fulfill people's needs and provide a secure environment in which to raise children, but I purposely made it so it wasn't completely fulfilling, so each mate would desire the company and friendship of others. This keeps the pot stirred and not stagnant, as the personalities and strengths of others are infused into your own relationship and keep you from becoming too familiar with each other, or even too comfortable.
       89. It helps you to stretch as you learn unselfishness in sharing your beloved mate with others around you. The more you exercise this muscle of reaching out to others, the more benefits you will experience as a result, as you appreciate each other so much more and learn humility and better communication skills with each other.
       90. This quality or exercise of reaching out to others extends into sexual sharing, as do the benefits. It's such a unique gift, as every other marriage manual would have to address the problem of adultery and "what to do when your husband or wife 'cheats' on you."
       91. But I seek to change the System attitudes you take in from movies and the world around you, by telling you that this seeming threat to your marriage--if handled wisely, in love and openness, humility, open communication, and unity--can be the secret to reviving your marriage. It can make you closer than ever, and strengthen your love.

       92. * A sense of humor, to laugh when you feel like crying. Your lives are so busy, and with so much to do, so many little emergencies in the course of a day, little frustrations and tensions arising, you can save your sanity and your marriage by stimulating your funny bone every once in a while. Try to see the funny side of a difficult situation. When you get in each other's hair, do the humble thing and laugh at your own silly mistakes and idiosyncrasies.
       93. Lighten up on yourself and your mate, and you will find the problems that loomed so large shrinking, as you remind yourself about what's important in life and laugh at what's not. I'm not suggesting you use a sense of humor to put a Band-Aid on problems that require serious communication and prayer together to resolve, but I'm just asking you to lighten up when facing the little annoyances and inconveniences of daily life. They'll always be around you, so learn to laugh them off.

       94. * Optimism. This ties in with a sense of humor, but to take it further, make it a habit to be optimistic when you talk together. You have to be realistic and honest when discussing problems and making decisions, but remember that I am the Answer Man and that if you team up with Me, nothing's impossible. It's sometimes easier to speak faith and optimism around others than it is around your mate, with whom you're familiar, but your efforts are well worth it.

       95. * Cleanliness. This may seem a little too practical for this list, but many a marriage was damaged because after they were married, one of the partners grew lax in their personal grooming or cleanliness habits. It's sad, but some people selfishly conclude that since they are no longer in the "mating game" and they've already landed a mate, they no longer need to put much effort into their personal appearance. Big mistake!
       96. Keeping clean and making an effort to look attractive tells your husband or wife, "I care about the way I look and smell and feel to you. I'm proud to be your wife or husband. I want to look attractive for you." One little personal test you can make in this area is noticing if your preparations for time with friends or for a date with someone else are more careful and involved than the efforts you make for your mate. Of course there are times when you'll just dress for comfort, and you don't always have to dress up fancy for a date with your husband or wife, but make sure those occasions don't become too rare. (End of message from Jesus.)

       How to Build the Ideal Marriage!
       97. {\b \i (Mama:)} After reading all of these qualities, you may be wondering if this type of marriage is attainable! You may be encouraged about the things you as a couple are doing right, but also a bit dismayed at the thought of areas where you don't measure up. Well, don't worry! The Lord is only giving this list so that you can picture what things can be like, so that you have a standard to strive for, and so that you can know He will help you reach this standard. Chances are, most of you are already doing many of the things which are included in this list, and if not, you won't find it too hard to start.
       98. But just to help you, the Lord was so sweet to give us another message, in which He explains how to go about having the ideal marriage. Where do you start? Do you just take this list of qualities, and try to do each thing mentioned here?
       99. The key, as the Lord explains below, is that our view of the ideal marriage is much different than His. When we begin to see marriage through His eyes and the way He would like our relationships to be, then we can see that the goals He presents are much easier to attain than we may have thought. So let's see how He further explains the ideal marriage and how He encourages us to reach for that.

       100. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} The difference between how man judges and how I judge is found in the simple verse, "Man looketh on the outward appearance, but I look on the heart" (1Sam. 16:7). It is simple, but it is true. The reason so many people have ideals about marriage that are eccentric when compared with My plans and ways is because they are looking on the outward appearance, the temporal moment, whereas I am looking at eternity, the heart, and the long-term goal--the complete picture.
