Marriage Tuesday

WBPthis new teaching series on “love” that we just started at north point is already making me uncomfortable.

let’s face it.  we are not very good at loving.

oh, we are great at the conditional  love stuff.  i will love you if you treat me well.  i will love you if you do what i want you to do.  i will love you if you make me feel good.  i will love you if i get what i want in return.  sorry.  this may be a lot of stuff, but it’s not love.

this is more what our love usually looks like:

  • i will treat you kindly, if…
  • i will do what you want, if…
  • i will feel good about you, if…
  • i will be romantically inclined toward you, if…
  • i will give you nice things, if…
  • i will withhold my anger at you, if…
  • i will keep my promises, if…
  • i will stop doing things that annoy you, if…
  • i will try to see things from your point of view, if…
  • i will listen to you, if…

i’m grateful that years ago, some people took the time to help me understand the real meaning of love.  real agape love.  and then held me accountable to live it out in my marriage.

astounding.  agape love looks for what is in the best interest of another…what would be the highest good at any point in time…and then does it.  agape love is not motivated by what will be received in return.  it is not driven by feelings or emotion.  it is a choice.  a deliberate act of the will.

agape love is to choose to act unselfishly and to turn your attention to the needs of another.  it is to put their needs ahead of your own.  sometimes at great risk.  often a great cost.  always with great commitment.

agape love is the love of god.  it is the love that moved god to send his son on our behalf.  even though we are in sin.  even though we are unlovely.  even though we are miserable and bankrupt and having nothing to offer in return.

yeah.  now that’s the kind of love we’re talking about.

love that goes against the grain.  love that’s the opposite of everything we are taught.  love that changes people when they actually see it and experience it.  love that’s so unusual…so ridiculous…so demanding…so other-worldly that we cannot do it without other-world help.

but it’s a funny thing.  anybody can agape love.  the other kinds of love are the hard ones.  eros love takes romantic feelings.  phileo love takes shared interest.  storge love requires a deep connection.  agape love needs none of that.  all it needs to know is what the other person needs.

and you don’t even need to “feel” like doing it!  you don’t have to “make” yourself enjoy it.  it’s not required that you want to do it or that you will feel fulfilled or satisfied after you do it.  it will be completely devoid of your own expectations.  you just find out what’s in your spouses’ best interest…and do it.

and the more you do it, the more natural it will become.  and sooner or later, agape love will become part of your character…and maybe even part of your marriage.

how cool is that?

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One thought on “Marriage Tuesday

  1. Yes, agape love. The unconditional love with which God loved us. This is so hard for us and so against the grain because of our sinful, selfish nature. Putting ourselves last and others first. It is even difficult for us in marriage relationships. But it is the kind of love that is required if two are to become one.

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