IN TELEVISION PROGRAMMING TODAY: Verbal references to sex outside of marriage outnumbered references to sex in marriage by nearly 3 to 1 Scenes showing or suggesting sex between non-married partners outnumbered scenes between married couples by nearly 4 to 1
Behaviors once seen as immoral and socially destructive have been given the stamp of approval by the television industry. Studies show that teens and young adults are greatly influenced by those messages.
There is no longer a code of conduct that respects the sacredness of marriage and the value of the home. Adultery is now an accepted norm for business professionals. The boundaries of decency have been destroyed!
M arriage is much too often shown on television as either undesirable or irrelevant. Relationships are treated as superficial. The television industry has abandoned the concept of using its power to provide positive role models that will benefit society.
Contrary to the deceitful messages on television, happy and fulfilling marriages are not a myth.
Until we understand Gods view of love in marriage, we will have a difficult time finding romance and building a Godly foundation for marriage.
GODS VIEW OF LOVE IN MARRIAGE The Bible is clear that the way of the Christian is to be vastly different from the way of the world. The Bible also teaches that only genuine love will enable us to fulfill the commandments of the Lord.
Matthew 22:35-40 reveals the truth that believers are to love each other in the same way that we love God. John 13:35 tells us that our love for one another is the strongest proof that we are a Christian.
Matthew 22: 35-40 And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him (Jesus) a question, testing Him, "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 foremost commandment. The second is like unto it, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.
Until we first accept and truly understand how much God loves us, we cannot truly understand how to love Him back and how to love each other. Do you know and understand that GOD LOVES YOU – individually, as a person?
He loves you passionately – enough to give you His most cherished possession – His only Son.
Besides showing us how much He loves us by sacrificing His Son Jesus, God tells us over and over in His Word just how much He loves us. He says in Jeremiah 31:3, I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
Zephaniah 3:17 says, The Lord your God is with you; He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with His love; He will rejoice over you with singing.
But we let things distract us, and we go chasing after other gods – money, family, our own accomplishments, entertainment… We also allow the movies, TV, and society to define how we are to love.
When we do that, we cheapen Gods love for us, and our relationship with Him suffers. First, we forget to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Then, we forget to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Youre probably asking yourself right now: What does that have to do with romance or marriage? Right?
Im glad you asked… I am suggesting to you that these same two commandments – love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself – are also the secret to finding the kind of love that will lead to a happy and successful marriage.
When w e understand just how serious God is about loving us – and how serious He is about our loving Him back – then and only then can we have romance and fall in love the way God intended: with an all-your-heart-mind- soul-and-strength kind of love! Crazy Love!
This is the kind of love foundation that will lead to a strong marriage that will stand the test of time. Isnt that what we all want?
Now Im not suggesting that we love our girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse as much as we love God – NOT AT ALL. And neither am I suggesting that we love our spouse the same way we love everyone else. But remember that God intended for marriage to be a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church.
This passage in Ephesians 5:25-33 reveals the truth that husbands are to love their wives in the same way that God loves us: 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,
27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church 30 for we are members of his body. 31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.
32 This is a profound mysterybut I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Men, we are to love our wives the way that God loves us. We are to love with our total being. It is only through genuine love - the love of God – that we will be able to have a wonderful marriage.
Many claim to love God. Many husbands claim to love their wives as Christ loves the church. However, many do not really understand what it means to love as God loves with our total beingand to really love our spouse the way Christ loves the church.
First we have to love God and accept His love for us; only then we can truly understand what it really means to love our spouse with our total being.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church 1.Notice that this is not a request or an option; it is a command, and it is essential. 2. We are to love with agape love - the highest form of love.
Agape love is an unconditional love. It devotes total commitment to seek the highest best for someone, no matter how he or she may respond. This form of love is totally selfless and does not change whether the love given is returned or not.
Agape love is a love that keeps loving when all other types of love quit. This type of love cares when there is no apparent reason to care. This is the same love that comes from God when we ask Jesus to come into our heart and to be our Lord and Savior.
God is our example. He "...demonstrates HIS OWN LOVE [agape] toward us, in that while we were STILL SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US" (Romans 5:8). This is the original and highest form of love, and it is the type of love intended in the command for husbands to love their wives in Ephesians 5:25.
