Love in Marriage

Love in MarriageLove in Marriage
Eph 5:25-33 – June 2017

The Doctrine of Category #2 Love:

There are three categories of love in the human race:

Category #1 Love, is toward God, Deut 6:5; Rom 8:35; 1 John 4:19. Only the believer is capable of this kind of love.

Category #2 Love, is between one right man and one right woman in marriage, Song of Solomon 8:6-7; Eph 5:25-33; Col 3:19; 1 Peter 3:7.

Category #3 Love, is towards mankind, Mat 5:43; 19:19; Rom 13:9; Gal 5:14; James 2:8.

James 2:8, “If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law, according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well.”

The Greek language has six different words for love, four most applied, AGAPAO, PHILEO, (a rapport love), ERAO, (sexual or erotic love), and STERGO, (the special love of parents for their children). Of these four only two made their way into the New Testament, AGAPAO and PHILEO.

A comparison between AGAPAO and PHILEO is inevitable because both are common to the New Testament, while neither ERAO nor STERGO can be found. Differences that can be discerned between the two are that PHILEO represents a deep affection in rapport for one another, while AGAPAO expresses a love that does not require a comparable response. As such, AGAPAO is a fitting description of the kind of love God has shown to man in sending His Son to save all who will believe, John 3:16, that is the high standard by which husbands are to love their wives. As such, the husbands love is not dependent on the love or affection that the wife expresses towards him. He is to love her regardless.

The strength of Category #2 Love is declared in Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs) 8:6-7. It cannot be quenched by any pressure of life.

Song of Songs 8:6-7, “Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. 7Many waters cannot quench love, nor will rivers overflow it; if a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, it would be utterly despised.”

The exclusiveness of Category #2 Love extends to one person of the opposite sex, all others are excluded. Therefore, happiness in sexual love can only be found in one person, Prov 5:18-19.

Prov 5:18-19, “Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilarated always with her love.”

This excludes the following as a basis for such happiness: autoerotism or masturbation, homosexuality or lesbianism, promiscuity, or adultery, etc.

This love produces an exclusive and perfect happiness which is self-sustaining, as well as partner-sustaining, Prov 15:17.

Prov 15:17, “Better is a dish of vegetables where love is, Than a fattened ox and hatred with it.”

This love is protective, when the right one is absent, Song of Sol 1:13; 4:6, and when he or she is present, Song of Sol 2:4.

Song of Sol 1:13, “My beloved is to me a pouch of myrrh Which lies all night between my breasts.”

Song of Sol 4:6, “Until the cool of the day When the shadows flee away, I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh And to the hill of frankincense”

Song of Sol 2:4, “He has brought me to his banquet hall, And his banner over me is love.”

It illustrates the relationship with the Lord. The relationship between Israel and the Lord, Jer 2 & 3; Ezek 16 & 23. The relationship between the Lord and the Church, Eph 5:23-33.

Mental attitude sins attack all forms of true love, 1 John 5:18. Jealousy is one of the greatest enemies in this field, Song of Sol 8:6.

Song of Sol 8:6, “Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, jealousy is as severe as Sheol; its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD.”

This love is the provision of God’s grace, Prov 18:22.

Proverbs 18:22, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the LORD.”

Divine Institution #2 is designed for Category #2 love, Eph 5:25, 28, 33.

God has set aside time in each life for category #2 love, Ecc 3:8, “A time of love.” However, certain functions in life can destroy this time, i.e. not waiting for the right man or the right woman, adultery, drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental attitude sins which destroy right lobe capacity.

Older women are to teach younger women how to love under Category #2, Titus 2:4-5, “so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”

This love is a thought and the expression of that thought. It is the embodiment of soul function and concentration toward someone, so as to single them out from the masses. That exclusion is called intimacy. Intimacy expresses the concentration of love, as you are focused on one individual and one only. This means capacity to love is related to capacity to concentrate as you are focused on one individual.

All love is meaningless and disappointing unless you have personal love for God first. This love for God makes other loves real. Stimulation of emotion is not loving God, nor is it loving someone else. To have personal love for God, you must concentration on His Word and get it into your soul. Rom 5:5 says the love for God is poured out in us through doctrine in the soul.

Rom 5:5, “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Therefore, love in itself and the capacity for that love, is Bible doctrine in the soul, so that perpetuation of love is the perpetuation of your intimate relationship with God.

Therefore, in order to have AGAPAO love for your right woman or right man; you must first have concentration on God and His Word, and love Him personally. When you do, you will know and have the love of Christ in your soul, and therefore be able to express that love towards your right woman or right man in impersonal and unconditional (AGAPE) love. Therefore, for husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church, husbands must have the love of God resident within their soul, through maximum intake and application of Bible Doctrine, so that they can express God’s love towards their wives, as they should.

To have Category # 2 Love, we must have impersonal / unconditional love, which emphasizes the virtue, honor, and integrity of the subject. Gal 5:14, “For the entire Law is fulfilled in one doctrine, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” This mandate is found first in Lev 19:18, and quoted in Mat 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Rom 13:9.

