There is so much pressure around the month of February! With Valentines Day coming up, some couples may feel the pressure to give the perfect gift or plan the perfect date to show your spouse you love them. But let me free you up from that! There's so many other ways to love your spouse than spending alot of money on one day of the year! So let’s start by talking about what Love is not…Love is NOT just a box of chocolates or flowers or the perfect date night or gift! Love is NOT commercialism! Love is also NOT being perfect all the time and never making mistakes in your marriage! Love is also NOT meeting all of your spouse’s needs perfectly and on time, every time! So much pressure!!! Who defines love anyway? Websters? Nope. Wikipedia? Nope! God defines Love, because God is Love! And in the Bible, there is a beautiful chapter, known as the LOVE Chapter! I Corinthians 13 tells us exactly what love is and what love isn’t. Let’s define what love isn’t, according to the word of God:
What Love Is NOT:
Love is NOT boastful
Love is NOT proud or rude
Love does NOT demand it’s own way
Love is NOT irritable
Love is NOT Jealous
Love does NOT keep a record of wrongs (aka: Love forgives)
Love does NOT rejoice about injustice
Whoa! That’s quite a list and if you’re human at all, you may have failed miserably at some of those (I certainly have at times). Let’s switch gears for a minute though and now let’s talk about
What Love IS:
Love IS Patient
Love IS Kind
Love NEVER gives up (it Perseveres)
Love NEVER loses faith! (Love is Believing)
Love IS Always Hopeful!
Love rejoices in TRUTH
Love IS enduring (through even the toughest of circumstances)
Love NEVER FAILS
That’s quite the list also and although none of us will EVER get this perfect, we can certainly give it our best shot and keep at it in our marriages, right? What’s really interesting though is when you COMPARE what God says love is with what the world says love is. The world says Love is a feeling! Literally, if you ask “google” what is Love, here is the response from dictionary.com: Love is an intense, deep affection for another person. Love can also refer to a strong like for something or to like something a lot. (you notice not a word about commitment).
The urban dictionary does a little bit better than that and defines loves as “The act of caring & giving to someone else. Having someone else’s best interest and wellbeing as a priority in your life. To truly love is a very selfless act.” Bingo! They actually got it right (mostly).
I am here to tell you that Love has very little to do with deep affection and a “strong like”. My goodness, if that were true than none of our marriages would last, because some days we do not “Feel” affection and a strong like for one another. If you’ve been married for any length of time, than you know that some days you do NOT like your spouse! (LOL) Love is not a feeling. I mean, a loving relationship may begin with a feeling, but what happens when those feelings fade? Does the relationship fade as well? Absolutely! Unless you know that love is deeper than a feeling! Love is a COMMITMENT! Love is putting someone else’s needs before your own. Think parenting here for a second. This is exactly what parenting looks like too. Putting someone else ahead of yourself (ie: changing the diapers, wiping the snotty noses, feeding them, wiping their tears, etc. Their needs have to come first for a very long time!). Why don’t we do this in marriage though? If we can do this for a helpless child, why not with and for our spouse?
I love how the word of God never mentions love being anything about “affection”. Affection is sometimes a byproduct of love, but it isn’t love itself. What does this kind of love look like in marriage? How are you showing up in your marriage? As a patient, kind, persevering, believing, hopeful, and enduring spouse? Or as a grumpy, irritable, short-tempered, negative, giving-up kind of spouse? It is NOT easy to love each other through the thick and thin, the good and the bad. It is quite challenging, actually! But…it’s always worth it! Love is a commitment. It’s an action (not a feeling). It’s a choice to keep showing up and to keep giving of yourself, day in and day out. But that kind of love makes for the most beautiful of mariages!!
You may have hung in there through this whole blog post & now you may be frustrated, because you may not know how to love your spouse. But don’t worry, because you are not alone! Most couples don’t. It’s a learning process. And Live the Life is here to help! We have classes that can teach you how to learn to love your spouse and what that looks like, and how to meet their needs, and communicate, and be a team moving forward together instead of either being stuck or moving in opposite directions.
If you need some help in learning how to love your spouse, reach out to us! You can sign up for a class at aimclasses.org, or you can DM us on Instagram or message us on Facebook or send us an email. Whatever your preferred method of contact is, we are here for you and want to help you! We can help you transform your stuck marriage into the marriage of your dreams!
Don’t give up on Loving your spouse!
And remember that Love is enduring!!