       101. You might define the ideal marriage one way, but I look at it very differently. The crux of the matter is this: to be in My perfect will is the ideal for you. Yet so often I give you an opportunity which I know will bring you great happiness and fulfillment, as well as lessons learned and rewards of love for eternity. But because it is not what you had in mind, you push it away as a stone instead of bread.
       102. So many times what I would give you has some sacrifice involved, some forsaking of your own plans or ideas, and this is very hard for you to face. Many times you walk away and never even try. Thus, you miss My ideal situation which I have set up for you, because it did not meet with your ideal plans.
       103. This is a big lesson for My children, but one which many will not understand nor see clearly until they reach My Heavenly Kingdom and are able to see things as I saw them. Then they will understand My ways and My workings, and they will be very sorry that they held out for their own ideas and plans rather than taking the way of love and sacrifice which I laid before them as My ideal.
       104. This is not to say that My plans for you bring sadness--not at all! They bring the greatest happiness that can be found on Earth! But they also require a great loving, forsaking, giving of yourself, and dying to your own ideas that Mine might become a reality in your life.
       105. Let us go through some of the circumstances one by one, and I will show you how I see things very differently than you see them. At the same time, you must remember that each person's life is different, and each person has a different part in My overall plan. Often the things that look very easy to one person are very difficult for the person I ask them of. This is not for you to question, but only to follow.
       106. The cross that I give you might seem heavy, while to someone else it might look light or enjoyable. But do not ask why I gave it to you instead of to them--for that is My plan and My will for you, and through it I will work My purpose.
       107. Most people would say that to live in a place where they are not threatened by others in their relationship is the ideal. They fear that their mate will fall in love [EDITED: "with someone else"], and so if they are not surrounded by others who they feel threatened by, they think they are more secure and that is more of an ideal situation. I see it much differently.
       108. For I know that through sharing, love is multiplied, and that the harder it is to share--and yet you do it willingly--the more I am able to bless you. I also know that challenge keeps you desperate with Me, and not only desperate with Me, but it can also help keep your love alive, fresh and new--reaching out and growing.
       109. Many people have certain plans about the number of children they would like to have, or when they would like to have them. Often it is much different than My plan for them, but if they can learn to yield to My plan, I will show them the great fruit of obeying My will. Some have many children when they wish for few, or few when they wish for many. Some have children now when they wish them later, or later when they wish them now. Yet others wish for children, but do not have any. That is because I have a special calling for them, which they could not fulfill in the same way if they had children of their own to care for.
       110. Other times people look at the outward appearance of their mate or their prospective mate, wanting them to look a certain way or have certain talents. This often has to do with their pride in some way, or their preconceived ideas of happiness, thinking they have to be with a certain type of person in order to be happy.
       111. Often it would be My will to put them with someone very different, that they might learn to look beyond the outward appearance and love the heart that I love. I know that if they are able to love with My love it will be much longer lasting, much more secure, and bring much greater happiness in the long run.
       112. Many people feel they must be emotionally in love with the person they are thinking of being with. Or they feel that if they have fallen "out of love" with their mate, I must not be blessing their marriage any longer. This is so different than the way I see it. Some people I give feelings to, but it is no more a sign of My blessing to them than to the ones I ask to love by faith.
       113. In many ways feelings are a handicap, for they make the battles of sharing and giving to others much more intense. Though they can heighten your love for your mate and for Me, at times they can also lessen your love for Me and your desperation for My presence. So in this way also people see very differently than I see.
       114. The world's idea of happiness is success, and in many ways My children have also adopted this frame of mind. It is so sad, for often it is the most humble of My children, doing the most unseen jobs, who are the closest to My heart and the most blessed of Me. To find a jewel that I have loved and cared for these many years, and saved for you, even though unseen or unnoticed by others--this is a true prize!
       115. I would tell you this, dear ones: In your search for a mate, or your search for true happiness in your marriage, seek Me above all! When you seek Me above all, then am I able to live in everything around you, and you see Me and can touch Me and feel Me. I am able to share your life with you and make you happy despite your circumstances. I am able to help you love the unlovely in the eyes of men, or give to those who have great need, though the price of giving is great. I am able to overrule negative effects of your astrological signs and make you compatible.
