Monday, 21 November 2011

True Love?

Do you have true love? Certainly there are ways of expressing love, which may or may not be included in Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages, i.e. gifts, words of affirmation, quality time, touch, and acts of service.

A booklet entitled Married for Life attempts to answer this question. One reasonable indicator is whether or not your love has been able to withstand the test of time. Has it endured hardship, boredom, and pain? Has it weathered life’s busyness? Has it withstood the pressures of job, family, and home, the stresses of midlife and old age?

Have you have gotten to the point where you have settled for a détente, i.e. living together but leading separate lives? If so, that would not count. True love is in part determined by your commitment to each other, by the way you live out your lives together day by day, expressing your love in every possible way through respecting each other, encouraging each other, and serving each other minute by minute, hour by hour.

True love must be other centered. You see the real problem in most marriages that are under siege is self-centeredness. The surface issues may be money, in-laws, the distribution of household chores, the kids and/or sex. Underneath those issues lurks the “kingdom of me”. When my needs, my expectations, and my desires, determine my behavior toward my spouse the only one I truly love is me.

A paraphrase taken from The Message says:

Let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. 1John 3:18-19
For those of you who are just starting out you can be insure that your marriage will withstand the test of time if you follow the principle found in 1Corinthians 10:31, i.e. “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” If your guiding principle is to glorify God, all else will follow.

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