I want to quote a scripture and then discuss its implications about love, especially pertaining to marriage.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” 1 John 4:7-21
Let’s look at one of the lessons on love in this passage. If you don’t have love for one another, there is a good chance that you have never experienced that love from the Father. He demonstrated true love by loving you when you didn’t deserve it.
Once you have experienced that kind of forgiveness and acceptance knowing you did not deserve it, you are able to GIVE that kind of love to others.
As I talk about loving others who don’t “deserve” it, most would quickly think of our “enemies” – people who are not nice to us, people who are rude and mean, or people who have hurt us. Ironically, today I want to talk about the person you have at one point stated you loved more than anyone else in the world – your spouse! When we get married, we can’t imagine feeling anything but love towards that person, but as life sinks in and stresses overwhelm you both, you find sometimes the “enemy” lives in your own home.
You find the person you WANT to love is sometimes the most difficult! You find yourself saying, “it isn’t like I am cheating but I just don’t FEEL LOVE anymore towards this person.” We have fallen OUT of love is another popular phrase used.
Is there a solution? I believe there is. It is a multi-faceted solution which we can’t cover comprehensively in one column but I am going to give two solutions today. Number one – get right with your Creator.
Meditate on His promises to love you. Ponder on verses that speak of how He died for you and sings over you with His love! As you continue to be FILLED with love from the Holy Spirit, as you continue to feel unconditionally loved and forgiven by God, and as you grasp the concept He accepts you as you are then you are in a better place to give that same unconditional love to others.
Number two is a little more complicated. It is the concept of love languages. We will address it in detail this Sunday night 7:30 pm. On BTV. Here is the idea. We each express love in different ways. There is a book by a man named Gary Chapman, called
Words of Affirmation
Acts of service
Here is the problem. We do not always speak the same language. My love language is spending time so I will make this one personal to make it more practical. I feel very loved if someone considers me worthy of their time. For someone to say they love me but can’t set apart quality time to hang out with me makes me doubt they are telling the truth. My rationale is if you really cared, you would WANT to spend time with me.
Another person might express their love through giving gifts. Again, I am going to make this personal so that it is more practical. My LEAST love language is gifts.
I mean I do not care in the LEAST if you give me a gift. In fact, I long told my husband over a decade ago to not waste his money buying me a Christmas or birthday gift as we have better things to spend our money on like groceries and school fees.
It just doesn’t mean anything to me. I feel so content with every material thing I have that I honestly do not need anything. Material stuff just doesn’t mean a lot to me. It isn’t because I am trying to sound holy or unmaterialistic. It really just doesn’t matter to me. BUT, imagine if I was married to someone who expressed and received love through gifts. Imagine if they were looking so forward to getting a gift on their birthday and I said “don’t be so materialistic”. It would crush them! In their minds, you would be saying that they are not WORTH you spending their money on them! We are all different!
Another example would be a husband who is working so hard trying to express his love by serving his family. Surely they see his acts of service. Meanwhile the wife says I would rather you NOT wash my car and instead come in the house and spend time with me saying sweet kind words of how much you love me.
That would mean more to me. Marriage is about learning to speak the other person’s love language, even if that takes work! Make sure you watch this Sunday at 7:30 pm. On BTV so that you can learn more about this in great detail. We are hoping this show is really giving you a lot of practical tips that are encouraging your marriages and strengthening your families!
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*Ashley Thaba is a popular motivational speaker and life coach. She is the author of the well-known books, Conquering the Giants and Dive In, which can be bought at Exclusive Books. She also facilitates corporate team building and wellness activities. You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba.