Love…we have a lot of confusion around love in our society.
- From Tina Turner telling us, somewhat cynically about love, you “must understand though the touch of your hand makes my pulse react, that it’s only the thrill of boy meeting girl. Opposites attract. It’s physical, only logical. You must try to ignore that it means more than that. What’s love got to do, got to do with it?”
- To John Legend, who speaks of throwing his all into love “cause all of me loves all of you. Love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfection…. You’re my end and my beginning; even when I lose I’m winning ’cause I give you all, all of me…and you give me all, all of you.”
- To Blake Shelton speaking of needing the one he loves “Cause God gave me you for the ups and downs. God gave me you for the days of doubt. For when I think I’ve lost my way there are no words here left to say, it’s true…God gave me you.”
- To the J. Geils Band telling us “…this thing they call love, it’s gonna make you cry…Love stinks.”
All in all, we get a montage of love that leaves us confused and unsure of what true love really is.
In wedding ceremonies, I often hear another description of love, an ancient description written by Paul, a follower of Christ, to the church in Corinth. It begins with “Love is patient” and continues to offer a wonderful, inclusive definition of love.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;
Love does not brag and is not arrogant,
Does not at unbecomingly;
It does not seek its own, is not provoked,
Does not take into account a wrong suffered,
Does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
Bears all things, believes all things,
Does all things, endures all things.
Love never fails…
But now faith, hope, and love, abide these three;
But the greatest of these is love.”
Love as described in this passage can make or break your marriage. It lays the foundation for a intimate marriage filled with joy. It’s a beautiful passage, but if fear we don’t take the time to really explore what it tells us about love. For instance, consider the first word: love. The word for love in the original language of this passage is “agape.” The author could have chosen “eros,” “phileo,” or “storge,” all Greek words for love; but he didn’t. He chose to use “agape,” a word that speaks of a higher love, the love of God. “Agape” is more than a feeling and more than an action based on feelings. “Agape” takes great pleasure in the person it loves and is willing to pay a personal price to continue seeking that person’s good. It sets aside pride, self-interest, and personal possessions to benefit the one loved. Although “agape” can include physical love, emotions, and natural connection, it goes…
- beyond passion to commitment,
- beyond the physical to intentional self-giving,
- beyond feelings to an act of will,
- beyond natural connection to a connection that requires self-sacrificing development.
As we implement this type of love in our marriages, our marriages will grow stronger and more intimate.
PS: Stay tuned as we explore more about this type of love in future blogs.