Re-Modeling

Staying in Love - Part Two

This November my wife and I began a new small group study based on Andy Stanley’s series Staying in Love. Over the next four weeks we’ll be learning practical lessons that will help strengthen marriages.

We’ve already had a tremendous interest in the group at our church, so I thought it would be a good idea to sum up what we’ve been learning each week and share it with a larger audience. This is part two. You can check out part one here.

StayinginLove

Re-Modeling

What, if any, sacrifices do you make for your spouse? Do you ever surprise them by coming home early from work? How often do you thank them for cooking a good meal? What about giving the kids a bath?

How often do you put your spouse’s needs and interests before your own?

If you’re like me, the answer is not nearly enough. Yet, in the Bible Paul tells us, “In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had”. Philippians 2:3

So, what attitude did Jesus have towards others? One of selflessness, one of humility, and one of serving others.

In every situation, Jesus valued others more than himself, even though in every situation He was the most valuable person in the room.

How often do you value your spouse above yourself? Because according to Paul this is how we should approach our relationships.

We should treat our spouse like they’re the most important person in the room. We are to focus our attention on their interests, even if it holds no interest for us. That means letting them control the remote, going to the movie they want to see, and eating at the restaurant they picked.

That’s easier said than done, and I’m guilty of getting my way far too often because I have a wife who has embraced this concept. She is constantly emptying herself by serving me, our kids, and others.

The danger comes when I’m not pouring myself back into her. If I’m not taking the time to serve her, to put her needs before mine, to take interest in what interest her, she ends up always feeling empty.

This is where marriages fall apart. You have to consistently be pouring into one another. When two people do this, it’s a beautiful thing, and it’s the key to staying in love.

What one thing can you do this week as a genuine expression of your decision to treat your spouse as more important than yourself?

Love is a Verb

Staying in Love - Part One

This November my wife and I are beginning a new small group study based on Andy Stanley’s series Staying in Love.

Over the next four weeks we’ll be learning practical lessons that will help strengthen marriages. We’ve already had a tremendous interest in the group at our church, so I thought it would be a good idea to sum up what we’ve been learning each week and share it with a larger audience. This is part one.

StayinginLove

Love is a Verb

It’s easy to fall in love, it’s much harder to stay in love.

Most of us fall in love multiples times in our lives. I fell in love three or four times before I ever entered High School. Much fewer of us stay in love for a lifetime.

There seems to be two reasons for this.

  1. Our Relational Standards – We need someone to give us massive amounts of respect, encouragement, comfort, security, support, acceptance, approval, appreciation, attention, and affection.
  1. Our Threshold of Relational Pain – We find it very easy to give up if things aren’t going how we expect. If we’re unhappy, we think we’ve chosen the wrong person, so the answer is to go find another one.

Yet, Jesus has a different answer, and it’s so simple, it’s easy to overlook.

Jesus says in John 13:34, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Jesus takes the word love, which we typically use as a noun, and turns it into a verb. So, love is now not something we can fall in and out of, but love is something you do. Love is an action.

Later on the Apostle Paul expands on this idea when he tells us in Ephesians 5:21, “Submit to one another out of reference for Christ.”

Submit means to put the other first. Husbands put your wives first. Wives put your husbands first.

A healthy marriage relationship is one in which the husband and wife try to out love one another. They try to make each other the priority.

It’s not about being in love, it’s about putting love into action.

And if you’ll make love a verb, you’ll end up making more love.

What are some ways you can make a love a verb? How can you show your spouse they are the priority?