Today…..we wanted to share a good article from Marriage Builders. It unpacks – love.
“When the Bible talks about God’s love, the original Greek word is agape. It means unconditional love. It’s the kind of love spoken about in John 3:16—”For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
It is not a love based on feelings but an act of the will. It is a decision. It doesn’t require chemistry. It doesn’t need emotion. It endures through any circumstances or difficulty.
Agape is a love that belongs exclusively to God and God’s people.
When Karen and I first married, I told her I loved her. We said “I love you” to each other a lot.
But I also said things like “I love golf.” Or “I love hot dogs.”
The word love is a very inefficient, sloppy, overused word in the English language, and after a couple years of marriage we had fallen out of the love we were talking about. Our marriage suffered. That’s because it wasn’t based on agape love. The Greek language of the Bible is much more exact than English. It has five different words for five different kinds of love, and the only one that’s not emotion- based is agape. The Bible commands us to love each other with the love of Christ, and that’s agape love. It is stable. It is not impacted by circumstances.
Emotions are unpredictable. They come and go. One day they’ll be up and the next day they’ll be down.
Circumstances are unpredictable, too. We can’t control them. They can be positive but they can just as easily be negative.
Agape love is not dependent on emotions or circumstances.
I do not have to like you to love you the way God does.
I do not have to agree with you to love you the way God does.
I do not even have to desire you sexually to love you the way God does.
Which kind of love is most attractive to you and your marriage? Is it the one that has the potential to change, or the one that is not dependent on emotions or feelings? Which one do you want to build your life and family around?
Agape love is based on a decision. I can decide at any time, regardless of how I feel, to treat Karen right and to love her the way that Christ would. I have made up my mind once and for all and I will never change it.
I don’t know what my emotions will be tomorrow.
I can’t predict what my circumstances will be tomorrow.
But I do know what decision I will make tomorrow. It is the decision to love. I will love Karen with God’s love, agape love.
Sexual love and passion can be a great part of every marriage. But those things may be temporary. They burn hot and cold. They are based on feelings.
But when you put agape love as the foundation of your marriage, it leads to trust. Trust leads to great sex. It leads to friendship. It leads to consistency. The family flourishes. That’s why indestructible marriages don’t come from great chemistry or from passion, but from the decision to love God’s way: agape.”