God can command us to love because His kind of love is all about action not emotion.

The Importance of Relating
Love and Respect – Part 1

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 5:22-32

Key Verse:  Ephesians 5:33

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Our key verse for today reminds us of how we are to honor our spouses.  Men and women are so different, so God’s Word addresses them from different angles.  First, God directs the man to love his wife.  It is hard for us to stay focused on the biblical definition of love that this verse is calling for.  We start attaching emotions and feelings to the word.  Think for a moment about the Apostle Paul’s day, most of their marriages were arranged by parents.  “Falling in love” was not the key factor in these arranged marriages.

            The Greek word Paul uses for love is a form of the word “agape” and is far from an “emotional” word.  Agape is a word that refers to action.  Because it is a word of action, it can be commanded of us.  It would be unfair of God to command me to feel something for someone.  God’s Word is commanding husbands to take action in their marriages.

            If husbands would ask the question: “What action could I take that would please my wife?” they could come up with a pretty good answer!  The problem is we often do not ask the right questions.  We focus on the question of how she can please us.  If we are going to learn to relate to our relatives, it must start in our homes, with our spouses.  The men must focus on what it means to put our love into action.

Father, help me to love my wife with the love that comes from you!  Thank you for loving me with that divine love!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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