D.C. Talk sings, "Love is a verb,"... an action. What kind of action? Is it a soft kiss, an embracing hug, or sweet nothings gently whispered into the ear?
What about protection from harm, a place to call home, and forgiveness of sins? Is it understanding, deep conversation, or simplistic reasoning?
What does it feel like? Is it warmth... like hot tea (or coffee) on a cold, morning? Or the comfort of a cozy pillow after a long day? Is it like a roaring fire in a lodge while snow falls and flurries outside?
Is it a gentle touch in a time of need? How about the security of forever, the trust of faithfulness, and a commitment to things hoped for? Does it move mountains, survive the depths of the ocean and promise sacrifice (even to the point of death)?
The Human Condition
The flesh tempts and delivers temporary pleasures in the place of eternal promises. Settling becomes the average and a bright, passionate spark grows dim behind the eyes.
A momentary gratification or false idea of adoration purrs idealistic scenerios of grandeur that fall short of truth. Further an abusive partner or spouse is against God's word NO MATTER WHAT the worldly wise might suggest. I feel Wayne Grudem explains it well by stating,
"When husbands begin to act in selfish, harsh, domineering, or even abusive and cruel ways, they should realize that this is a result of sin, a result of the fall, and is destructive and contrary to God's purpose for them. To act this way will bring great destructiveness in their lives, especially in their marriages. Husbands must rather fulfill the New Testament commands to love their wives, honor them, be considerate of them, and put them first in their interest.
"Similarly, when wives feel rebellious, resentful of their husband's leadership in the family, or when they compete with their husbands for leadership in the family, they should realize that this is a result of sin, a result of the fall. They should not act that way, because to do so will bring destructive consequences to their marriages as well. A wife desiring to act in accordance with God's pattern should rather be submissive to her husband and agree that he is leader in their home and rejoice in that." (SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. © 1994. Zondervan. Grand Rapids, MI. pgs. 466-467.)
What Does God's Word Say About Love?
It says quite a bit actually.
Regarding the sin of premarital sex:
Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, "The two will become one flesh." (1 Corinth 6:16. ESV.)
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 18-20. ESV.)
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24. ESV.)
So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. (Matthew 19:6. ESV.)
The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinth 7:3-5. ESV.)
In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (Ephesians 5:28. ESV.)
But you say, "Why does he not?" Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. 16 "For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless." (Mal 2:14-16. ESV.)
For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. (Romans 7:2. ESV.)
For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:23-32. ESV.)
Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. (1 Corinth 11:11-12. ESV.)
"Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them." (Colossians 3:18-19.)
To be continued...