It’s Not Who You Love, but What You Love That is Important

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It’s Not Who You Love, but What You Love

The Bible presents marriage as an institution that should be highly respected and esteemed above all other institutions. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” The King James Version reads, “Marriage is honorable in all…” “Honorable” translates the Greek word timios, which also means “valuable, costly, honored, esteemed, beloved, and precious.” All means “all”: The Greek word is pas, meaning “all, any, every, the whole, thoroughly, whatsoever, and whosoever.” Marriage, then, should be valued and esteemed, and held in highest honor at all times in all things by all people everywhere. That is God’s design. Notice that the verse says, “Marriage should be honored by all”; it says nothing at all about the people in the marriage.

A common notion with most people is that the parties in a marriage the husband and wife should honor each other and hold each other in high esteem. This is certainly true, but ultimately it is not what makes a marriage work. What is more important is that they honor and esteem marriage itself. Let’s face it, none of us are lovable all the time. There are times when we say something hateful or do something foolish, leaving our spouse hurt or angry.

Maybe he or she has done the same to us. Either way, holding our marriage in high honor and esteem will carry us over those bumpy times when one or the other of us is unlovable or difficult to honor. One of the keys to a long and happy marriage is understanding that it’s not who you love, but what you love that’s important. Let me explain. Consider an average couple; we’ll call them John and Sarah.

happy coupleJohn and Sarah meet at a party and begin talking. John is 22, handsome, dark-headed, athletic, and has a good-paying job. Sarah is 20, attractive, intelligent, has beautiful hair, and also has a good job. Attracted to each other right off the bat, John and Sarah start going out together

Their relationship continues to grow until one night John says, “Sarah, I love you,” and Sarah replies, “I love you, too, John.” Since John and Sarah have fallen in love, they decide to get married. John gives Sarah a ring and they begin planning their wedding. John and Sarah are so happy in their love that they feel it will sustain them forever.

Read Also: Here Are Ten Good Rules to Help Make Your Marriage Better

Somewhere along the way, however, they both had better figure out what they love about each other, or they are headed for trouble in their marriage. John needs to ask himself, “Why do I love Sarah? What is there about her that causes me to love her? Do I love her because of who she is, or for some other reason? Do I love her because of her attractive figure or her beautiful hair or her good job?” Sarah at 20 is all of those things, but what about when she is 40?

What if at 40 Sarah has put on some weight and lost her slim figure because she has borne three or four children? What if she no longer has that good job because she stayed home to raise those children? If John loves all of the things Sarah is when she is 20, how will he feel about her when she is 40? Sarah needs to ask herself the same questions about John. At 22, John may be everything Sarah has dreamed about in a man, but what about when he is 42 and has started losing his hair? What if he has lost much of his youthful athletic build because he has worked in an office day after day for 20 years? What if the company he worked for went bankrupt and the only job he has been able to find is as a mason’s helper making half the amount of money he did before? It is not enough just to know who we love; we need to know what we love. We need to know why we love the person we love. This is critically important for building a happy and successful marriage

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