I think there are a lot of people who think they are (or were) in
love who don't have a clue as to what love really is. And the result
is that many marriages are suffering. You hear married couples say,
"We're just not in love anymore." And I know right away what kind of
"love" they had when they got married.
The Greeks had several different words for "love." Three are
especially important in marriages. First, there was "eros", the word
used to describe sexual attraction. It's important in marriages, but
if that's the only kind of love a couple has, their love will only
last until they find others more attractive (and that day will come).
What some mean when they say , "I don't love you anymore" is "I'm not
attracted to you anymore."
Second, there was "phileo," a friendship love. This is the kind
of love that says, "I enjoy being around you and talking to you and
doing things with you." It is very important in a marriage, but again,
if it is the only kind of love there is, the love will last only until
you find someone else you enjoy talking to and doing things with. What
most mean when they say, "I don't love you anymore" is "I don't enjoy
being around you anymore."
The Bible, however, uses the word "agape" as the foundational love.
It is a love of commitment, a love that says, "I'll be here for you
regardless of what happens." It is the love that truly stays in there
"for better or for worse." It is the kind of love that will love even
when others are unlovable.
Make sure that your marriages (and other personal relationships)
are grounded in "agape" -- true love!
"But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of
perfection." (Col. 3:14)
Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8