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“There was once a Christian counselor who met with a man who was having difficulty in his marriage. With sensitivity to the man’s concerns, the counselor told him that the answer was to love his wife just as commanded in Ephesians 5:25. The troubled husband replied that he just could not do that since he felt no affection toward his wife. Seeing the problem the man faced, the counselor then said the solution was for the man to move next door to the house his wife was living in. This perplexed the husband until the counselor said that if he was having difficulty loving his wife, he might have an easier time loving his neighbor (Matt. 19:19). At this, the man grew incensed, exclaiming that the counselor just did not understand how much he had grown to hate his wife. The counselor replied that the situation was finally clear to him and that all the man needed to do was to love his enemy (Eph. 5:43-48).”

The husband had bought into the romantic worldview that love is the way we feel. The Biblical concept of love is that love is something we do, and usually the feelings follow. But the feelings are not the reason for an action, nor the excuse for inaction. In the Biblical worldview a man loves his wife because that is the thing God has commanded us to do.

--Tabletalk, June 2009, p. 55 Illustration by Jim L. Wilson and Rodger Russell

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NKJV) “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

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