Is Love Enough?
I LOVE HIM/HER
I love __(name)__! Is that enough? Someone told me that love isn't enough. That there has to be more than that to make a marriage work. There has to be respect and compromise. There has to be mutual understandings and so much more. I just don't know if we have all of that.
Have you heard people talk this way before? To me it seems to be the case more often than not. There needs to be a shift in this thinking. I want to challenge you to follow along with me for the next few minutes and really open your heart and your mind. Stop the " what if" thoughts for just a minute. Don't listen to your broken heart in this moment, just be free.
The 1st Kind Of Love
There are two kinds of love that the world sees and tries to understand. There is the love that we see in movies. This all infatuated, can't keep my eyes or my hands off of you, want to spend every waking moment with you, until you screw up, make me angry and everything is over kind of love.
This is the love that makes us question our own feelings. Am I going to run at the first sign of trouble? Do I really want to be with one person for the rest of my life? What I am giving up to make that choice? Am I giving up my freedoms, my fun, my way of things? When things go wrong do I really want to deal with it? What if I get bored of this person in the bedroom? What if I "fall out" of love? All of these thoughts and notions are not love at all. They are selfish and bond breaking but they are the questions that most people ask themselves these days.
This is the love that the we are experiencing in all parts of life. It's thrown at us from every angle. Children are watching their parents live this out, teens are watching it in the movies and in the lives of their peers. Adults are watching it everywhere they look and living it themselves. It is a cycle that is hard to get away from and seems so unfair. We live in a world where "I" is the most important word in our vocabulary but love says “you”. Always, love always says "you or we", but never "I".
The 2nd Kind Of Love
I want to really have you take a deep breath and then look at the Biblical account of love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 New International Version (NIV) 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails.
Let's tear this apart and see what it is saying to us, now in todays world.
1. Love is patient- don't rush and nag, instead wait for both of you to be on the same page.
2. Love is kind- speak and show actions of love to one another. Act in small gestures on a regular basis to show kindness
3. Love does not envy- don't be jealous for what the other has or does. You are a team, what is one of yours in also the others. (My husband always says, "look what we did" even if it is a personal accomplishment of his, because without my help and support he could have failed instead).
4. Love does not boast- do not flaunt what you have received or accomplished but instead celebrate together.
5. Love is not proud- love does not puff up one against another, it does not point out when one is wrong and the other is right.
6. Love does not dishonor others- your relationship is conducted in a way that not only respects one another but also the other people around you and in your lives. Don't drag someone else into where they don't belong.
7. Love is not self seeking- you are not looking to see what you can gain from the other person but are looking to see how you can lift them up. Help them to be better, see the better in themselves.
8. Love is not easily angered- we all know how easy we get hot tempered. Love is to control that anger. To address your anger in love and appropriately.
9. Love keeps no record of wrongs- this is so difficult sometimes but it is possible. Words like "you always" or "you never" are examples of this. When there is an issue of some kind, this means don't bring up the past. If you have forgiven as Christ forgave then it is meaningless to talk about again. Don't hold grudges for things long forgotten.
10. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth- when we are cruel it is evil that we are displaying no matter who it is too. Love does not take pleasure in this. When we rejoice in the truth it is Christ that we are rejoicing in. If you can look at it this way then you know that when Christ is the center there is no room for evil.
11. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres- I lumped these all together because they all belong together as one. Love is never out to hurt one another, or to doubt. When we start doubting the one that we love that is when we stop protecting them, we lose hope and eventually give up. Love does none of that. Love means that you are always looking out for your partner. You are protecting each other from all things, and trusting that you love can survive all things.
12. Love never fails- this is most important. When you love and you love like Christ calls us to then it can never fail because there is not room for it too.
Yes, Love Can Be Enough
See the difference in a Biblical love verses the love the world is teaching? Selfishness vs. selflessness, anger vs. peace, me vs. us and so much more. We wonder why marriages fail, inside of the church and outside of it, here it is. Christ is the center of true love. He is the example of true love, and if we have never experienced his love how can we show it to someone else? Without Christ, true love does not exist! Love, true love is hard. It is work, it is trying at times and it is selfless. True love is humbling and scary and worth every ounce of work it takes. Love, true love can sustain any marriage because a 1 Corinthians kind of love doesn't leave gaping holes of disappointment, lack of love actions, or selfish pride (that destroys couples).
When someone asks you if love is enough. Your answer should be, yes, biblical love is enough, but worldly love is not.