We live in a world that is obsessed about being a good “lover.” Magazines, all types of books and media, whatever, makes a really big deal out of it. And yes, I agree to a certain degree that it is important. That is because I’m all for more expressing love, and being a wonderful lover. But I also believe it’s a husband and wife issue —one that is lived out within the context of marriage. The greatest lover is one who is married to his or her spouse.
So when I came across the following quote, as it pertains to being a “great lover,” it touched my heart deeply. It prompted me to shout a loud “AMEN” —causing me to want to celebrate (perhaps you may feel the same way):
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 me. It’s not someone who flits from one “love” to the next. It’s not a man who APPEARS to be romantic, from the world’s standpoint. In reality, that type of person shows more that he or she is more a lover of self, 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.
I’m not saying anyone should be a doormat to abusive behavior. In many ways, 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 I don’t want to go into that in this blog. (Please read through the Abuse in Marriage topic for more on that issue.)
The Greatest Lover is an Honorable One
What I’m talking about is being a person who is faithful and 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.
I’ve seen that in my own 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” them for what they could get out of them. And then when the gal didn’t behave herself and 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, even though I hoped for more. 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 out there who can love his wife and love her well. He 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. There are also lovers like Tom Walter (Debi Walter’s husband who together they have the web site, Theromanticvineyard.com) and Paul Byerly (Lori Byerly’s husband, who have the web sites The-generous-wife.com and The-generous-husband.com and Themarriagebed.com). I also thank God for Keith Weaver (who is married to Fawn Weaver of the Happywivesclub.com). And there is Chris Fabry (Andrea Fabry’s husband with the web sites, Chrisfabry.blogspot.com and moldrecovery.blogspot.com and momsaware.org). I also thank God for many other “great lovers” I’ve observed.
And I thank God for women such as Debi and Lori and Fawn and Andrea and many other friends, who have shown that they are great lovers too.
Perfect VS Great Marriages
It’s not that these couples have perfect marriages, but in my estimation, they have great ones. They are great lovers of Jesus Christ. And then in turn, they are great lovers to those they are married to. And I thank my God for them.
I hope with all of my heart that whether you are married to the greatest lover or not, that you won’t contribute to having a marriage lived out like it says in Philippians 2:21. We are told in that scripture, “Everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.”
I hope that there are a growing number of marriages where the love of Christ is revealed and reflected.
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)
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.
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