True Love

Posted: February 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

kellerSurely it is a good thing that as a culture we have decided to set aside one day a year to intentionally focus on and express our love for one another through cards, gifts and dinner dates. Still, it seems like many these days have lost sight of the true meaning of love and reduced it to an uncontrollable feeling that comes and goes depending on the circumstance or perhaps even fate. Scripture, on the other hand, speaks of love in terms of commitment and sacrifice which is ultimately demonstrated in the cross of Christ (Rom 5:8) and consequently pictured in marriage (Eph 5:32).

Here is the way Tim Keller explains this in his book The Meaning of Marriage

In sharp contrast with our culture, the Bible teaches that the essence of marriage is a sacrificial commitment to the good of the other. That means that love is more fundamentally action than emotion. But in talking this way, there is a danger of falling into the opposite error that characterized many ancient and traditional societies. It is possible to see marriage as merely a social transaction, a way of doing your duty to family, tribe and society. Traditional societies made the family the ultimate value in life, and so marriage was a mere transaction that helped your family’s interest. By contrast, contemporary Western societies make the individual’s happiness the ultimate value, and so marriage becomes primarily an experience of romantic fulfillment. But the Bible sees GOD as the supreme good – not the individual or the family – and that gives us a view of marriage that intimately unites feelings AND duty, passion AND promise. That is because at the heart of the Biblical idea of marriage is the covenant.

In any relationship, there will be frightening spells in which your feelings of love dry up. And when that happens you must remember that the essence of marriage is that it is a covenant, a commitment, a promise of future love. So what do you do? You do the acts of love, despite your lack of feeling. You may not feel tender, sympathetic, and eager to please, but in your actions you must BE tender, understanding, forgiving and helpful. And, if you do that, as time goes on you will not only get through the dry spells, but they will become less frequent and deep, and you will become more constant in your feelings. This is what can happen if you decide to love.

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” –¬†Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV)

  1. Gwen says:

    On John Mayer’s 2012 “Born and Raised” Album There is a song called, “Love is a verb”

    Love is a verb,
    It ain’t a thing
    It’s not something you own
    It’s not something you scream.
    When you show me love
    I don’t need your words,
    yeah love ain’t a thing
    Love is a verb
    Love ain’t a thing,
    Love is a verb.

    He goes on to describe what it isn’t, perhaps we would do well to include this information when counselling those who are about to enter into marriage.

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