Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day coming up next week. Do you feel it? We hope so. Actually, we hope you experience a growing love for each other every day. Love should always be in the air. We also hope you are the world’s greatest lover to your spouse. That’s a great goal for those who are married. We hope your spouse will allow it and you will work for that honor. This will take a lot of intentionality.
“We don’t find ourselves holding hands after 25 years of marriage with the one we love by pure chance. Love is intentional.” (Darlene Schacht)
We are all for expressing love, and being wonderful marital lovers to each other. So, when we came across the following quote, as it pertains to being a “great lover,” it touched our hearts deeply. It prompted us to shout a loud “AMEN” —causing us to want to celebrate (perhaps you may feel the same way).
Here’s the quote:
The Greatest Lover
“To me the greatest lover in the world was my Dad who married my mother. He was faithful to her until the day he died 55 years later. Now, that’s a great lover! It’s a man who’s intelligent and romantic enough to keep one woman interested all the time.’ Do you know who said that? He was a well-known romantic actor whose name is Ricardo Montalban and he has followed in his father’s footsteps. He has been married to the same woman for over 45 years.” (From Keepbelieving.com sermon, “Forever and Ever Amen!”)
Some of you may know who the actor Ricardo Montalban is, and some of you don’t. In the full scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. Ricardo’s mom and those who witnessed the love his father lavished onto his wife knew the type of love he showed her. THAT is a great lover to us. It’s not someone who flits from one “love” to the next. It’s not a man or woman who APPEARS to be romantic, from the world’s standpoint. In reality, that type of person shows that he or she is more a lover of self, rather than of anything or anyone else.
The Greatest Lover Lavishes on God’s Love
It’s no great accomplishment to pour on the romance. It’s no great accomplishment to go from one “high” to the next, satisfying him or herself in gaining pleasure for that season. That doesn’t make a “great lover” at all. To me, a great lover is someone who lavishly loves “for better or for worse, to have and to hold, through sickness and in health, being faithful for as long as you both shall live.” They do this even when the other person isn’t quite so lovely or lovable at times.
We’re not saying anyone should be a doormat to abusive behavior. That’s just enabling them to continue on being abusive. Sometimes “speaking the truth in love” and confronting wrong behavior does more to show love than accepting it. But we don’t want to go into that in this Marriage Insight. Please read through the Abuse in Marriage topic for more on that issue.
The Greatest Lover is an Honorable One
What we’re talking about is being a person who is faithful, honorable and respectful. It’s someone who loves his or her spouse (and shows it) despite the faults of the other. And it’s someone who loves, as Christ loves.
Cindy speaking here: I’ve seen that in my husband Steve. Before I met him I had a pretty distorted view of men. I had suffered abuse at the hands of other men in my life. As a result, I thought that men just used women. I didn’t really think that a man could love a woman as much as a woman loved a man. I (misguidedly) thought a man appeared to “love” women for what they could get out of them. And then when the gal didn’t give them what they wanted, she was tossed aside for a different gal.
I now know this was wrong. But that’s what I’d seen and experienced. However, I can now honestly say, yes, there are some men who are the way I described. There are also some women who are this way. I’ve met many of them. But over the years, my husband Steve has shown me that there are also men who can love his wife and love her well. Steve has shown me that even when I’m not very lovable, I have the greatest lover in my husband. That is because he still hangs in there and loves me, despite it all. He has shown me over and over and over again that he cherishes me.
Change in Perspective Concerning the Greatest Lover
Do you know what that has done to my heart and my perception of what it is to love? It has opened my heart up wide to both receive and to give love —true love. I’m not talking about the type that Hollywood and the world portrays it be. Instead it is the type of love described in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 13.
I thank God that I have been able to experience this type of love. I realize that not all women (or men) get to experience or see this type of love in action. So I’m all the more thankful that I’ve been able to see it and receive it. It has changed me in SO many ways, for the better.
So, without belaboring this point too much, I just want to say that I thank God that there are men like Ricardo, and Steve Wright, and others. Steve speaking here: And of course, this includes my lovely wife Cindy.
There are also lovers like Tom and Debi Walter. Together they have the marriage web site, Theromanticvineyard.com. There’s also Paul and Lori Byerly. They host the marriage web sites: The-generous-wife.com and The-generous-husband.com and Themarriagebed.com. We also thank God for Keith and Fawn Weaver. Fawn hosts the web site the Happywivesclub.com. (Just the name of the web site tells of the love relationship between them.) And there is Chris and Andrea Fabry. They have the web sites, Chrisfabry.blogspot.com and moldrecovery.blogspot.com and momsaware.org.
We also thank God for many other “great lovers” we’ve observed. And there are a lot of them! Don’t kid yourself otherwise.
Perfect VS Great Marriages
It’s not that these couples have perfect marriages; but in our estimation, they have great ones. They are great lovers of Jesus Christ. Jesus is their Lord, their example, and their guide. As a result, they are great lovers to their spouses. And we thank our God for them.
They have learned and are learning these principles that can help us as we apply them, as well:
“‘How is your beloved better than others?‘ Solomon asks. (Song of Solomon 5:9) Have you forgotten that she is playful and silly at times? Have you forgotten his loyalty and dedication to providing for the family? Remember these things. Envision the day you met and the feelings you had. Decide today to end any distance between you and your mate. …Love is not just a noun — it’s an action verb. Love fully and allow him [or her] to love you fully as well. Then watch as the chasms narrow.” (Dr. David B. Hawkins)
“We know how to be in love. But once we’re in, we forget that we have to stay there. If you want to go deep, if you want real intimacy, then live as if your loved one is more important than you, which means his or her interests become at least as important as yours.” (Gary Stanley)
More helpful marriage tips be a great lover:
“God has taught me that you don’t really know how to love until you don’t feel in love, but you choose love anyway. He just may be using those annoying habits to teach you what love truly is. Love not only covers a multitude of sins [as the Bible tells us], it also covers a multitude of irritations.” (Dr. Juli Slattery)
“A wise physician once said, ‘the best medicine for humans is love.’ Someone asked, ‘what if it doesn’t work?’ he smiled and answered, ‘increase the dose’.” (Unknown)
So, that’s what we’re prescribing for your marriage so you can be one of the world’s greatest lovers. Increase the dose of love you’re showing to your spouse. “Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:2)
And as you look to show love to your spouse remember:
“The principles for living, that God gives us in the Bible, are the principles for loving in our marriages.”
Reveal and Reflect God’s Love
May the way in which you interact with your spouse so reflect the love of God that when others watch your life, they will want to know your “secret source” behind your love. And I hope and pray that when you tell them it’s because of the inspiration and power of the Love of God, it will spur them on to want to know your God better.
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ —to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)
— ADDITIONALLY —
To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:
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