I believe there are five key elements to keeping a marriage in tact and fruitful. Forgiveness is the first key to unlocking a healthy and happy marriage. And true forgiveness can only occur when we abide in Jesus and understand how much He has forgiven us. Eph 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. The second of those five elements is Love. I want to tackle the subject of love in this article Caasimada .
Forgive – Love – Trust – Endure Hardship – Submit
Eph 5:22-30 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. (esv)
Many people I know who have gone through a divorce or are struggling in their marriage tell me a very similar story, “I just don’t love my spouse anymore.” Or they go on to say that the love just isn’t the same as it used to be, that they are falling out of love. Now love can be a somewhat tricky and complex subject. We use the word love for so many different things. I love my new car, I love pasta, I love my baby girl, and I love my wife. All are a feeling of love and all are quite different from one another.
The meaning of love has become so watered down in marriage that it is almost undefinable. If you were to take five minutes and write a definition of what love meant when it pertained to your spouse what would it look like? It may include similar words such as adore or affection. The thoughts of sexual pleasure may come to mind when you think about what love means in your marriage. Words like passion, desire, and tenderness come to mind as well when one talks about love in marriage. But when it comes to love in the marriage relationship, what does the Bible have to say about it?
I think to understand love in marriage we first need to ask ourselves one question. What is the purpose of marriage? Some may say it is to have kids, others say marriage is for sex and companionship, and still others might think the purpose of marriage is to have a legal commitment so we have equal rights as couples for the benefits of health insurance, retirement, etc… Unfortunately every one of these definitions of marriage miss the mark.
The purpose of marriage can be defined in a couple of ways. One definition can include: marriage is to physically, emotionally, and spiritually unite a man and a woman together into a covenant relationship with each other and God. Marriage, as shown in Eph 5:22-30 makes it very clear that God brings a man and a woman together for the purpose of saying something about how Christ relates to His church. The wife, out of obedience to God submits to the husband. The husband, out of obedience to God loves and gives up himself for his wife. (Submission is not the topic I am going to cover here, but will at a future time.)