       116. The highest prerequisite is to be in My will, for then everything else will fall into place! There are no other requirements--save loving Me above all--that will make any difference at all in the long term. All other things come and go. Looks fade, styles change, fields and ministries change with time, and even your personality and your mate's personality will change with time. But I never change, and if I am the foundation stone and you are building your life upon My will and My choices for you, then you will be secure and fulfilled in your life, in your love, in your marriage, and in your marriage to Me most of all! (End of message from Jesus.)

       The Differences Between Men and Women!
       117. {\b \i (Mama:)} As you read the following list of male and female differences, please remember that they're general differences. Not all men are one way, nor are all women the other way. There are vast differences in people's personalities, maturity, experience, etc. So some of you men and women may not agree with the way you're characterized below. And it's true--maybe you're not that way. But the Lord isn't saying that all men are one way and all women are another way, but that certain general characteristics often hold true, much like certain characteristics hold true for those born under various astrological signs. But there are great differences even within these signs.
       118. For the sake of brevity and space, and in order to get this helpful material out to you as quickly as possible, we're not covering every nuance and possible angle, nor every single problem and solution. We trust that you will not only take these messages and tips to heart, but that these prophecies will create a desire in you to delve back into the older Word on these subjects, as well as the Marvellous Marriage book and other helpful reference material on relationships and marriage that the Family has put out over the years.
       119. While the list below of differences between men and women may enlighten you and help you understand each other a little better, I certainly hope you won't just let it end there. I hope this list will simply be the first steppingstone to greater understanding and tolerance, as you look to the Word, to the Lord, and to those about you who have experience and wisdom.

              120. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} Male and female--I created each gender to be different and unique in many ways, so that it could complement, balance, and be a strength to the other. Many resentments arise in the world today because men wish that women thought more like them, and women wish that men responded more like they did.
       121. In this case, one of the keys to love is understanding that I made men and women the way they are. After all, wouldn't a world of only men or only women be very boring? Let's face it, you'd probably feel a great sense of loss if you weren't able to be around the opposite sex and fellowship with them. That's what makes life so interesting--the differences!
       122. Gender differences also help you stretch in the area of tolerance and putting yourself in someone else's shoes. It's a lot easier most of the time to understand the actions of those of your own sex, but to understand the opposite sex takes humility, love, and a desire to relate.
       123. One of the first steps to grasping gender differences is realizing that the differences are many, and that it won't do to just hope that you can go along in your life without attempting to bridge those differences in some way, especially if you're married. If you're a newlywed, for example, it could hurt your feelings deeply to realize that the love of your life still needs time with his or her friends. Or it could frustrate you greatly to experience the dips of emotion or ways of rationalizing that your mate manifests. But if you're prepared in advance for these emotional needs or differences, then you're much more likely to be accommodating and not resentful of your mate.
       124. When reading this list of male and female differences, it will help you to keep in mind that neither gender is wrong for being the way they are--for example, that men are more independent while women are more dependent. It's like the composition of air: On their own, many of the gases that make up air are harmful to your health, but when combined they are life-giving. That's kind of how it is with those differences. If there's a good balance, then the results can be beneficial for all.
       125. This is why it's important that men and women teamwork together in all settings of life, so that they can balance each other out, and as a result make wise, level-headed and loving decisions. If either side is too predominant, the result can sometimes be off-balance and lacking in the ingredients to make things well-rounded.
       126. Following is a list of some of the many general differences between men and women.

       127. * Men are independent and like to do things on their own. Women are dependent, and crave security.
       128. * Men often need time away from their wife, either pursuing other hobbies by themselves or being with other people, while women are more social creatures, and obtain emotional satisfaction from interaction and being able to express their emotions to others, either their husband or other men or women.
       129. * Men are more prone to desire quick action, while women are more cautious, desiring to weigh up all the pros, cons, risks and advantages.
       130. * Men like to get to the point, while women like to discuss things more fully and explore every in and out of a situation or problem.
       131. * Men are more rational; women are more emotional.
       132. * Men find most of their fulfillment in their job or vocation, while women find more satisfaction in nurturing a stable home environment for their husband and children.
       133. * Men are more tough; women are more tender, physically and emotionally.
