In relationships, defining love comes in the form of a fundamental commitment decision to get married and to remain in that marriage, (tell death do us part). There are many ways that society goes about defining love, much of which is sexually orientated. However a true love definition can be found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, which says; Love is patient and kind. Love knows neither envy nor jealousy. Love is not forward and self-assertive, nor boastful and conceited. She does not behave unbecomingly, nor seek to aggrandize herself, nor blaze out in passionate anger, nor brood over wrongs. She finds no pleasure in injustice done to others, but joyfully sides with the truth. She knows how to be silent. She is full of trust, full of hope, full of patient endurance.
Did you notice that the love definition above had no connotations about romance or sex? That is not to say that they would not play a part within a marriage, but they are not on a marriages foundational premise. Another way of defining love is to say that love is otherness, love intently looks to meet the needs of others, not of itself. So in deciding to commit yourself through the love of marriage, means to make a fundamental choice to love your spouse. You see it’s not about getting married because you are lonely, it’s not about being horny, it’s not about financial economics, it’s not about having a house, a car, or a picket fence. It’s all about having someone to cherish, to hold dear, and to love, no matter what! That is why so many marriages end up in divorce, married couples venture off on their wedding day under inaccurate pretexts.
A couple first needs to define what a commitment to love means individually, to themselves, before rushing down the wedding isle. (After two failed marriages I finally understood this. Make sure your choices are in alignment and that they are not set on foundations of quicksand!). When you decide you want to get married, you need to be making a fundamental decision to love within you. Sure you say you want to be with them for the rest of your life, but you have got to be resolved inside of yourself with the primary objective of loving your spouse through all the hills and valleys of life. You must decide that you are going to love the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of them. Since we are imperfect beings, you are going to find some imperfections, some things you do not enjoy about them. So you will have to love them with all their blemishes, and they are guaranteed to have a few! Don’t worry though, you won’t be alone in this, your spouse will likewise have to learn to love you with your flaws as well. Through love you will both learn to overlook these pieces of each other, you will have many opportunities to love, through extensions of grace. Once a couple learns to love the smaller portions of imperfections in each other, loving the other 90 percent will be even more enjoyable. This is a process that you could call the maturing of your love.
The defined marriage commitment may not be what you previously thought, and this is why it is highly suggested that you seek and obtain some pre-marital counseling before you make promissory vows to each other in a wedding. You need to have some good insights into the components of a healthy marriage. Obtaining wisdom will help you to make the right choices now, and to be the best lover you can be. In your marriage you will actually be defining love on a personal level with your spouse, in other words, together you will be creating your own love experience through companionship. You should want your wedding day to be remembered joyfully, 10, 20, or 50 years from now.
You need to have an in-depth understanding that to love your partner in marriage is a lifelong choice. It is a personal decision that should be understood in the depths of your soul. When the wedding day comes you will be defining your love for each other by committing to one another in marriage. You will have already made a promise to yourself to love your future spouse, but now you will be making 2 more promises! As you are joined and say your vows, you will be making a promise to your soon to be spouse and to God! Once the wedding is completed you have made 3 promises to love; you will have promised yourself that you would love your spouse, you will have promised your spouse, and you have promised God. If for any reason you think that you may forget about any of the three defining love commitments, you can always look at the ring around your finger to refresh your memory.
Your relational definition of love will be what you both create together by the actions of love in your marriage. As in the love definition above, love requires patience, love is unselfish, love overlooks offenses, love forgives, love is honest, love is faithful, love hopes, and love endures. Defining love in a relationship requires effort, respect, encouragement, giving, sharing, sacrificing, compromise, compassion, tenderness, understanding, humility, grace, mercy, empathy, thoughtfulness, appreciation, optimism, and cooperation, (just to name a few). Defining love is far more than a feeling, far more than sleeping in the same bed, it’s continuous actions in daily practice.
Many people really do not have a clear understanding of what it really means to love. They think they do, but their actions will reveal how well their love is defined. Love is actually defined by the source of love, which is God. 1 John 4:7 reveals this truth; Dear friends, let us continually love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God. We learn what real love is and how to love through a lifelong education from our Heavenly Father. Before you decide to get married, define this question; How deep is your love?
More Defining Articles On Love And Marriage:
Love Matures With Humility
Living Together Before Marriage
The Best Reasons For Marriage
Loving Your Husband
Expressing Love To Your Wife
Guidelines For A Happy Love Life
Relationship Enhancing Character Traits
Love Making In Unity And Closeness
Leaving Behind Old Pains From Previous Relationships
The Love Dilemma, When Needs Are Not Being Met
Maintaining A Happy Marriage With Congruent Appreciation
How To Better Communicate With Your Husband or Wife