“Let brotherly love continue” Heb.131
What Is Love? Simply put love could be described as kind actions. It exists in two variants (1)Eros’ which is love due to attributes such as looks; intellects; in which case you may love an individual because such a person(s) possesses certain physical features you cherish so much, or because he or she is very intelligent. This is the kind of love we have for our friends.
This kind of love has it’s limitation in that as soon as there appears to be a distortion of the features we cherish, there automatically seem to be a reduction to our devotion or love to such individuals. That is why as soon as most women loose their physical beauty attributes such as skin colour, weight, the so-called “figure eight” due to an ailment or child birth, their partners tend to seek for love from someone else. As soon as boyfriend runs in to financial difficulty girlfriends love for boyfriend disappears. This love has no commitment to it , it is self centered and exploitative, that’s why there are so many broken hearts in the world today , may your heart be healed in Jesus name .
The second kind of love is the Agape love: this kind is unconditional and is based on commitment. It is the highest form of love. Agape removes fear especially the fear of divorce or rejection. Agape gives one a sense of assurance and removes shame. Agape gives the lover and the loved boldness to face whatever challenge life may throw at them.
This Kind of love can only be expressed by and through Christ Jesus. “God is love, and all who live in love live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid… 1 Jn. 4:17.
HOW DO WE IDENTIFY AGAPE IN A MAN: The bible gives us fifteen behavioral characteristics of such an individual. 1Cor. 13:4 -7 It describes such a person as being patient and kind: Having the quality of being able calmly to endure suffering, toil, delay, vexation, or any similar condition; sufferance, and being disposed to doing good to others; benevolent; helpful; agreeable.
Agape love Does Not Envy: This means, there is no feeling of discontent at the good looks, quality, fortune, etc of another, Does Not boast: He /she does not brag of speak proudly or confidently to justify himself/herself.
Is Not Proud: He/she does not have excessive self-esteem; arrogance: isn’t haughty, or has a proper sense of self –respect; is exultantly aware of the credit due to or reflected on oneself, is not untamable; fearless; swelling, sexually excited or promiscuous .
Agape Is Not Rude He/she is not, uncultured; unskilled; discourteously unmannerly; coarse; vulgar; harsh; crude; undeveloped, unwrought; rugged; rough; roughly or unskillfully fashioned; violent; robust.
Agape Is Not Self-seeking He/She is not the kind of person who looks mainly to his or her own interest or advantage.
Agape Is Not Easily Angered He/She does not show a hot displeasure provoked by some action, incident, situation, etc, often involving hostility and a desire form retaliation, wrath; affliction.
Keeps No Record Of Wrongs: He/She does not set down in writing or other permanent form information on incorrect; erroneous; morally unacceptable; immoral, wicked, sinful, acts that where meted against them.
Does Not Delight In Evil : He/She does not rejoice when disaster or misfortune befalls anyone. “Do not rejoice when your enemies fall into trouble. Don’t be happy when they stumble” Prov. 24: 17
Rejoices with the Truth : He/She celebrates when truth prevails.
Always protects: He/She acts as a shield from danger, inquiry, change, capture or loss. Defends and strengthens those he/she loves always.
Agape Always Trusts: He/She always has a confident expectation on those he/she loves; he/she rests on their integrity, friendship, faith; hope.
Love Always Hopes : This means to always cherish the desire (that something good will happen), with some expectation of success or fulfillment; it also means to always have confidence or be hopeful with belief in the possibility of fulfillment. Agape always desires for something good, with a certain expectation of obtaining it, with confidence and anticipation.
Agape Always Perseveres: This is the continuous act or state of persevering and continuously applying to anything which one has begun persistently, despite setbacks.
Agape Love Never Fails: Whenever agape is in operation in any relationship, there would never be any room for failure. Any marriage born out of agape love will stand the test of time.
Married couples are expected to have both ‘eros’ and Agape love for each other.
Love is kind actions, therefore if we choose to be kind and helpful, we have chosen to love. If a man is not loving his wife, it is not because there is no love but because he has not chosen to do actions of love for her.
THE FEELING OF LOVE: The feeling of love is not the same thing as love. The feeling of love is just a feeling our feelings towards each other changes due to cultural biological and physiological, religious factors.
Love blues: Immediately after the wedding and subsequently the sexual union, for most couple the feeling of love starts to nose dive. Regrets, depression sets in.
Remember, God has not commanded us to have a certain feeling. Love is not just a feeling .He has commanded us to love. Love means choosing to serve my partner even when I don’t feel like it.
Remember, God proffers a two-fold solution to this kind of situation.
1. Love as commanded: So love even if your feeling of love has disappeared, love your marriage partner, child, brother, sister, etc. in Christ. Love him/her with kind actions. Be careful to be helpful, polite, generous, faithful and self – giving.
2. The Promise of love: As you continue the loving actions, sooner or later your feeling of love will return. Yes, you don’t need to stay together, for the rest of your lives without any feeling of love. That wonderful feeling of love can return. It will return as you continue choosing loving actions, of course, the feeling of love is just a feeling. You won’t have it everyday. It will come and go.
But don’t worry, if you choose to love in action, the feeling of love will never stay away for long.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
First we do, then, we feel!
Love is action. It is the action of being gentle, thoughtful, patience, etc you can choose to love. The feeling of love is just a feeling. Therefore, it comes and goes. If you stop choosing to love in action, your feeling of love will begin to disappear.
If your feeling of love disappears, bring it back. How? Choose to love in action!
Start by praying to God to heal your heart from the hurt you have suffered and ask God to touch the heart of you partner and fill your hearts with fresh love for one another. May God heal your heart in Jesus name.