Marriage series #2:Romance
Ah, sweet romance! Every woman dreams about it, reads about it, cries over it and longs for it. Romantic feelings are the most natural thing in all the world. Yes, even men enjoy romance in their lives, though some very loving husbands don’t express it as well as they should. Some men are more romantic than others. Women, not all romantic men are loving and not all loving men are as romantic as you would like yours to be. Come to think of it, love, romance, boys friends, girl friends and dating, though very exciting, can be quite confusing for girls and for boys as well.
Three kinds of love
There are three Greek words that you ought to know about to help you sort out your feelings about love. The first Greek word is not in the Bible, although it is described in the Bible. It is eros and from this word we get the word erotic. Erotic feelings are those feelings that men can feel for an attractive woman. These feelings can be stirred up in a woman by a desirable man who makes amorous advances. The major difference between a man and a woman is that a man is “turned on” or aroused by looking at a beautiful woman, or even by looking at her picture. Isn’t it wonderful, men, that God made women so beautiful! On the other hand, a woman is not “turned on” by looking at a handsome man, but rather by his romantic touch and by the way he expresses his desire for her in the way he looks at her and talks to her. Fortunately for most of us men, we don’t have to be as handsome as a movie star to be attractive to our wives.
The second Greek word phileo, is found in the Bible. It is the word from which we get the name Philadelphia, city of brother love. This word expresses the normal, natural love that friends and family have for one another. Certainly every marriage should have a strong degree of this love. A husband and his wife ought to be the best of friends.
The third Greek word agape is the highest form of love. In fact, it is so high that only God has it by His very nature. and only God can put it in our hearts so that we can express it to others. Agape love is totally self-giving and sacrificial. “God so loved the world that He gave.” You know the verse, John 3:16.
Erotic feelings and activity within the bounds of God’s Law are good.
Now getting back to romance. How do these three kinds of love fit in? First, there is nothing inherently evil about erotic feelings. They are perfectly normal feelings, but they are feelings that are to be under the control of God’s Law. God’s Law clearly commands that erotic feelings are to be expressed only in the bonds of marriage between a husband and his wife. All other forms of eroticism have no place in our lives and God warns He will judge those who disobey His Law. Hebrews 13:4 That means that God is going to judge those guilty of pre-marital sex and other forms of sexual perversion. I didn’t write God’s Law, so if you have a problem with that, take it up with Him. Proverbs 5,6 and 7 go into more detail describing the dangers of sexual immorality.
The slippery rock
Romantic feelings, while beautiful in marriage; are no foundation for a happy, lasting marriage. If you build your marriage on romance alone, your marriage will dissolve just as soon as your romance disappears and in your rebellion to God and His Law you will probably do the same thing all over again by trying to build another marriage on the same slippery rock of romance.
Don’t get married without Him!
If you and your spouse have never invited Christ into your lives and into your marriage, the best you can hope for in marriage is some natural phileo love spiced with some erotic feelings. Although your marriage may last a lifetime, you’re still missing a wonderful ingredient of a happy marriage, and that is God’s agape love.
The foundation stone for a truly romantic, fun-filled, happy lasting marriage is for both you and your spouse to each know Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord. In fact, God clearly forbids a Christian marrying an unbeliever. I encourage you to read and study carefully I Corinthians 7 on this subject. There is given you clear direction as to what to do if you are already married to an unbeliever. However the warning is still clear to you who are still unmarried. Marry only in the Lord.
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