The issue we have while forming relationships is this: we tend to severely limit the capacity of the relationship to what we can get from the other or what we think the other wants to take from us. This is the worlds way to love. It is the love demonstrated in most marriages that do not have the help of the Holy Spirit.
There is another form of love and it is different from agape love. It is phileo love, which stems from the Greek word "philos" and is present when you share a tender like-mindedness with someone. Phileo love is what we usually think of when we say we love someone other than our spouse.
A phileo love relationship is a mutual, "give-and take" relationship, and by itself it often ends the moment one side either does not get what they want or is asked for something they do not wish to give (i.e. if you agree with me, I will love you). Unfortunately, many marriages are based on phileo love.
Phileo love is having tender affection toward your mate. Most friendships are built on phileo love. Phileo love is that "something" that you see in another person that draws you to be their friend.
It's one thing to unconditionally love someone who is tenderly affectionate (phileo) toward you. It's quit another thing to unconditionally love (agape) someone who irritates you.
Both forms of love are necessary in a marriage. But God's desire for the husband and wife is that they tenderly love (phileo) each other while they overlook each other's faults and failures (agape).
THE TENDER AFFECTION OF PHILEO LOVE MAKES THE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE OF AGAPE ENJOYABLE. It's the joy of the friendship!
Another form of love is Storge love. This is family love, the bond among mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. This kind of love and mutual protection was seen among Noah and his wife, their sons and daughters-in-law in Genesis.
The other form of love needed to make a good marriage is Eros, which is the fulfillment of the physical sexual desire that a husband and wife show toward each other. It's when "...the two...become ONE FLESH" (Matthew 19:5).
When all four forms of love operate in a marriage, the marriage is complete. Agape Phileo Storge Eros The opposite is also true. When one of these forms of love is missing from a marriage, it is not complete. In an incomplete marriage, there will be difficulties.
A picture of a complete marriage is a husband and wife who lay down their life for each other (agape love) no matter how many times the other offends them or causes them to have ill feelings.
Both husband and wife have tender affection toward each other (phileo love). They enjoy each other's company. Why? Because they're best friends Because they enjoy each other so much; they hug, kiss, hold hands and do nice things for each other
They both have a true bond of protection and family togetherness (storge). Because their hearts are filled with agape, phileo, and storge, a warm passionate desire arises within both of them to enjoy each other sexually (eros).
This kind of God-centered marriage will weather ANY storm. We need to nurture and protect ALL of these different forms of love in a marriage. Negligence of any form of love leaves a gaping hole in our relationship, and our marriage begins to fall apart.
To show you the significance and impact of this on our relationships, let's remove one type of love at a time and see how incomplete the other three are alone. Agape Phileo Storge Eros
Since agape love is unselfish, the thing that will be the most obvious when its removed is selfishness. Human nature in itself is very selfish. Agape love influences and dominates all the other types of love.
Without agape love, selfishness will dominate phileo love. The friendship of the relationship will have a predominate undertone of "how can the friendship satisfy ME." "If I act a certain pleasing way, I can get ________." It becomes a battle of manipulation.
The physical show of affection (eros) will diminish because "self" does not see it as important unless IT wants something. Storge, the bond of protection and sense of family togetherness starts to deteriorate. Eros, the passionate desire for sex, becomes one sided.
When phileo love is missing, the caring and unconditional love (agape)will still be intact, but there will be a lack of friendship in the marriage. The sense of family and that show of affection of storge will not be as prevalent. The need for sex (eros love) will be more out of honor or duty.
When the eros love is missing, the couple's sex life starts to diminish. Sex will be a result of need, rather than the passionate desire that arises from affection. It's not that they don't want to, but that their heart will not give them the liberty to express it.
According to many Christian counselors, this is the marriage that they see in an overwhelming number of Christian couples!
Jesus said, By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:35). What better way to show the world what it is like to have a loving relationship with God than to have an altogether loving Christian marriage?
And what better way to live a joyful, victorious life on this earth than to have a crazy kind of loving marriage? This is loving Gods way. Its Crazy Love.
Its CRAZY because it is not the way of the world. To the world, it looks foolish. But the Bible is clear that the way of the Christian is to be vastly different from the way of the world.
Loving Gods Way will result in a long, happy, and fulfilled marriage. DONT SETTLE FOR LESS!