Impersonal love is defined as that Problem-Solving Device of the plan of God for the Church, which produces unconditional love toward all mankind. Being impersonal, this category of love places emphasis on your honor, your integrity, and your virtue, (not morality), of the subject, rather than the attractiveness of the object.

Impersonal love and virtue can only be produced by perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. Impersonal love is the ultimate expression of maximum metabolized Bible doctrine circulating by means of the Holy Spirit in stream of consciousness of the heart.

Impersonal love is a virtue which cannot be duplicated in any phase of personal love among human beings. “Impersonal” is an adjective which means without personal reference or connection, not primarily affecting or involving the emotions of a person. Although personal and emotional love is a part of the marriage, it cannot be sustained by them alone. Cat. 2 Love must have Impersonal Love to be successful.

Without impersonal love, you will never have any good human relationships, never mind a great marriage. You will change friends, partners in romance, and spouses in marriage simply because you have no basis for perpetuating any of those relationships apart from virtue. In fact, even morality will not hold together human relationships. Morality does not solve the problems of human relationship. Only virtue can solve the problems of human relationship.

The noun “impersonality” is the quality or state of not involving personal feelings or emotions in relationship to an object. Emotion is designed to appreciate the relationship, but it is never designed to establish a relationship.

To have impersonal love, you must have objectivity and grace orientation, the expression of virtue in human interaction, and humility in spiritual self-esteem. As you advance to spiritual adulthood, this love and virtue are expressed more and more from your soul.

The status of impersonal love is the status of true humility. Arrogant people are constantly seeking unconditional love from others, especially their spouse, but all they offer in return is conditional love. The greater your arrogance, the more conditions you put on someone else’s love. Most men do this to the woman they love.

Prov 8:13, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way…”

Prov 18:12, “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, but humility goes before honor.”

Eph 4:1-3, “…Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, 3being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Personal love in marriage and all relationships minus the virtue of impersonal love is the weakest and most unstable status quo in life. It is vulnerable to the entire realm of both the arrogant complex of sins and the emotional complex of sins.

Personal love emphasizes the attractiveness of the object. Impersonal love emphasizes the virtue of the subject. Personal love is optional in the Christian life; it is not commanded. Impersonal love is the imperative of the Christian life, the Divine mandate for the function of the plan of God, even inside of marriage. Personal love is optional; impersonal love is imperative.

Personal love emphasizes rapport with an object; impersonal love emphasizes the virtue of the subject. Impersonal love emphasizes the virtue, the integrity, and the spiritual adulthood of the subject. Personal love emphasizes the attractiveness, the desirability of the object.

Personal love is conditional; impersonal love is unconditional. Impersonal love as unconditional love means that no merit is assigned to the object. No characteristic of the object, whether attractiveness, rapport, or worthiness is the motivation for impersonal love.

Personal love is virtue dependent for its effectiveness; impersonal love is doctrinally dependent for its effectiveness. Impersonal love is sustained by Bible doctrine. Personal love is sustained by rapport and mutual admiration.

Personal love is subjective and possessive; impersonal love is objective and grace oriented.

As we have noted, impersonal love is motivated by personal love for God and Occupation with Jesus Christ; therefore, it is non-discriminating. This means that the husband treats his wife impersonally with fairness, equity, justice, conformity with the rules and standards of God’s Word, and without prejudice.

On the other hand, personal love is motivated by attractiveness; therefore, the husband can fall into prejudice and be discriminating, which means he will look for and make issues of her flaws and failures, real or perceived, or even if she is operating in a good and righteous way, he will find things to complain about, because he is in a “bad mood.”

Yet, with Bible doctrine in the soul, his love will have stability and not ride on the ebbs and flow of his feelings or emotions. Remember love is a thought, not an emotion.

Personal love for God means you now have the ability to love your right man or right woman. Your thoughts isolate on God, your right man, or right woman, and not on yourself, your feelings, or emotions.

Therefore, impersonal (AGAPE) love is devotion after thought, maximum self-esteem, and loyalty to the object of your love. Attraction is merely a preliminary to love, and never a sustainer of love.

Passion is another concept regarding right man, right woman relationships. It is a combination of the function of certain glands, plus the function of the emotional pattern of the soul. Passion can accompany both true and pseudo love, and therefore proves nothing in regard to whether you truly love someone or not. You should never use passion as the basis for your decision making inside of relationships, and passion can never sustain your relationships.

By falling in love, you have created a problem for yourself. One of the biggest problems in life is to fall in love, because the object of your love is not perfect, (and neither are you). Sooner or later, that object will be a source of people testing, whether irritation or antagonism. People testing comes from falling in love. When it does, you must have the pertinent Bible doctrine in your soul to overcome the testing, so that you do not function from your feelings, emotions, or passion. You must operate with thought based on God’s Word resident within your soul to overcome any testing, including people testing, especially inside your marriage.

Without understanding the pertinent doctrines, you will idealize the object of your love, creating a monster out of them. And since no one is perfect, personal love does not have a chance if there is any idealization of the object. No one is perfect. People we love disappoint us, frustrate us, turn against us, because we are not perfect; or they hurt us in some way, causing suffering.