       134. * Men crave trust, respect and acceptance, while women crave words of love and endearment.
       135. * Men like to see their wife's love manifested in physical action (i.e., through sex, food or care of their needs) while women appreciate their husband's love manifested through words and affection and caring deeds.
       136. * Men are more impartial in their interaction and affection with others, while women tend to be more partial, saving special affection and attention for their closest friends and loved ones.
       137. * Where a man's body goes, his mind follows; where a woman's mind goes, her body follows.
       138. * Men are more likely to desire variety in their sex partners, while women can be more content with just one partner who is filling their emotional needs as well.
       139. * Men can tend to be quickly interested in other women, yet just as quickly become disinterested. While women don't frequently become interested in other men, when they do, it tends to last longer.
       140. * Men often need outlets like fresh air, getting away from the house, or pursuing some hobby or recreation with other men, while women often need emotional outlets like a shoulder to cry on, someone to cuddle for reassurance, and a listening ear.
       141. * Men are able to pace themselves easier, while women can tend to get under nervous strain when they feel overworked or emotionally stretched. Though there are differences in personality, I have designed women to be the weaker vessel so that they might need men more and be more dependent upon them. They also often seek Me more desperately, because they are more conscious of their lacks and inability, so in this way they are the stronger vessel.
       142. * Men are more simple and direct, while women are more complicated and indirect.
       143. * Men like to make love and talk later, though they're often very tired by then; women like to talk first and make love later.
       144. * Men like practical gifts [EDITED: "presents"] that they can put to good use; women like sentimental and romantic gifts that make them feel special.
       145. * Men feel stifled around a possessive, too-emotional partner; women crave the security of being "possessed," wanted, and loved.
       146. * When marriage problems arise, men often like to come back to them later in order to be more objective, while women want the reassurance of communicating about and solving such problems right away.
       147. * Sexually, men are more sensitive to their overtures being rejected than women are.
       148. * When it comes to sex, men like quantity first, then quality; women like quality first, then quantity.
       149. * Men eat more; women don't need as much food.
       150. * Men tend to consider physical repercussions when making decisions; women consider emotional repercussions more.
       151. * Men tend to be "honest sinners," while women's sins are more subtle and difficult to detect.
       152. * Men consider physical strength and manliness virtues, while women place more importance on intelligence and maturity.
       153. * Men generally take more risks, while women tend to be more cautious and considerate of the safety of themselves and others.
       154. * Men need physical challenges to overcome, as a test and proof of their manliness, although they also enjoy mental challenges. Women prefer mental challenges more than physical ones.
       155. * Men are more practical; women are more romantic.
       156. * Men can be less likely to change their mind after they have made a decision, while women can be more open to change since they are less likely to be sure of themselves.
       157. * Men are sometimes influenced in their decisions by their physical needs or desires, while women are more influenced by family and marriage and emotional needs.
       158. * Men are more calm and stable; women are more prone to worry.
       159. * Men are more likely to be involved in relationships (apart from marriage) in which they are not as emotionally involved, while women tend toward only one relationship at a time in which they are fully emotionally involved.
       160. * Men are more motivated by physical or sexual attraction when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex, while women are more emotionally oriented.

       161. After reading this long list, you may have realized several times that the description of men and women doesn't fit yourself or the people around you. Yes, I made each and every person in the world a unique individual, and there are no two people alike. Just because men and women are generally a certain way does not suggest that they must be that way, and if they're not, then they are strange.
       162. For example, many husbands are the more romantic ones, while their wives are more practical. The purpose for the above list is not to put yourself or your loved one into some sort of mold of "you have to be this way," or to make you prejudge men and women and the way they are. Everyone is different!
       163. But if you do find that the men or the women in your life are difficult to understand, then the above list of differences may apply. They may help you to understand why you've been out of sync with members of the opposite sex. It's like learning to understand how someone from another planet thinks. It's not impossible, it just takes time and love and a sincere desire to understand and accommodate them. Remember, love, humility and prayer solve all problems. (End of message from Jesus.)

