I was lost, in a country where I couldn’t speak the language. I was at a downtown market, trying to buy gifts for friends and family back home. It was in this moment I was trying to barter my way to a cheaper, probably more fair price for an item. That is how I lost my group. The young lady and I worked hard at our hand signals, trying to communicate and reach a fair trade. After what seemed like an eternity, we reached a price, paid and I was on my way. I was exhausted by the experience.
Sometimes, we can feel like marriage is a little bit like that experience. A never-ending barter system in which two people, who seem to be speaking two different languages, are trying to the best out of marriage. If we are honest- we don’t always have the others best interest at heart. “If he will, I will.” “If she wont, I won’t either.” This is where we find ourselves in chapter eight of Darlene Schacht’s book, “The Virtuous Life of a Christ- Centered Wife”
Marriage isn’t 50/50. It is 100/100/100 . Me, Him, and God. Not even just me and him. God never gives less than 100 percent, but sometimes, Scott or I will. If we model our marriage like we should, after Christ and His relationship with the church, we will be modeling true love – agape love – for one another.
There are three types of love, and all are needed for marriage:
1) Philo Love- This is the basic love that most people have for others. This is friendship love. You can have this level of love for a friend, family member, co-worker, student, etc.
2) Eros – This is the sensual side of love, that should be saved for marriage/the person you are going to marry.
3) Agape- This is unconditional love. This is the love that we have toward our spouse, our children, and God. Most importantly, it is the kind of love we see that God has for us.
We need to have all three of these kinds of love in order to make marriage work. We need to view our spouse as our friend our best friend. I enjoy spending time with Scott. He has truly become my best friend. We enjoy doing things together, and spending time with one another. We have the eros love. We enjoy times of intimacy, and we keep the passion and fire going in our marriage. However, agape love takes the most work often times. It means loving even when we don’t want to. On the days we aren’t feeling the other two kinds of love, agape goes past that, gives grace, and continues to love.
Now, I know what you are going to say. Isn’t the command to LOVE given to the husband. Sometimes, submitting seems like the easier command. We could cast blame, and hey, we are not accountable anyway right? This is the wrong attitude! We are called to love, just like our husbands are! Just because our husbands are not loving us right, does not give us as wives a reason to barter way our of loving them.
We are commanded to love. Love is the greatest command
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40 ESV)
As we study this passage out, we know the Pharisee go on to ask WHO is your neighbor – and Jesus goes on to tell the story of the Good Samaritan. The last people the Jews would want to love was a Samaritan. However, Jesus wanted to make it clear that we are to love – and love those who we have hard time loving. Everyone is truly our neighbor. Our closest neighbors are those we are our house with – and especially those we share our beds with! We are called to love. This command is for everyone.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV)
This is taken from the greatest chapter on love. We learn the characteristics of love. However, we are also told that the greatest thing we can posses truly is love.
How are you doing sister. Is love a struggle? True love. How can we pray for you. Chime in through the comments!
Worshiping With My Life,