I do a fair amount of counseling with couples who are either engaged or already married. Ask any couple why they wanted to get married, and you often hear they love each other. That is common. What is uncommon is finding someone with a good definition of love. Love is not an emotion. Love is not a feeling. Emotions and feelings are nice, but they come and go. Love does not come and go. You can count on love to be there when the chips are down. Love holds firm at all times.
Jesus died and gave us a beautiful picture of true love. Romans 5:8 says, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God is love (1 John 4:8), and He demonstrated His love by volunteering the life of His own Son. Jesus demonstrated His love by volunteering His life in exchange for the lives of sinners. His love drove Him to the cross and motivated Him to die in your place.
This is the love we need in our marriages. Joyful sacrifice of ourselves for the sake of the other. Husbands sacrificing their own rights and privileges for the benefit of their wives. Wives sacrificing themselves for the sake of their husbands. What if husbands and wives embraced such a love in their marriages? Arguments would settle quickly, because love would be more important than winning the fight. Infidelity would be eliminated, because intimacy would increase in marriages where spouses were there for each other. Marriages would survive the bumps and bruises of live, and I believe divorce lawyers would be out of work. Marriage is hard, but it is possible when we love each other the way Jesus loves us.
Love is the joyful and voluntary sacrifice of self for the benefit of another whether they deserve it or not. Set down your pride and practice true love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a – Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.