       Feelings and Emotions in Marriage
       164. {\b \i (Mama:)} Now we go to a more delicate topic regarding marriage--the matter of feelings and emotions. Some feel that intense, strong emotions are completely necessary for a marriage to prosper and be successful. Well, again, the Lord's point of view on this matter is very interesting, and I think you'll find it faith-building. In the following two prophecies, the Lord explains the emotions involved in love and marriage.

       165. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} Love is a wonderful thing--yet what is love? Is it a "pitty-patty" emotional feeling that can come and go like the waves of the ocean? Or is love something deeper, something more steady, something more strong and sure? Love can come in many forms, shapes and sizes. Love has many feelings; love has many faces. Love has many responsibilities, and love is manifested differently in each person's life.
       166. Love is not a word or a feeling that can be placed in a box and told how it should behave, what the criterion is, or what is expected of it. Love is an expression of an individual. Love is a gift that I have placed in the hearts of men and women the world over. Love can be weak or love can be strong. Love can be timid or love can be bold. Love can be emotional or love can be stable.
       167. Yet of all the people in the world, and of all the cultures and of all the nationalities, and of all the peoples of My creation, none are as blessed with the gift of love as you, My children! Not only do you have the emotions and the love, not only do you feel the spirit, but you know the Source of love. You know the Creator of love. You know Me--and I am Love. Therefore, the love manifested in your lives is so much greater and so much more fulfilling than those who don't know Me, or who only know Me in a superficial way.
       168. Those that are in the world only have a taste. They can barely sip the love cup, as they sip wine. They can only taste, yet you have at your fingertips the vineyards full of grapes, the cellars full of wine. You have love in its most pure form. Those in the world cling to feelings, to emotions, because that is all they have to stand upon. They don't have Me, they don't know Me, they don't know the Source of love. They don't know Me in an intimate way, therefore the only things they have to cling to are the feelings that they have, the emotions within their hearts.
       169. They cannot imagine living with another or giving their life to another unless they can feel something, unless they feel weak in the knees and can't live a day without the one they love. They feel these physical manifestations of love, and yet it is such a shallow gift when compared to the deeper love that I can give and that I do give to you, My children.
       170. Emotional love is like the waves of the ocean that come into shore and then go back out to sea. The waves of the sea are always changing, just as emotions are never stable and do not always remain the same.
       171. Those out in the world experience these emotional "highs." Once they do, they're off to the church, and the next thing you know the wedding bells are ringing. But then they have so many marriage problems because their feelings wear off. The emotional highs turn into emotional lows and they realize that the love that they had was the superficial film of a thing called love.
       172. They realize, all too late, that love needs to be deeper and more meaningful. They realize that they needed to have a stronger foundation, therefore their marriage goes on the rocks. They do not have My love within them to tolerate the other's weaknesses, lacks, idiosyncrasies and problems. Because they lose the emotional feelings, they lose all love for their partner.
       173. They do not realize that these emotional highs are given to induce them to seek for a deeper love, the kind of unselfish, sacrificial love that only I give. Some people do change and reach out to Me when they experience and receive love from another person. Yet with many, their understanding of love stops with the emotional highs; they do not seek a deeper, more enduring love, the kind I give to those who ask.
       174. But you, My children, can have it all. I give you My strong love that is unfailing and never-ending. I give you this as your foundation. My love is strong and sure and will stand the tests of time.
       175. Then on top of this, I am also able to give you the gift of emotions, in-love feelings and highs of the Spirit. But you must realize that the emotional side of love is only a small manifestation; it's only the outer covering. It's only a token of My love, so that you may feel and enjoy this aspect of the beauty of love.
       176. The basis of all love, of all marriages, of any kind of relationship that is destined to succeed, must be Me--the Source of love, the Creator of love, the Embodiment of love. If you go into a relationship with Me as your center, always looking to Me, always clinging to Me, always loving Me, then if I bring you together with another and you do not feel the emotions or the "highs" or the in-love feelings, you can still know that your love will grow and will succeed because you have the sure promise that My love will never fail.
       177. If I have shown you to love another, to give your life to another, to be a helpmeet to another, even if you are just friends, even if you do not have in-love feelings, you can walk by faith. You can follow My leading and you can follow My direction and My instruction. You can love because you'll be loving with My love. I will hold you together; I will be your foundation.
