The problem with love is that so many people don’t have a clue what it is. Love is NOT a feeling. It’s an ATTITUDE. Basing love on emotions, as the world does, has caused immeasurable pain to numbers of couples. It’s like building a sand castle on the beach. It might look solid. But when the high tide rolls in, the sand castle isn’t strong enough to hold up, and it washes away. That’s why it’s important that we are loving our spouse the same as Christ does.
Feelings come and go.
We all experience a wide array of emotions on any given day. Obviously, basing any human relationship strictly on feelings is asking for trouble. Parents who love their children only when the mood hits them are poor parents. A friend who remains loyal only until a better offer comes along isn’t much of a friend. A husband who deserts his wife and children because he finds another woman more attractive has missed the point of marriage.
The world gives love a staggering amount of attention. Movies, songs, and books about love generate billions of dollars in revenue. The problem is love is presented as something to be “fallen into” and “fallen out of.” There’s no solution given for what to do when the emotion fails you and the warm fuzzies are gone —other than bailing out and starting over with someone else. You can recognize worldly love by how unpredictable it is.
The Bible offers a different kind of love.
This love says I’m committed to act lovingly toward this person regardless of how I feel. You’ll be able to recognize biblical love. It’s patient, unselfish, and loyal. It doesn’t keep score, nor assume the best motives. In addition, it gives without seeking in return, and always seeks to honor God. It endures through thick, and thin, and in-between. Feelings change. Feelings don’t last, but Biblical Love is eternal.
LOVING THE SAME
There’s a difference between God’s love and the love that the world knows. If we aren’t careful, Christians can begin to adopt the world’s way of loving instead of God’s. The world says love is a feeling. When you stop feeling love for someone, it means you no longer love him or her. The world encourages you to love the lovable but gives you permission to hate your enemies. Jesus said loving those who love you is no great feat; it’s loving your enemies that prove you are a loving person (Matthew 5:46).
Jesus commanded those who wanted to be his disciples to follow HIS standard for loving people rather than the world’s standard. Jesus directs us to love others in the same way he loves us. When Jesus saw us hopelessly enslaved to sin, he didn’t say, “I don’t feel like dying on a cross for them. I think I’ll wait until the feeling comes.” He didn’t say, “I’ve tried and tried to love them but they always reject me. I give up!”
Jesus Loves Despite Our Rejecting Him
Jesus saw that without him we would perish. And He acted lovingly toward us despite our rejecting Him. His love didn’t depend on what we did to deserve it, or even on whether we accepted it. Jesus freely and unconditionally gave us his love.
This is how God wants us to love our spouses. It’s not with strings attached, as the world loves. He doesn’t love as long as they’re lovable. And He doesn’t just love as long as they appreciate it. God wants us to give our love freely and unconditionally. Only God can help us to love people in this way [and that includes your spouse].
These writings are adapted from The Experience: Day by Day with God: A Devotional and Journal. Henry and Richard Blackaby wrote this wonderful devotional. And Broadman & Holman published it. Although this devotional journal isn’t specifically about marriage it’s an awesome devotional. It’s meant to assist you as you meet daily with God. And it does an excellent job of doing just that!
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Grow Your Marriage