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.