by Matt Slick
If you are a Christian and you don't love your spouse anymore, then you must learn what biblical love is so that you can love your spouse properly. Human-based love is a feeling. Biblically-based love is an action, a sacrificial commitment to others, and you don't need to "feel" it to do it. Let's take a look at what the Bible says about love.
- "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things," (1 Cor. 13:4-8).
- “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life," (John 3:16).
- “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends," (John 15:13).
We see from 1 Corinthians 13 that love manifests in different ways and if we were to apply them to a marriage we could see that even though one spouse might not have an emotional feeling of love for the other, he can still love his spouse biblically. He could decide to be patient and kind. He could withhold his own arrogance and not be selfish. He could choose to not remember the wrongs that his spouse commits. He could essentially, perform the action of love even though he doesn't feel the love. Now, this may sound a bit strange to some. But if so it is only because such teaching is heavenly, not earthly.
We see in John 3:16 "God so loved the world that he gave..." Love gives. Also, in John 15:13 Jesus says the greatest act of love is to lay down your life for another. So, love is other centered, not self-centered. Often times in marriages love grows cold because people are self-centered. They want their spouse to be a certain way or do a certain thing. Now, granted there are abusive spouses and it can be very difficult to love them, but we're talking about what biblical love is and how it is to have a place in biblical marriage.
Many years ago when my wife and I were newly married, we had a great deal of stress, and we ended up going to a Christian counselor. In one of the sessions, I told the counselor that I no longer loved my wife. She was sitting next to me. I didn't care if it hurt her or not. I was angry at her for not being what I wanted, the way I wanted her to be, etc. My love for her had grown cold because she did not meet my expectations. The counselor paused for a moment and then said something I'll never forget. He said, "What do you think love has to do with being married?" I remember my shock. I remember thinking that this guy didn't know what he was talking about. That is when he proceeded to tell me what biblical love was, how it was other-centered, how it was sacrificial, how it did not depend upon the goodness or the behavior of my wife, and how it was most perfectly demonstrated in the love of Christ who chose to die for me even though I have offended him far in ways far worse than my wife might have offended me. His words put me in my place. They shut my mouth. As a result, I began to love my wife biblically, sacrificially, in an other-centered manner. We've been married over 28 years, and I can honestly say I love her. I discovered that when biblical love flows from God's heart through yours to others, it leaves its presence within you.
So if you are a Christian and you don't love your spouse anymore, then love your spouse biblically. Don't trust your feelings. Trust Christ to heal you and your spouse. I hope you realize that biblical love is not based on your feelings. It is based on the work of Christ on the cross. Love your spouse as Jesus loves you. Don't worry about your feelings for your spouse. You worry about your relationship with Christ and how you can demonstrate His love through you. Then watch what happens.