“I love ice cream!” “I love football!” “I love my wife!” This is how we use the word “love.” When I told my wife that I loved her this week, she asked me, “What do you mean by that?” I’m pretty sure my wife wants me to love her in a different way than I love ice cream!
Our culture has a love problem. One way we know there is a love problem is that it doesn’t last. Marriages and families are breaking apart all over the place. The love of our culture does not last because it is misplaced and misunderstood.
Do you want a love that lasts? Do you want your marriage to last?
Here is my prayer for you.
"That you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the saints
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
(Ephesians 3:1-19 ESV)
Believers are to be rooted and grounded in the love of Christ. The word “rooted” gives us a picture of a strong, healthy tree that is deeply planted in the soil. It can withstand the difficult storms of life. The word “grounded” gives us a picture of a strong building constructed on a solid foundation. It can withstand the difficult storms of life.
I want to encourage you to root your marriage in the love of Christ, to build your home on the solid foundation of the love of Christ. Here are two ways you can do it.
1. Let your love for Christ be greater than your love for one another.
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother
and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.”
(Luke 14:26 ESV)
We know Jesus does not want us hate our family members. In the book of Matthew he explains it another way.
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
(Matthew 10:37 ESV)
As I said, the love of the world doesn’t last because it is misplaced. We often look to others for fulfillment instead of Christ. We place our focus, loyalty, and service on others, instead of Christ. Only Christ can give us fullness and life and peace. Even a husband or wife cannot do this.
But if you set your heart and love on Christ above all, you will find absolute peace and satisfaction. And when two people are filled with and share Christ’s love . . . Wow! It is amazing. If you want to share real, lasting love, then plant your own love deeply into the love of Christ!
2. Let your love follow Christ’s example.
In our culture, the symbol for love is the heart. We associate this with feelings. When we say we love something (“I love ice cream!”) or someone, we are saying that we really like them. Our culture has misunderstood love as emotions.
Do you know what the symbol of love is in the Bible? Not the heart. It is the cross.
"Greater love has no one than this,
that someone lay down his life for his friends."
(John 15:13 ESV)
In his first letter, John explains that we know what love is because God sent his son to die and save us from our sins. Love is not getting, it is giving. Like Jesus, love is sacrificing ourselves for the good of another.
So, here is what I am saying. If your first love is Christ and you find your fulness in him, and if you live sacrificially for the good of your spouse, your love will never be shaken!