       178. This love will be so much deeper and so much more meaningful. It will be a love that is long-lasting. You will not be loving with a love that comes and goes as your emotions and feelings do, but you will be loving with a love that is strong and endures and never gives up--because it is My love. It is unconditional love, tenderhearted love, miraculous love!
       179. If you are firmly attached to My foundation and growing closer to Me and loving one another without the feelings, in time the emotions will come. As your love grows and as I see that you are dependent on Me and Me alone to keep your relationship strong and steady, then the feelings will come. You will experience ecstasies in this way, because it's a gift. These feelings and this love are a gift.
       180. My love never fails, and what I have promised, I will perform. But you must do your part as well. Though it is a gift, it comes with strings attached, as men are accustomed to saying. They are the strings of My conditions which wrap My gift. In this case, the strings are that you are firmly attached to My foundation, the bedrock of My Word and will and Spirit, and are growing closer to Me. Another string is that you are loving one another even without the feelings that come from being in love--that you manifest your love in loving deeds and care and concern for the one you are together with. And another string is that you are dependent on Me to keep your relationship strong and steady, that you cling tightly to Me, as I am the gyroscope in any storm, the stabilizing force for your vessel on any troubled sea. As these conditions are fulfilled, then this wonderful gift is yours.
       181. When people are together because of My will, even if they don't experience emotional highs at the beginning, they will as time goes on. It will be a deeper, more joyful kind of emotional high--maybe not as giddy, but more full, more joyous. I give these feelings to those who are yielded to Me. They are simply feelings of happiness, a blessing as a result of yieldedness.
       182. Sometimes you just have to take things by faith. You have to obey even if you don't feel the love within your heart, or if the love in your heart doesn't feel the way you think it should feel, or isn't as strong as it is shown in the movies, or in the ways that the world perceives love.
       183. If you base your marriage on Me and Me alone, if you put Me first and grow to know each other, you will become one and the love that you have will be stable and lasting and sure. This is true of relationships as well. I will be able to bless you mightily for trusting Me without the feelings, and for following My will in your life. If I have put you together with someone, then I would that you trust Me, for I know what is best. I know what will make you the happiest, and I know what you desire even better than you do.
       184. The love of My Spirit is as a deep well full of fresh water. You have only just begun to dip the bucket in and taste of its goodness and richness. I would that you treasure this special love that I have given to you, My children, My Family, because it is a love that is so much deeper and so much stronger and so much more satisfying and fulfilling than the love of those in the world.
       185. You know love: You know Me, you know Who I am. You touch Me and you feel Me every day, and you talk to Me. I make love to you and I become a part of you and I give you seeds of My love, and so you are filled with My love. Each one of you, My children, is filled with My love. Therefore, when you love another and together continue to receive My love, that love will become unbreakable and stronger and stronger as the days, weeks, months and years roll on.
       186. Those in the world have but an imitation. They play with trinkets of love and junk jewelry of love because they don't have the real pure gold and silver love that you, My children, have. Don't envy what you see or hear about, because that junk-jewelry love that you see in the world does not last. It changes and weakens and disappears because they do not have My love, My strong love, My golden love that never changes, that never grows old, that never grows tired, that never gets rusty or wears out.
       187. My love only grows stronger, more sure, more stable, more dependable. This love can bring you more happiness, more joy, more satisfaction, and yes, even more feelings and emotions, because you have Me--the Giver of all love, the Giver of all feelings, the Giver of all emotions. So if you're joined to Me and I have put you together, please don't be the one to put asunder what I have put together.
       188. I do all things well concerning you, and as you keep your eyes on Me, as you set your hearts to keep your foundation strong, as you keep basing your love on Me, as you keep focused on Me--I will cause your love bonds to prosper. I have set the contract before you, the conditions of love and prosperity for a happy and fruitful marriage. As long as you meet My conditions for love and marriage, I will never fail you and your love bonds will stay firm and strong and alive. I will always carry you and cause your love to be stable and sure. If you are willing to meet My conditions of love and be obedient, I will work the work through you and cause your love bonds to flourish, as long as you keep walking by faith--keeping Me, the Source of love, as the basis of your marriage. (End of message from Jesus.)

       What Is Love?
