Romantic love comes and goes, and too often couples fall victim to the notion that if they don’t feel in love, then that means their marriage is on the decline.
Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, offers insights into how to truly love your spouse in an article written recently for Focus on the Family.
True love, he writes, is not really a feeling that comes and goes based on one’s mood or surroundings, but an attitude: “It says, With the help of God, I’m going to do everything I can to enhance the life of my spouse.”
But if it’s foremost an attitude, then does that nullify my feelings? Not really, says Chapman.
He explains that when one’s attitude changes through words and actions that lift up one’s spouse, what often follows are the warm emotional feelings so crucial to nurturing a spouse’s heart.
And if the spouse reciprocates those feelings through their own thoughts and actions, the warm emotions may well return to you.
He points out that in Western culture, as depicted in movies and other sources, adults have begun to associate true love with those warm romantic feelings.
Chapman argues, however, that “these warm romantic feelings are the result of love, not the essence of love.”
In Ephesians 5:25, God commands His people, “Husbands, love your wives.” The idea is that love is a command focusing more on one’s attitude, rather than one’s emotion…. STORY CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE