Love,  Marriage,  The Virtuous Life

The Virtuous Life – 7 Ways to Cultivate Love in Your Marriage


Today we continue our series on The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centered Wife. This is part 2 on the discussion of love. Please see the index below for previous studies.

In his book, The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis writes, “Agape love is the highest level of love known to humanity, a selfless love, a love that is passionately committed to the well-being of others.”

It’s the highest level of love because it’s the one that reflects God’s gift to mankind through His Son Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16

There’s a key ingredient in agape love which is often forgotten by mankind, but never forgotten by God.

It’s grace.

Without grace love becomes a barter system where we give as much as we’re given and forgive only when we’re forgiven.

When love is seasoned with grace it reaches down to people who deserve it the least because they need it the most. It serves the other on the good days and bad.

This goes against our modern way of thinking which says that love is 50/50 and that it has to go both ways. That way of thinking isn’t love for another, it’s love that’s looking out for itself.

One of the best and most beautiful examples of agape love is illustrated through the devotion of parents with a newborn child. They come into this world fully reliant on us, not able to reciprocate in any way, and needing to be cared for in every way.

It’s a one-way street that’s more fulfilling than any other kind of love because it reflects the perfect love of God.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

God’s plan for marriage is perfect in every way. He designed both men and women to love each other more than we love ourselves.

Yes, it should go both ways. And isn’t it nice when it does? Absolutely. But we can’t let someone else’s lack of character define who we are.

If we want to be virtuous women of strength then we must pattern ours lives after our Savior who won the victory over sin and death.

If we say to ourselves, “He’s bitter, therefore I’m bitter.” We’re choosing to walk after the flesh.

If we say, “He’s selfish, therefore I’m selfish.” We’re choosing sin over the righteousness of Christ.

But if we can say to ourselves, “I love others because God loves me.” We’re choosing the higher road which is paved with forgiveness and grace.

Does this mean our husbands are off the hook, or that they don’t have to take responsibility for their actions toward us? Absolutely not. Scripture clearly teaches that men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for it. They are called to sacrificial love in the marriage.

Pastors, teachers and preachers are constantly reminding them to walk in love. But if they choose to turn their ear away from the truth they will be judged accordingly.

Our responsibility is to keep our eyes on the Father and walk in His ways. You can’t fulfill your husband’s role in this marriage, but you can fulfill your own.

You can’t force another person to be who you want him to be but you can affect his heart by the way that you live. And let’s not forget that we can be effective through prayer.

If you’re looking for some practical ways to build up your husband and cultivate love in your relationship, here are seven ways you can start:

  1. Listen to what he has to say so that you will recognize what’s on his heart.
  2. Be patient with him as he’s growing in grace.
  3. Try to ignore his faults and focus on his strong points by taking note of them.
  4. Compliment him for the good things that he does like working hard for the family.
  5. See him for who he is, not who you want him to be.
  6. Be slow to anger. Relay your frustration with love and respect and let your communication be seasoned with patience and grace.
  7. Don’t get angry when he’s not loving you the way that you think you should be loved. But do look for opportunities to communicate your desires to him.
You are loved by an almighty God,

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Quick reminder! Tonight is the Women Living Well webcast. Our keynote speaker is Clare from Peak313.com. She’ll be talking about a Christ-centered approach to fitness.

9pmCT/10EST

at WomenLivingWell.tv

This webcast is available for only 24 hours – so please watch it before Friday at 10pmEST.

Also joining Clare tonight is Janelle from ComfyInTheKitchen.com, KarenEhman from Proverbs 31 Ministries, and our host Courtney from WomenLivingWell.org

AND… There’s a facebook party! 
Join us one hour before showtime (8pm CT) for some fellowship and prizes at:
www.facebook.com/peak313

session 5 speakers

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