Hypersensitivity versus Sensitivity:

Hypersensitivity is a problem in relationship to yourself when interacting with other people, especially your right man or right woman. Every person in a relationship has an area of vulnerability. If you are sensitive about what other people think about you, then you will become hypersensitive in arrogance when they say one bad thing about you, or do not complement you as you desire to be complimented. As a result, you lose any virtue you might have had in your life, and become hypersensitive. In slang terms we say, “you have become thin skinned.” This means that you have become hypersensitive, as you are occupied with self, and are reactionary about everything that people say about you and do towards you, rather than being “thick skinned,” with occupation with Jesus Christ. This leads to being reactionary to all situations of life, especially inside the marriage. It leads to having self-pity, being quick tempered, vengeance, vilification, etc.

Hypersensitivity can lead to the problem of having unrealistic expectations in your relationships. Very few people are loved the way they want to be loved, or treated the way they want to be treated. Because of this, people develop a subjective arrogance that leads to having eyes on self, eyes on people, and eyes on things. In other words, you are looking for love in all the wrong places. You are creating unrealistic expectations for how you ought to be loved by others. Then, when you are not loved the way you think you should be loved, you become reactionary and enter into mental, verbal, and/or overt sins. When you react to others who do not love you the way you want to be loved, it is impossible for any virtue to exist in your life.

In addition, you will be insensitive to the situations, thoughts, and feelings of others, especially of your spouse. Then you become thoughtless, rude, indifferent, and cruel with all the mental attitude sins that can lead to verbal and overt sins.

When you are hypersensitive and your area of vulnerability is touched, you lose your self-esteem, self-confidence, and poise, and become a reactionary to the persons and/or environment which produced it. Reaction in hypersensitivity results in loss of virtue. You no longer love God, have personal or impersonal love for your right man or right woman, nor have impersonal love towards man, nor spiritual self-esteem.

On the other hand, impersonal love is characterized by true sensitivity, the expression of thoughtfulness, courtesy, good manners toward others, and willingness to accommodate yourself toward your wife, husband, an individual, or group of individuals whether in business, social, or spiritual life.

Sensitivity is the function of thinking in the adult believer in spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity. The basis for sensitivity is genuine humility, adding the superstructure of impersonal love, which reaches its peak in spiritual autonomy. Sensitivity is the dynamic expression of genuine humility by the spiritual adult believer. Therefore, sensitivity as the expression of impersonal love is a problem solving device in people, thought, and system testing.

Hypersensitivity can also lead to the problems of iconoclastic or role model arrogance.

This is an excessive admiration or personal love where you create an idol out of a person. This is followed by the idol showing their feet of clay, (doing something wrong). When the idol does something wrong, (real or imagined), there is a reaction by the one who created the idol. They become disillusioned or disenchanted.

When disillusionment or disenchantment sets in during iconoclastic arrogance, you seek to destroy the person you have set up as a role model or icon in your life. You created the idol, now you do not like the idol, so you seek to destroy the idol.

Impersonal love is the basic solution to the problem of marriage. Marriages fail because people are no better in marriage than they are as people. Marriages fail because:

  • People are failures as human beings.
  • People get married for the wrong reasons, therefore, they make wrong decisions concerning the spouse.
  • People think marriage is the solution to all problems in life. If anything, marriage is a problem manufacturing device.

Marriage is not designed for happiness; it is designed for virtue that leads to happiness. Virtue is designed for happiness. Therefore, happiness in marriage demands virtue-love. You cannot change your marital problems by changing your spouse to conform to your personal standards or your unrealistic expectation. Therefore, marriage is more than finding the right person; it is being the right person. Without the virtue of impersonal love, personal love in the marriage is vulnerable and weak. It is influenced by too many factors which hinder its perpetuation. For example:

  • Your involvement in personality conflict.
  • Moral or immoral degeneracy.
  • Lack of concentration on an object.
  • Lack of reciprocation.
  • Lack of mental, physical, or spiritual rapport.
  • Loss of attractiveness on which a relationship was originally based. People change in their looks over time, and if personal love was based on attraction, it will not last.

So, personal love in friendship, romance, or marriage cannot be sustained or perpetuated without the Problem-Solving Device of impersonal love. All human and personal love relationships depend on virtue for their success, as well as their perpetuation; i.e., personal love for God the Father as a motivational virtue, impersonal love for all mankind as a functional virtue, and occupation with Christ as the priority virtue.

Personal love minus impersonal love is weak and vulnerable to being destroyed by arrogance, jealousy, pettiness, vindictiveness, implacability, and/or hypersensitivity as arrogant subjectivity, anger, hatred, bitterness, fickleness, etc.

Yet, with impersonal and unconditional AGAPE love, your personal relationships, especially your marriage, will be impenetrable, lasting, enduring, longsuffering, meaningful, and rewarding.

As Andre Maurois, a French Writer, (July 26, 1885 – October 9, 1967), once said, “A happy marriage is always a long conversation that seems to be too short.” And, “A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day.”

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