I have heard it said that the happiest people are married and that the most unhappy people are married. The difference between being the happiest and being the unhappiest depends on how you express LOVE in your marriage. Marriage isn’t about two people being perfectly compatible. It is about two imperfect people coming together and discovering how to successfully and lovingly work through their incompatibilities.
I want you to take a second and think about, what the word love means to you?
The Dictionary defines LOVE as:
- an intense feeling of deep affection, like the love you might have for a baby
- a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone
- a great interest and pleasure in something, like the love of chocolate
Ironically the only reference to God in the definition of love in my dictionary was the statement “for the love of God” used to express annoyance, surprise, or urgent pleading: for the love of God, get me out of here!
The world’s definition of love is very “self-centered” and focused on feelings. What’s in this for ME? Make ME happy. Make ME feel good. You are responsible for MY happiness.
God gives a very different definition of love in his Word in the Bible. Whereas the world’s definition of love is self-centered, God’s love is other-centered. Starting with how God showed his love for us:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8
The Bible gives an expanded definition of God’s love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Read this along with me and reflect on how well you live this out in your marriage:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
As you can see God’s love is sacrificial. It is a love that puts others first. It keeps on loving even if the other person is not very lovable. It loves expecting nothing in return. This is how God wants us to love our spouse.