Most people say, in one way or another, “We are getting married because we love each other.
Love is vital to success in marriage. The Bible affirms the need for love between husband and wife. Here are two vital verses on this truth:
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” (Ephesians 5:25)
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” (Titus 2:4)
From these two verses, we learn several important truths about the kind of love that should exist between husband and wife. First, love is a command from God. Second, Christ’s love for the church is the model for proper loving. Third, love is to be taught. Fourth, there must be a receptive mind toward developing proper love. Firth, love is something we grow in day by day.
In a society where love is abused and misused; and where love is usually equated with emotions and sex, it becomes essential to note carefully the love commanded by God. In Ephesians 5:25, Paul uses the word agape (love). This is a decision of the will to seek the higher good for the other person. It involves caring and providing for another. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul calls it “the greatest.”
In Tit 2:4, Paul uses philandros (love). This word denotes the “affectionate” aspect of love. The emphasis is upon thoughtful expressions of love ”from the heart.” It is the wife “showing” her husband that she loves him. This is taught by older women to the younger women.
Since husbands must love their wives as Christ loved the church, it follows, therefore, that one must have a basic knowledge about Christ and His relationship with the church. How else can a husband obey this command? Any approach to premarital counselling does not include studying how Christ loved the church is missing an essential ingredient in helping couples, especially men, understand the nature and kind of love that is to exist between husbands and wives.
In the text, Paul stresses one of the major ways Christ loved the church: “…gave Himself for it.” However, this is one of the most difficult things for a husband (or wife) to do, and that is to give unto death for another. This is especially true in our selfish society where everyone is geared to a “get” philosophy of life. The Husband must do all “for her.” This is biblical and godly life in action within a marriage.
In the context of Titus 2:4,5, we find seven things the younger women must be taught:
To be sober minded.
To love their husbands.
To love their children.
To be chaste (pure in heart).
To be workers at home (domestic emphasis).
To show kindness.
To be in subjection to their own husbands.
The seriousness of this teaching and training is expressed by Paul in these words, “…that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:5). Order women, who have developed these qualities in their lives, have a tremendous role to play in helping a young wife and mother achieve success in marriage.
Marriage is a loving affair. Love is a major key to success in marriage. Without godly love, failure lies ahead. It is the one thing that abides.
It is not possible to discuss love without being reminded of God’s essay on love. It is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 1 Corinthians 13:13.
Each attribute of love, as defined by Paul, is a vital key to maintaining success in marriage. The violation of any of these qualities will bring ruin to a marriage. When we practice these qualities toward our mates, we are treating them like Christ treated (and treats) the church. How can a marriage fail when husband and wife are being CHRISTIAN toward each other?
The word of God gives us “all things pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). This includes marriage; the God who ordains marriage, joins couples in marriage, and wants marriage to succeed, has given us what we need in order to be successful in marriage. Our challenge is one of heeding and allowing what He has said. This is especially true with regards to love. Our Creator said that husband and wife must love each other. When they do, success in marriage will occur.
And The Greatest Of These Is LOVE!
(1 Corinthians 13:13)