If we’re clear on life’s three big questions (Where from? Where to? My purpose?), we’re sitting right in the middle of Jesus’ eternal love for us. It’s a perfect love marked by sacrifice, commitment and physical care. These are the three key elements of love for any relationship. Couples who practice love in these ways will enter marriage on the right path and stay on track to a life-long love.
The Bible passage that sets the foundation for loving relationships is Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (ESV) Jesus shows such love to us. He left His heavenly Father to come to earth. He was so committed to us that He went through hell in our place and died. He cares for our physical life so much that He rose in the flesh so we will too. Because of His perfect love, we’re free from sin, hell and the grave.
Now, we’re free to share Jesus’ love with everyone, starting in marriage. A man and woman are ready to get married when they’re willing to sacrifice self and become totally one with the other. No “his stuff…her stuff” anymore. Now everything’s “OUR stuff!” This self-sacrifice throughout a marriage keeps it free from self-absorbed destruction. Commitment to the marriage with unconditional love will also preserve it. When both are in it for life, even WHEN the other deceives, hurts, slanders or betrays, then the forgiving power of Jesus will bring them through every trial. Love will deepen. Joy will prevail. And, when you add on devoted physical care for the other, the delight in each other will never fade…even when our bodies do.
That’s the simple picture of love. It’s the way to begin a wonderful marriage. It’s the way for a marriage to deepen. It’s the way to life-long purpose together. A big part of that purpose is to pass along the love we know to everyone around us. We can do that…with joy…when we keep our relationship priorities in order. This also makes sense of life if we never marry or should lose our spouse. With Jesus first in life, His love sustains and enlivens us…every single one of us.