Marriage: Loving your spouse the Agape way

By RICKEY LAWSON FOR THE E-T,

I have been married for 10 years and it has been one of the most rewarding journeys I have ever been on in my life.

My wife and I used to serve in the marriage ministry at the church we attended in Georgia before moving here to the Mississippi Delta. You first have to understand marriage in order to understand how it works and what it was designed for.

Let me first start off by saying that marriage is a choice. It is not for everybody and there is nothing wrong with that. Paul touches on this in 1 Corinthians 7:1-38. God hardwired us all for relationships with one another. Through relationships, we learn how to  treat each other and how to deal with situations that may arise. I have to admit that my relationship with my wife has taught me more about myself than all of my other relationships put together.

So, what’s the big deal about marriage? Great question! The one thing you must know about marriage is that you have to be selfless…that’s right…completely selfless.

The quicker you understand that it’s not about you, the better off you will be. I had a hard time figuring this out in the beginning, but I finally caught on. In the Bible, it talks about loving your wife like Christ loves the church.

At one point I thought to myself, I’m not Christ!

After taking some time and studying a bit more, I realized that it was more about the type of love that Christ had for the church, which is Agape or unconditional love.

This is when the light bulb came on. After more studying, I found that loving my wife unconditionally meant that I would do right by her regardless of how she treated me.

This was a hard pill to swallow!

Needless to say, I failed at doing this a million times after I had started to practice this with my wife. I found that my love was very conditional.

Most of us have conditions attached to our love and when those conditions are breached, we know exactly how to cut it off.

The God kind of love will love you past your mistakes, annoyances, and habits. It amazes me how God knows exactly what we are going to do before we do it and He still loves us unconditionally.

This past August, my wife and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary and I can honestly say that I love my wife unconditionally. We both continue to practice meeting each other’s needs regardless of how we treat one another. Are we perfect at it? …Of course not. We make mistakes, get in our feelings, or get rubbed the wrong way just like anyone else does, but we continue to practice meeting each other’s needs past how we are feeling. That is the key. I absolutely love the relationship that I have with my wife and we are continuing to grow every day.

If you are married, I am a strong believer that marriage prepares you for your ministry to the world. If you can show compassion and unconditional love to the one that you are the most vulnerable to, you will be strengthened to go out into the world and do what God has called you to do through other successful relationships. Whether you are married or not, start practicing God’s Agape love and you will see some amazing results! God bless.

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