Friday, November 22, 2013
There is, in this world, very much erotic love. Some of it is in the will of God but the overwhelming majority of it is in sin, contrary to the moral law of God. However, we think if it feels good, it must be good.
There is, also in the world, very much friendship love. It is also pleasant so we think it is also good. However, in II Timothy 3 it is speaking of friendship of money and themselves. This is a very evil love.
These first two types of love occur in marriage. They also occur in Christian marriage. Because our Christian wife is our best friend and because of our erotic attraction to her, we think our love for her is Christian love. It is not. It is two forms of humanistic love. These two types of love happen but they are not Christian love.
What is the difference?
Love is patient. If I am not patient, I am not loving. Regardless how much I insist that I love my wife if I am impatient with her I am not loving her.
Love is kind. If I am ever unkind to my wife I do not love my wife in a Christian sense.
Love is not rude. If I am rude to my wife, I do not love my wife.
Love is not easily angered. If I get easily angry with my wife I do not love my wife.
Love keeps no record of wrongs.
I am writing this today because of my knowledge of many Christian husbands who do not love their wives. Let’s go to Ephesians 5:
Do you love your wife as Christ loved the Church? Christ loved the Church to present her to himself as a radiant church. Christ loved the Church to make her lovely, not because the Church was lovely.
If you think your wife is not lovely, it is because she is not loved by you. Your love for her is the cause of her loveliness.
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” (I Peter 3:7)
Because your wife is the weaker vessel she is to be treated with respect and consideration. If not, your prayers will be hindered.
Isn’t a Christian wife supposed to be submissive to her husband? Yes, but that is not your business. Your responsibility is to love her, not because she is lovely, but because she is your wife.
“I don’t love her anymore.” That is not an option. You are to love her as Christ loved the Church. If you do not love her, you are in great sin.
“I am committed to my wife.” “I do not believe in divorce.” These two statements are not virtuous statements. They are substitutes for loving your wife.
You may not wish to come to the conclusion that you do not love your wife. Unless you come to that conviction you will not confess your sin; you will not be forgiven and you will love her less and less.
Have I ever been impatient with my wife and children? Yes! It was inexcusable sin on my part every time. I confessed that I did not love Bessie and I was restored. If I confess to my wife that I do not love her she will be hurt. True! She already knows that you do not love her, except in a selfish way. If your admission of sin is to God in repentance, you will be restored to love.
“I do not want to do that. If I keep my impatience with her it keeps her under control.” Perhaps, but her love, joy, and peace is more important than you being in charge.
A wife needs several things provided by her husband:
The first two are far more important than the last two. A woman needs love far more than she needs provision. To provide for your wife well and not love her makes little or no sense. Provision is not love.
“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife” (Proverbs 17:1).