“We just fell out of love.” We’ve all heard those words many times from celebrities, co-workers and even friends as to why they broke up with someone. It makes love seem like a summer flower that dies not long after it springs up.
In popular culture love is often defined by emotions or feelings. You start a relationship with a spark and sometimes the “fire” it started feels like it dies down or goes out altogether. But is that really what love is?
When You Lose That Loving Feeling
Several years ago Billy Graham’s daughter Anne shared about how she, after many years of marriage, felt like she had fallen out of love with her husband. She desperately asked God what to do. She felt like God told her to work on her relationship with Him and He would take care of her relationship with her husband. Anne then shared that when she focused on God as her ultimate source of love, things got dramatically better with her husband.
Contrary to how love is defined in our current culture, love (and commitment) are both choices followed up by a thousand little daily actions. In the Bible the word love is often a noun but sometimes it’s also used as a verb. That means it’s not primarily a lovey-dovey feeling but an action; and a decision.
In Ephesians 5:25 when it says that husbands should love their wife like Christ loved the church, the word “love” is used as a verb. I would venture to say that a woman should also love her husband in an active way.
Here are a few more things the Bible says about love. Really dwell on these verses.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love (benevolence, good will, esteem) covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
The Bible also says that God Himself is love (see 1 John 4:8). Therefore, when we make it a point to seek God wholeheartedly and fill up with Him, i.e. fill up with Love, then the natural overflow of our actions will be love toward others.
On The Flip Side…
When we look to another person to try to fill in us what only God can, we put unfair and unrealistic demands and expectations on that person and on our relationship. Unmet expectations and the disappointment that follows can easily kill a relationship when it happens repeatedly.
But when we are seeking God first, delighting in His love and being filled up by Him, we don’t look to our spouse for the things only God can give us. Therefore our relationship with our spouse becomes an added
How Can You Re-light the Fire?
- Seek God first. Love Him and trust that He will fill you with love for your spouse.
- Fire needs kindling. Spending time together nurturing your relationship is key.
- A healthy amount of mutual giving and receiving with your spouse.
- Knowing your spouse’s (and your own) Love Language is so important!
- Revisit your vows and think about what made you love your spouse in the first place.
While there are sometimes serious circumstances that call for separation and need wise counsel to walk through, for most people there is simply a fire that needs a little stoking.
Be encouraged that as you seek God and make an effort in your relationship with your spouse God will restore love and desire for one another. Remember, God created marriage and He is for your marriage. And as Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”