Thoughts of John

What is on my mind.

Love that Lasts: Introduction

“How many of you want to fall in love one day?” I ask college students when I teach their course on marital communication. They laugh and all raise their hands.

“How many of you want to marry and stay married to that person for the rest of your life?” Again, every hand shoots up.

“On a piece of paper, I want you to write your personal definition of romantic love. Your definition should be detailed enough to give you the criteria that will position you to commit to one person for a lifetime.”

You should see the students’ response to this assignment. They look like deer caught in headlights. Many are clueless about what to write. Some begin to sneak glances at what their classmates are writing, which isn’t much. Not one person fills the page; some never even start.

Maybe you can relate to their hesitation. Yet if you’re in a serious dating relationship, holding a detailed definition of love is crucial. Especially as an adult, you may be so focused on the goal–marriage–that you don’t take time to thank through these concerns. However, your ideas about love lay a foundation for your marriage. For that reason–and because many Christians today have adopted secular notions in this area–it’s a good idea to reassess your core values and consider how your concept of romantic love lines up with a biblical perspective.

When it comes to love and commitment, our culture’s message is clear: Nothing lasts forever. Love–as presented films, novels, music, and celebrities’ lives–is a powerful emotion that ebbs and flows and eventually dries up.

The Scriptures take a dramatically different view. In the Song of Solomon, the bride exclaims, “Love is as strong as death” (8:6). If you’re weighing a lifetime commitment to another person, it’s this understanding of love you need to consider. But what does it involve?

I’ve been married 17 years. From that experience and my study of Scripture, I’ve made some observations about the nature of lasting marital love. With each observation I’ve added questions that may help you as you consider whether to pop–or say yes to–the question.

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July 22, 2008 - Posted by | Christian, culture, Life, marriage, relationship, sex

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