A Fruitful Marriage – Love

By Auntie Em, Contributing Writer

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  Galatians 5:22 NIV

 

Photo by seanmcgrath

Photo by seanmcgrath

As Christians, all of us have the Holy Spirit of Christ living in us and His power available to us. If we are fully surrendered to Him there should be evidence of it, and one of the most obvious signs is the presence of the fruit of the Spirit. Sometimes a plant will come up in my garden and I don’t recognize it until it blooms. In the same way, the “fruit” you display will show whether Christ has just a toehold on your life or has all of you.

A marriage where both spouses are fully committed to the Lord will be beautiful showcases of the fruits of the Spirit! The next few months we will be studying and seeing how these gifts can be applied to marriage.

Love is listed first, because it’s the foundation of every other fruit, as well as the foundation of marriage itself. The English language is limited here, since we use the same “love” to express our feelings for our husbands, children, hamburgers, dogs, or anything else. The word used in this Scripture is the Greek agape (Latin caritas), which describes the unconditional love that God has for us, that always seeks the best for the receiver; it freely gives without expecting anything in return. Imagine marriages where both husband and wife love with this kind of love!

Photo by Coolm36

Photo by Coolm36

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  ~ John 13:34-35

 

Get it? “As I have loved you” means we are to demonstrate that agape love– that’s how we are to love if we want people to know we are His disciples.

“Whoever forgives an offense seeks love, but whoever keeps bringing up the issue separates the closest of friends.” Proverbs 17:9

 

In marriage, we must always be ready to forgive, then to cast it into the depths of the sea and leave it there. (Micah 7:19)

“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” ~ Colossians 3:19

 

This seems self-explanatory; I think Paul just realized that– newsflash!!– men and women are different; many times women are more sensitive than men, and the tough face sometimes needed in their jobs is not the one to use with their wives. (Peter echoes this sentiment in  1 Peter 3:7, when he reminds husbands to be considerate and treat their wives as more delicate than themselves.)

 “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” ~ Ephesians 5:1-2

 

This is very clear: God tells us to “walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us”– that’s agape– and “gave himself up for us”– that’s sacrificial love.

When we can love our spouses with unselfish, sacrificial, agape love, God will be glorified and our marriages will be fulfilling and happy.

What is the biggest obstacle in your marriage that prevents you from practicing agape love consistently?

Comments

  1. My biggest obstacle for practicing agape love is my husband has a lot of anger from his childhood and seems to have an attitude most days. I don’t respond well to it.

  2. Ooh Sara, that’s a tough one. Hopefully you can start the “love” ball rolling and he’ll respond to that. Praying for you, girl.

  3. The biggest obstacle to loving my husband–or anyone else–is my own sinful, selfish self that gets in the way! When I fail to love him, it’s because I’m putting myself first–the exact opposite of agape love.

    I actually wrote about this very thing today! If you’re interested for a slightly different take on the topic, feel free to read this post: http://jaimie-livinginthelight.blogspot.com/2013/02/love-in-word-and-action.html

  4. I love this! I visited from Auntie Em’s and commented. I love how God works, and helps His children work together. Thanks so much Jaimie.

  5. Thank you for sharing this needed post on marriage and the fruits of the Spirit over at WholeHearted Home this week.

  6. The hardest part is when we have both had difficult days and we are both tired. We can at least recognize the problem now but it doesn’t really solve anything when the long, stressful days last for long periods of time. Just gotta rely on God for strength to love the way He wants me to!!

  7. Exactly. That’s important that you can at least recognize it- sometimes you get sucked into that whirlpool before you realize what hit you! Knowing that it’s your situation is a life ring to hold onto together until life calms down. Only then am I able to think about how to prepare and adjust for the next time.
    Thanks Susan!

Trackbacks

  1. […] By Auntie Em, Contributing Writer, Read part 1: A Fruitful Marriage – Love […]