19 May Do You have the Right Meaning of Agape Love?
You may be turning a blind eye to the incorrect behavior of your spouse, but God wants you to take responsibility and stand for your house. Misrepresenting marriage relationship or allowing wrongdoings in your marriage just because you think that’s a way to show your love for your spouse is fooling your own self. When you permit such things in your marriage over fear of rejection from your spouse or whatever reason, you are actually blaspheming the holy relationship between Christ and His bride i.e. the Church and the marriage pattern set by God.
What is love?
Talking about love, what do you mean by loving someone? Is it about senselessly or blindly sacrificing for your spouse? Proverbs 24:3-4 says a house (marriage) is built on wisdom, established on understanding, and filled with knowledge. This needs some serious discussion because it is no less than an eye-opener for the to-be-spouses.
While many biblical teachings quote agape love as self-sacrifice, it’s not about self-sacrificing to seek glory for yourself or impressing people (or your spouse for that matter). This kind of attitude is actually a faithless one—as if you are working your way out to get what you have already received (your spouse) from God. However, practicing self-sacrifice for correcting your spouse or re-establishing your marriage is not wrong. And that’s the true essence of self-sacrifice in agape love.
Self-sacrifice and discipline
Sometimes, God rebukes or disciplines us for our good, and the Bible says God not only has the nature of love but is love Himself (1 John 4:8). So does His discipline toward us be counted as a misrepresentation of agape love? Absolutely not! In fact, He is the Author of love. That is why, it is important to have the right understanding of agape love.
The Scripture says God loves us so much that He laid down His life for us. This is self-sacrifice. In marriage, at times, you need to voluntarily sacrifice yourself (not suiciding) for saving your marriage by disciplining your spouse and not letting her/him lose God’s glorious life because of some sins/wrongdoings. Distancing yourself with the right intention could be an act of sacrifice where you allow Holy Spirit to prick your spouse’s heart and bring her/him to repentance, ultimately to the right attitude thus re-establishing/saving your marriage.
In the Bible, we see that Jesus too disciplined and rebuked His disciples and other people with a view to align them to God’s will. Now, did that mean He didn’t love them? No. We all know He ended His journey on earth by sacrificing Himself on the Cross.
Having said that, your spouse may continue with inappropriate behavior or blaspheming your marriage even after self-sacrifice and discipline are implemented. Nevertheless, you can still be at peace by giving your spouse into God’s hands and keep praying for her/him while not losing God’s agape love in you for her/him. Honestly, it may not be easy, but it’s possible when you put your burdens on God’s capable shoulders (Matthew 11:28, Psalm 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7).
You’re in right hands—His hands. Never forget, He is the One who sustains your marriage. God bless you.