A young man told his father, “Dad, I’m going to get married.”

“How do you know you’re ready to get married, Ron?” asked the father. “Are you in love?”

“I sure am!” he replied.

The father then asked, “Ron, how do you know you’re in love?”

“Last night as I was kissing my girlfriend goodnight, her dog bit me and I didn’t feel the pain until I got home!”

Ron has got that loving feeling, but he has a lot of growing to do. Vernon Grounds, a former writer for Our Daily Bread, who has been married for more than 70 years, shares these points about how to grow in love:

Ponder God’s love in Christ. Take time to reflect on how He gave His life for you. Read about Him in the Gospels, and thank Him.

Pray for the love of God. Ask Him to give you an understanding of His love and to teach you how to live that out in your relationships with your spouse and others (1 Cor. 13).

Practice the love of God. Give of yourself. A newlywed told me he thinks love is practical. He said, “My responsibility is to make life easier for my spouse.” The other, tougher side of love is to challenge each other to act in godly ways.

Love will grow when we ponder love, pray for love, and practice love.