Do you truly ‘love’ your Spouse?

Posted by:clifford
When a young man expresses his love for his sweetheart, he probably implies a romantic love. It’s usually a combination of physical attraction, emotional intimacy and an intention to be committed to the relationship. But when a couple expresses love to each other after years of their marriage, it gives a completely different meaning.

When Mr. Henry Ford and his wife celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, a reporter asked them, “To what do you attribute your fifty years of successful married life?”

“The formula,” said Mr. Ford, “is the same formula I have always used in making cars – just stick to one model.”

We tend to use the word ‘love’ to mean several things. Eg: I love Jesus, I love my wife, I love my children, I love singing, I love my mobile phone, I love sightseeing, I love humour, I love music or I love Hyderabadi Biriyani. Love in each of these contexts, mean differently.

What really is ‘love’? Is it something you feel or something you do? I Corinthians 13 is known as the ‘Love Chapter’ of the Bible. Juxtaposed between two great chapters on the Holy Spirit is this one about ‘Love.’

Paul is emphasising the supreme quality of love over spiritual gifts. He starts the chapter by stating “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (vs 1-3)

I Cor. 13:4-8a

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. 

These verses describe the true character of love - Six qualities of what love IS and nine qualities of what love is NOT.

In Greek, there are predominantly three words that describe love.
“Phileo” is friendship love,
“Eros” is romantic or physical love, and
“Agape” is God-kind of love – a commitment to love.

Love in marriage is more than just an emotional feeling. It is an act of your will and your commitment. So, the next time you say ‘I love you’ to your spouse, try replacing the word ‘love’ or ‘it’ in verses 4-7 with ‘your name’ and try to measure up to God’s standard.

“And now these three remain:

But the greatest of these is LOVE”
I Cor. 13:13