Bible Reading: Ephesians 5:25-33
You husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. Ephesians 5:25
“THERE I WAS in a crowd of guys down in the school commons on the first day of school, talking about, well, you know, what guys talk about. Then all of a sudden she walks in. I knew the second she glided into school that she was the girl for me. She was perfect. Blonde hair to her shoulders, a tan like she just walked off the beach, and a figure that made any seventeen-year-old guy like me a stammering fool.
“I fell in love. Love at first sight. Well, it was for me, anyway. It took a while, but I finally got a date with her. Things just kind of happened after that. Eventually we were married, had kids, and lived happily ever after.”
Ahhhh-that’s how it happens. True love. Love at first sight. Bitten by the lovebug. Sometimes you can look at a girl or a guy and just know you have found your love, your life’s mate.
Dream on. Sure, it happens that way once in a while. But it can be dangerous to think those exceptions are typical of true love. You might think of love first and foremost as a feeling: a rush of emotion, butterflies in your stomach, stars in your eyes. But the Bible talks about love as an action-not simply something you feel but something you do.
Loads of people imagine love is like the New World was to Columbus: You’re not looking for it, but all of a sudden you smash into it! Actually, love is more like a fragrant flower: You plant a seed, water it, nurture it, and weed out the things that threaten it -and if you care for that seed for days, weeks, and months, then later it blossoms. It keeps growing and blooming as long as you feed and water it.
Missing that truth might be why so many relationships fail: Nobody is prepared to work at love. Nobody thinks you need to water the seed. Nobody expects storms that threaten to uproot the seedling. Nobody tends the soil. And so few people ever enjoy love in full flower.
Paul couldn’t have made the active quality of love any more obvious when he told husbands to love their wives just as Christ loved the church. Exactly how did Christ love the church? He gave his life for her.
You might still feel a rush of attraction when a tall blonde walks by. You might feel woozy when the captain of the football team notices you. But that’s not love. It’s exciting, but it’s not the same as actually loving someone and watching that love grow and blossom into a sweet-scented flower. That’s the kind of love God has for you, and it’s the kind he wants to nurture in you for others.
REFLECT: What does “love at first sight” have to do with real love?
PRAY: Ask God for patience as you wait for-and work at-true love.