Marriage designed by God is based on a covenant between two people. Covenant is a binding agreement where two or more parties promise to do certain things and refrain from doing certain things. That’s what our marriage vows are all about. The commitment to our vows is to hold us together but the Lord also intended the love of God to be the fuel to that commitment.

Two Christians can marry and not have a Christian marriage because they don’t know about or practice the love of God toward one another. Marriages void of the God kind of love is where the partners always react to one another; bring out the worst in one another; are full of fear and pressure; and are always demanding, making conditions, and threats with ultimatums.

Christian couples thinking of getting married should be sufficiently developed in the love of God BEFORE considering to marry one another. This should be a determining element in not only who one marries but when the marriage should take place. Each partner needs to learn the real meaning of love, God’s love, not the world’s version of love. In the Greek language which the NT is written in they used four different words for the same word “love.”

1. EROS: Physical, sexual enjoyment of one another.
2. STORGE: Family love; cherishing and being kindly affectionate to one’s family.
3. PHILEO: Friendship love; the affection we feel when someone does/says things that please us. It’s love
on the basis of what we see in another that gives us pleasure. It’s performance centered.
4. AGAPE: Divine love, the love of God; unconditional, initiating, self sacrificing love. It loves in spite of what others do or don’t do. It is love linked to truth as revealed from all of God’s Word on the use of this word and its various aspects. A few of its aspects are:

a. It’s a MERCIFUL love (Mtt. 5:44).
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

b. It’s a GIVING love (John 3:16).
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should
not perish, but have everlasting life.
c. It’s a SACRIFICIAL love (Eph. 5:25);
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (Jn. 15:13).

d. It’s an UNCONDITIONAL, constant, unchanging love (Rom. 5:8).
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

e. It’s an INITIATING love (1 John 4:19).
We love him, because he first loved us

Each Believer has the capacity to love like God. His love is in us (Rom. 5:5). This capacity needs developed or perfected. God intended for both husband and wife to be merciful, giving, sacrificial, unconditional, initiating in their love toward each other. Not one doing it and the other always receiving. Not two takers. Not a giver and a taker. But two givers of the love of God shed abroad in their hearts.

Pastor John Rasicci is the founder and Pastor of Word of His Grace Church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where we are building people who are building the Church. Pastor's ministry mission is to help people discover God's dream for their Life, the Local Church, and the Last Days' Harvest. With a strong emphasis on the grace of God and with a prophetic voice, Pastor John preaches and teaches in churches, conferences, and crusades both locally and throughout the world. He has produced books, tapes, and other teaching materials to empower, enable, and equip Believers with the Word of God. Pastor John is married to his wife Candy who with their three children, Krista, Joanna, John Anthony, and two son-in-laws, Matt and Doug, serve together in the ministry. After graduating from Kent State University, Pastor John pursued a career in professional baseball before accepting the call to the ministry. He and his wife, Candy, received their ministry training from Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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