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.
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.
- Our Relational Standards – We need someone to give us massive amounts of respect, encouragement, comfort, security, support, acceptance, approval, appreciation, attention, and affection.
- 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?