This video segment is one of five presentations in the “Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Intimacy” seminar. There will be four more seminars in this series covering the subjects: foundations, communication, finances, and intimacy. As those presentations are ready they will be posted on this blog. NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. Summit members can pick up a copy of the notebook in the church office. For those outside the Summit family, you can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at firstname.lastname@example.org (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).
- The greatest joy of love is not the act of loving, but seeing the joy our act of love produces in our beloved.
- Unbalanced nutritional diets lead to bad physical health, as imbalanced romantic diets lead to poor relational health.
- Being a growing person is important for a romantic marriage; stagnant people have stale marriages.
- Serving one another builds trust built around the message, “Your joy is more important than my preferences.”
Memorize: Philippians 1:9-11 (ESV), “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:
- “Love may abound” – In this passage Paul is praying through the process by which love grows in a relationship.
- “Knowledge” – Love begins by knowing your spouse. Learning is both evidence of and equipping for love.
- “Discern… approve” – Knowledge enables you to make more choices that “fit” and affirm your spouse.
- “Pure” – Love can be trusted because true love does not compromise righteousness for pleasure.
- “Filled with fruit” – We do not have to worry about running out of love because it is a self-replicating resource.
“For centuries, thinkers have discerned forms of love. The Greeks had words to distinguish affection (storge), friendship (philos), erotic love (eros), and service (agape). There are other ways of breaking down expressions of love into categories. All forms of love are necessary, and none are to be ignored, but all of us find some forms of love to be more emotionally valuable to us. They are a currency that we find particularly precious, a language that delivers the message of love to our hearts with the most power. Some types of love are more thrilling and fulfilling to us when we receive them (p. 153)… In the incarnation, God came to us in a manner that we could grasp. So we, too, must clothe our love in the forms to which our spouse can relate (p. 154).” Tim Keller in The Meaning of Marriage “Most of the folks I know pursuing romance and intimacy in their marriages are spending time planning, asking questions, investigating what is romantic to their spouses and not assuming they know. As with any artistry, there are far more discarded ideas than masterpieces (p. 167).” Dave Harvey in When Sinners Say “I Do” “You may think, I just don’t love my spouse any more. He [God] has a different way of looking at your disappointment. God says, ‘You’re discovering for the first time you don’t know how to love. You enjoyed affection and romance but love is hard and hard-won. Romance is a wonderful gift, but love endures through the hard times; it endures when the heat comes (p. 6-7).’” David Powlison in Renewing Marital Intimacy “Love never demands from your spouse spiritually what God has already given you in Christ (p. 197).” Paul Tripp in What Did You Expect? “The only context that anyone will ever have for experiencing grace from me is when she is in need of it—which is another way of saying when she sinned against me. So if you want to be a gracious (grace-filled) person, expect to be sinned against (p. 62)… If you struggle to love someone, or even like her, start by asking ‘what does Jesus enjoy about this person?’ What traits, strengths, and qualities did he put in her (p. 93)?… The moment you become aware that you tend to hold back your joy from other people is the moment when you (re)discover that you’re no longer moving outward to enjoy and embrace your friendships (p. 203).” William P. Smith in Loving Well: Even If You Haven’t Been “[People] are attracted to those they honor and are repulsed by those they disrespect (p. 140).” Bryan Chappell in Each for the Other