       189. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} What is love? Is it butterflies in your tummy, sweaty palms, weak knees, those tingles you feel all over when your loved one is near? Is this love? Although these signs may indicate that love is in the air, they are not an accurate measure of love. And though these signals may sometimes be signs of love, they must not be relied upon as a fair gauge of true lasting love because they could just be a passing attraction or infatuation.
       190. True love must be judged by true lasting results, not by fickle feelings. For these symptoms of love come and go. They may or may not be present--all depending on the situation, the individuals, on what stage of growth the individuals are in, on how I am working in their lives, how yielded they are to Me, how sensitive they are to My Spirit--so many factors to love!
       191. True love is not determined by such inaccurate signs as these, for these manifestations of love are based on feelings. Feelings come and feelings go, and feelings can be deceiving. These "in-love" feelings, as you call them, may be desirable, but they are not always necessary, nor are they an accurate gauge by which you can measure true love.
       192. For what is true love? I ask you to consider the many facets of love--real, true, deep, lasting love--for it wears many faces. Love is believing, helping, trusting, sharing, encouraging one another, confiding, understanding, and uplifting. True love is a listening ear. It's giving and taking. It's caring. It's honesty. It's communication. It's laughing and it's crying. True love is saying you're sorry. It's sacrificial; it's forgiving. It bends, it stretches, it walks the extra mile.
       193. And yes, at times true love is emotional. It's passionate, it's alive, and it's vibrant. It's warm and it's kind. It's a tender touch, a warm look, a gentle embrace, and it's making love.
       194. And of the deeper qualities of real love, I would say that they are in some ways like friendship, for true love is camaraderie, it's supporting, it's compassion. It's identifying with another. It's sharing a common interest. It's broadening your horizons. It's reaching out, and it's uniting. It's a strong link of not only body, but heart and mind and soul.
       195. There are many facets of true love. If you would be wise, you must not measure love by any one facet alone, for if you do, you will not arrive at an accurate measurement of the love that exists between two individuals.
       196. How can you measure love? You cannot measure the glories of true love by the things you feel. You can only measure love by taking all sides into account over a period of time. And should one facet of love among two people show itself predominant at a given time, this is not an indication by which to measure love. For love has its periods, its stages of growth, its functions and innumerable purposes in the lives and hearts of My brides.
       197. The love I have put in your hearts, My beloved ones, is a love to be esteemed higher than all the riches of man. For this love I have put in your hearts for each other is based on true values and the finer aspects of My true lasting love.
       198. Dear one, My maiden fair, do not listen to the Tempter when he would try to distract you with thoughts that your beloved's love is not as pure as it could be. Do not listen, My darling, should he tempt you to compare with false ideals of love, and thereby cause you to focus your eyes on that which has far less value than the bonds of true love which I have put in your hearts. For this love I have sown in the heart of you and your beloved is enduring love. Has it not already proven itself to be so?
       199. For yours is a love that has already withstood great tests and storms of life, and so it will yet again as you feed and nourish and tenderly care for it. Fear not, My darling, for the love between you is a love based on the firmer foundations of honest communication and true friendship, on caring and sharing and giving of yourself. This is a pearl of great price!
       200. Yours is a love that is growing strong. Has this not been proven over and over? Has not your love withstood the winds and rains and storms that would try to blow it away? And yet these conditions are not able to whisk it all away. No, no, they are not able, for you have not built your love on feelings alone, but on the more lasting and durable stones, and finer qualities of love.
       201. My loves, because I know your hearts and I hear your prayers, in My infinite love for you, I give you a love that is well-rounded. For I know your hearts and your every desire. I know your make-up, your personalities, and what will make you happy. I know your every longing, your deepest yearnings, and your hearts' desires, even the ones that you yourselves are not yet aware of.
       202. I hear your every secret prayer, and for this reason, I have set the love wheels in motion between you, and I have gifted you with the most priceless gift of true lasting love. I give you a love to nurture, a love to be tended, a love to be cared for. Tend it carefully and do not let it diminish or die through neglect or hardness of heart. If you do your part to keep your love strong, I will do My part, for I am Love and love is of Me. Many waters cannot quench this love I have placed in your hearts, for it is My love. And My love can only grow.
       203. Yet, because I know your frame and I understand the need you have for challenge, for change, for excitement and for thrills, I give you this gift of love that is multifaceted. I do not unveil every aspect all at once, for this is the fun and the challenge of it all. This is the thrill of love--the learning, the experiencing and the growing together in love.
