To Love Another

God's Gospel is one large lesson on how to love in such a way that one's inner self finds every need satisfied through service to others. In an increasingly emotional culture we Americans have become detached from a realistic understanding of what it truly means to love. We have come to equate irresistible desires to possess or enjoy with being in love. In contrast with this, biblical love is not about self-gratification.

A gentleman frantically comes into the minister's office because his wife is divorcing him. "Slow down, Daniel," the minister says to him. "Why is Natasha leaving you?" The man relates to him that he had come home to find his wife in bed with another. The next day, the minister goes to Daniel's home because he had convinced his wife to counsel. She explained that other men had told her she could do much better than Daniel. Eventually, one came home with her, and.... she was now determined to divorce.

The Devil knew Natasha all too well. Unwrapping her emotional cravings he found the diabolical gift of deception. "You can do much better," she was told and she broke her commitment to Daniel.

Here is the greatest difference between worldly love and biblical love. The world's vernacular allows love to be temporary, for the moment. Sacred love is forever; it never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8). From Heaven's vantage point, love is not something we fall into or out of and it isn't something that can be discarded because we see something better. When we love as God teaches, there is nothing greater.

Perhaps, it was because her husband came home nightly exhausted from his work and did not find the energy needed to woo his wife with the attention she needed, to know she was the center of his affection. Maybe he didn't tell her 'I love you' enough to reassure her. She wasn't sure anymore. All she knew was that the man she had married was not holding her as long and as tightly as three years before. When Alex gave her the affection she was missing she fell prey to his moves. And now, Daniel is left scratching his head, "Where did I go wrong?"

Commitment. Sacrifice. Communication. These three words are missing from worldly love. From the beginning, God ordained that husband and wife be inseparably committed to their marriage (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:8-9). For this to happen both must put the needs of their mate above their own (Ephesians 5:21-33). Love is not about self-gratification. No, it is about meeting the needs of others (Galatians 6:2). It is not right for the man to come home, plop himself down in his recliner and demand that his wife bring him a beverage, after having ignored her greeting when he came through the door. And, it is not right for the wife to hop in the sack with another man because her needs are going unmet. Marriage is not "what can I get" but "what can I give" (Ephesians 5:33).

Donny Weimar

Published in The Old Paths Archive