Ephesians 5:25 (NKJV) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
Titus 2:3-4 (NKJV) the older women likewise, …— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
As we read these scriptures, it may seem strange that they command both the husband and wife to love each other. You may be thinking and asking, “How can love be commanded.” This type of love that God commands has little to do with feelings but everything to do with actions. It’s called agape love or the God kind of love and is unconditional in its consistent application and devotion. The best definition we have come up with is: “Doing what benefits the other person.”
Obviously, you cannot command feelings, but you can command that one behaves in a manner that blesses or benefits the one loved. Agape love requires a clear determination and purpose of will and judgment with the help of God. This is the type of love displayed by Christ when He gave His life for lost mankind. Jesus didn’t come from heaven to save us just because we were cute, but He based it on a covenant commitment and desire to rescue and restore the benefits of our relationship with Father God. Jesus came because He and Father God loved us, and His love demanded action on His part to save us.
This is the type of love that grows with time as we live our lives together in a love-purposed marriage. Yes, we can and do have feeling for each other; but true and lasting love grows from obedience to God in doing what helps, blesses, or benefits your spouse. Exercising the “God kind of love” will prevent us from behaving selfishly or pridefully diminishing each other. The hurtful things said or done will be eliminated when filtered by a desire to benefit your mate and not promote self.
Have you ever wondered how strangers can be put together in marriage and develop a bond that last a life time, and yet, people who join in the name of so-called “love” can’t tolerate each other after a few months or years.? I believe the latter is because the love they are basing their relationship on is not agape love, and therefore, will not grow or last the test of time and familiarity.
Follow God’s command of love in your marriage and the feelings of love will be sustained and grow. Remember that anything we do in obedience to God can only be done with the help of God. Trust God to make and keep you victorious in all your endeavors to please Him.