       204. Ah, My loves, do not try to measure this love, or fit it into a mold and say it must be this way or that. For I open to you a true love that is more far-reaching! My darlings, yours is a love that can only grow! Therefore, you can look ahead with great joy and expectation! For if every single facet of love were yours from the start, where would be the challenge and the thrill and the excitement of love?
       205. Ah, sweet mysteries of love, who can know My ways? To you, My dear ones, I have given the blessing of multifaceted love! For in My love for you, I want you to know and to enjoy all sides of love. Therefore, do not question nor fear that your love is incomplete or lacking because you do not experience the emotional highs you think are necessary for true love. For your love is not incomplete or faulty or deficient. It will yet bring greater pleasures, greater joys, greater surprises, greater thrills as it grows and strengthens, and you experience all the many sides of true, deep lasting love.
       206. Rejoice and give thanks for the blessings I put in your hands! And know that yours is a love that can only grow, for because of your yieldedness to Me, the love I have put in your hearts is being built on a more lasting and firm foundation than that which so many choose to chase after.
       207. For many of My children, because of their own choices, choose only to capture the moment of fleeting emotional love. All the while they let go of the other, finer qualities of more enduring love, as it slips out of their reach due to carnal reasoning and seeking that which is only fleshly.
       208. Your love, My darlings, is among the greatest of all loves--for yours is a love that is based on sharing. Because you have not selfishly kept this love to yourselves, but have included others, have reached out to others, and have let My love overflow on others, I have blessed you. In watering other gardens, you have also been watered yourselves. The depth and richness of your love has increased, because you have not kept it for yourselves alone, but have shared it with others. And this is the greatest of all bonds of love.
       209. This great love you have in your hearts will never be taken away, for no man can sever such a love. The reward of this love in your hearts, My dear ones, is never-ending, for yours is a love that is shared. This love has no stopping place; it can only grow and flourish. Such love is never-ending because it is My love, and as you pour out to others, I pour into you.
       210. My Law of Love is that the more you give, the more you receive in return. So no man can sever such a love, although you yourselves can stay the flow and bottle up the springs of love. If you cease giving and sharing and helping, and cease considering your mate and others before yourself, you hinder My giving to you, and you diminish the bond between you. When you focus on the human nature and problems of your mate rather than Me and My nature within them, then you weaken your bond of love. You can even break the bond of love that I would form between you, although this is not My will nor My way.
       211. Take care to stay focused on others and their needs, the needs of your mate rather than your own, the Godly nature of your loved one rather than their human nature and failings, that your love may remain strong. This love is My crowning gift of love to you, My darlings, for I love you. (End of message from Jesus.)

       A Further Note to Singles
       212. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:) }My dear ones, remember how I have told you in this GN that the primary requisite for happiness is to be in My will. When you're in My will, I can shower blessings upon you. I can anoint you. I can fill you with My peace and with My happiness. I can help you be fruitful in your ministry. I can do all these things because you are being yielded to Me. You are not running away from Me, but are staying close to Me, and as long as you're close to Me, I can shower My blessings upon you.
       213. I want you to remember that even though I have discussed the advantages and the blessings of marriage with you here in this GN, you must leave the timing and the decision in My hands. I can show you when to get married, or whether to get married at all. If marriage is not for you, then you would not receive the blessings if you took yourself out of My will in order to get married. Therefore the same rule still applies: Put Me and My will first in your life to have the happiness that you seek.
       214. And if it is My will for you to be single, then I will give you the happiness you seek in the single state. Or perhaps I will give you a deeper relationship with someone without being married. Or perhaps I will give you a relationship for a short time. Or perhaps I will give you work mates and friends who you love and enjoy, and who fill your needs for companionship, love, and even sex.
       215. Although marriage is a desirable state, nothing is worth leaving My side and leaving My will for, if I have something better for you. So please stay close to Me, and seek My will above all, to have the happiness you seek in life. I love you, and I will never leave you nor forsake you. I am always there for you, as your doting Husband Who wants to give you all the desires of your heart as you love Me and delight yourself in Me. Love, your Jesus. (End of message from Jesus.)

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family