Oh true love. It brings to mind pictures of Romeo and Juliet. Hearts, flowers and rose colored glasses. But what really is true love? How do you really know when it is real, true love?
We don't. Not really. There are books and articles galore telling how to know when love is true. But, one thing I have recently learned, without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, there is NO WAY you can have or give true love. First, you must love the ultimate love of the Father to be able to truly love another.
We are called to love our spouses as Christ loved the church. But what does that mean if you don't have the love of Christ in you? Christ gave himself up for us. Endured beatings, torture and was crucified for us, the church.
The ultimate love is that of the Father, " But, God shows his love for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8) God's only son died for us, so that we may have eternal life, that is true love. He gave up everything for us.
True love is an unselfish and undemanding love. A love where you serve your spouse, even when it is a struggle or inconvenient for you. You do this because you love them, you want to see them happy and in return, their love for you will grow and they will serve you as well.
I won't lie, this story is not easy for me to write. I have always thought that I knew what true love was, but it was a worldly view on love. I thought love was self serving, what can my spouse do for me, how did he show me he loved me? If he loved me, wouldn't he do more for me, or notice this or that? NO, it was all wrong, and honestly helped lead my marriage on the wrong path.
Now that I have a personal relationship with Christ, I know what true love really is. Agape' love. One definition of true love that I found was " a strong and lasting affection between spouses or lovers, who are in a happy, passionate and fulfilling relationship." Agape love is defined as "the fatherly love of God for man and the human reciprocal love for God." Another definition is "pure, willful and sacrificial love that intentionally desires another's good."
Lets look at each of those words separately to get a really good picture on what Agape love really is. Pure-involving or containing nothing else; sheer. So pure could be translated into "wholesome or untainted" . Jesus was the one and only man to ever walk the earth that was completely pure and untainted.
The definition of willful is "intentional or deliberate." Christ was deliberate in all that he did. He was always in the right place at the right time.
Sacrificial is defined as "designed to be used up or destroyed in fulfilling a purpose or function". Christ came to this earth, knowing that his life would be sacrificed for us sinners. Yet he still carried on God's will. He gave up everything for use. This is true sacrificial love, true love. Christ loved us so much that will willingly sacrificed his life for us.
We should be intentional, untainted with ulterior motives, and sacrificial in serving and loving our spouses, and others. It is not what they can do for us, but how can we serve them, help them and love them better. Once we begin doing this, we become blessed beyond what we had previously known. It is for sure not easy, but you can do it. Remember, what is impossible with God? Nothing.
Truly love your spouse with an Agape love, as Christ loved us.