TOPIC: Real Love
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians Chapter 5 & 6

Valentine’s Day is just past. Sweethearts are romancing each other. Love is in the air; candy and flowers are given as tokens of affection. These have had their hearts pierced by cupid’s arrow. However, I believe that instead of a heart pierced by Cupid’s arrow, we need our soul pierced with the Word of God.

Whether we are testing the waters of courtship, which is the prelude to marriage, or whether we have taken the dive into matrimony, our relationship needs to be guided by the Word of God. As with all other areas of life, we need to look to the Bible for guidance in the matter of love also. With that in mind I want to look at the relationship of a husband and wife.

The “IDEAL” relationship of a husband and wife to be:

Read carefully these verses and note the use of the word “love”. Notice that it is L-O-V-E not L-U-S-T.
The Greek language of the New Testament has a word for lust, but it is not used here. Regardless of the Hollywood image, marriages will not work on lust. Only love will drive a marriage to success. Love is giving with no hope of return.

A parent who raises a highly handicapped child, caring and loving the child for years with no hope of reciprocation on the child’s part

In the marriage, two things are necessary for the ideal love relationship, they are:

A. Submission on her part (Eph. 5:21-24)
This does not place the women in an inferior role in any way. She is just as capable, intelligent, etc. as her husband in every way. In some or all areas she may be even more so. She is not submitting to a macho dictator. She is to submit to his God-given role as the head of the home.

In the musical world the bass, the soprano, the alto, the tenor all submit to the lead. This does not make them inferior, in fact the ability to do this exhibits a superior talent. This is called harmony. If there is harmony in the marriage relationship there must be this submission.

B. Sacrifice on his part (Eph. 5:25-28)
The great responsibility of the husband is to be Christlike. Of course, every believer has this responsibility. But the husband is called upon to be Christlike in his sacrifice, (verse 25). This is much easier said than done. It is easier for the husband to say “I would die for you”. The question is, men, would you wash the dishes for her? Wives have problems in submission because of the selfish nature of the husband. A husband who is so Christlike that he gives himself for the love of his wife would be easy to submit to; right, ladies?

Marriage is for a lifetime. I believe that there needs to be a renewal of the covenant between every husband and wife. I am not advocating repeating the vows in a ceremony again, though some do that. What is more needful, however, is a personal commitment to each other for life. As the wedding vows state “till death do us part”. In the day in which we live, a lasting relationship will take some doing. Let the marriage partners have the following:
A. An adjustment of relationship-on his part (Eph. 5:31)
Boys who are courting should look for girls worthy of being the first priority in their lives. Marry the girl who can truly take the place of mom or dad. Husbands should set the priority on the wife. She needs to take center place in your busy life.

Of course, Jesus Christ is the most important relationship that any of us have. When our love for Him is right, all other relationships are right. It is only as His love is shed abroad our heart, that we have any love at all. Next to the love for your Lord, should be your love for your wife.

B. An attitude of respect on her part (Eph. 5:33)
A girl ought to marry a boy worthy of her reverence and respect, a man she can look up to like she does to her dad. Wives should look for areas of respectability in their husbands. Instead of dwelling on faults, find something you can respect in him.
Build him up with your encouragement and respect. Let him know that you are behind him, even when he fails. Never belittle and tear down your husband to others.

These verse say children are to obey their parents. This is the ideal result of the ideal marriage, children who are brought into this world by a loving, lasting relationship. It is not just birthing children. It is birthing and rearing children who will honor and serve God and be a blessing to parents and others. Many children do not deserve to be raised as they are being raised. God help us to be parents and grandparents! As parents, we must be sure to give our children:

A. Direction worthy of their obedience (Eph. 6:1)
If our children are to “obey in the Lord”, surely we must lead them in the Lord. Of the home, we can say, as has been of the Church, it rises or falls on leadership.

B. Discipline worthy of their honor (Eph. 6:2)
Help us to discipline, to teach, to instill principles of Godliness in our children. Discipline for our selfishness, anger, or frustration is not discipline at all. It is abuse of God given authority, and will result in rebellion of some manner.

C. Devotion worthy of their souls (Eph. 6:3-4)
Your primary goal for your children should be to give them the foundation and leading that they need to become God-loving and God-serving men and women. Parent, you have an awesome responsibility to direct them to the Lord. Do not fail here!

Before any of these LOVE PRINCIPLES can be applied in our marriage relationships, there must be an EXPERIENCE OF LOVE with the Saviour Jesus Christ. True love comes only through GOD’S LOVE. It is as we love Him that we can love others. May you know real love and happiness this Valentine season.