Love • Many people have mistaken ideas about love which can seriously affect their love life! • Your marriage and future happiness are being shaped right now by what you really think about love.
THE FALLACY: Love is a mysterious thing that can’t be understood rationally. • THE FACT IS: I CAN LEARN WHAT LOVE IS FROM THE Word of God. I can understand how to love. • THE FALLACY: It’s easy to love, requiring neither thought nor effort. I love by doing what comes naturally. • THE FACT IS: Love is an art which I must want to learn. I can learn the art of loving.
THE FALLACY: Love is an uncontrollable feeling. You are a helpless slave to it. • THE FACT IS: Love is an active power which I can control by my own will. • THE FALLACY: It is most important to learn how to be lovable (through popularity, sex appeal, and use of the right commercial products). • THE FACT IS: Love is the power that will produce love as I learn to give it rather than straining to attract it.
The Importance of Intimacy in Marriage • From the LATIN: “intimus”-innermost • Loneliness is the most frequently expressed complaint. • Intimacy is God’s answer to man and woman’s loneliness. • Lack of intimacy is the chief cause of adultery. • Intimacy is the key to saving marriages.
INTIMACY CONSISTS OF: • Being most private, most personal in relationship. • A special quality of emotional closeness. • Understanding and being understood, accepted, and loved. • Being in touch with each other in all ways.
Intimacy Can Be Developed Through These Five Avenues Of Loving • Sexual desire. • Romantic love. • Sense of belonging. • Friendship love. • Unconditional agape love.
How to Love Your Partner Sexually Causes of most sexual problems: • Are more often lack of knowledge rather than physical or psychological incompatibility • Wrong attitudes • Holding the world’s false, low view of sex • Lack of love in other areas of the marriage
How to Love Your Partner Sexually • You need complete, accurate medical information. • You need to understand sex from the Biblical perspective. • You need to develop the right approach in your marriage. A. By eliminating the negatives, avoiding all criticism. B. By building a series of enjoyable physical experiences together based on physical touching and emotional closeness.
Sexual Love From the Biblical Perspective (continued) • Only the Christian can know the true meaning of sexual love because it illustrates the union of the believer with Christ. Ephesians 5:31-33 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 • Perversion of sex is evil. (Romans 1:24-28) • The most eloquent description of good mental, emotional attitudes toward the sexual relationship in marriage is found in Song of Solomon.
How to Fall in Love From the Song of Solomon The husband and wife consistently build up one another. Note his praise, compliments, appreciation: • 1:9-11 He tells her she is very beautiful. • 1:15 He says she has lovely eyes. • 2:2 He says others are thorns compared to her. • 2:14 He enjoys her presence. • 4:1-6 He admires each part of her. • 4:7 He says she is without blemish. • 4:9 Her glance makes his heart beat faster. • 4:10-11 He compliments her love skill. • 6:4-7 Again, he praises each part of her. • 6:9 She is unique- his perfect one. • 7:1-9 He praises her grace and desirability. He sees her as perfect and never criticizes her!
How the Bride ( In Song of Solomon) Loved Her Husband • By her physical and emotional response. • By expressing her affirmation and respect for him. • By her adaptation and adjustments to his calling. • By her thoughts about him. • By lovemaking, conversation, and focused attention time. • By knowing him in all the ways as her own shepherd and king. • By forgetting herself in the greatness of his love.
How the Husband (In Song of Solomon) Loved His Bride • By understanding her feelings of insecurity and dealing with them. • By specific, continuing praise. • By appreciation of her physical appearance and lovely character. • By comparing her favorably with all the other women. • By reassurance- (She is flawless, altogether lovely). • By never criticizing her.
How the Husband (In Song of Solomon) Loved His Bride • By showing his love and approval publicly. • By treating her like his queen-the most important person in his kingdom. • By honoring, respecting, and protecting her. • By behaving as a lover toward her with caresses, eye contact, love gifts. • By listening to her, communicating with her, always wanting to know her better. • By becoming her brother, lover, teacher, friend, companion, and husband.
Sexual Love From the Biblical Perspective (continued) • Being a lover really begins after getting married. • Physical oneness in marriage is not as important as spiritual oneness. (II Corinthians 6:14-18) • Sex is not the most important aspect of marriage, but if the marriage partner is deprived, it will become important. • A real lover is one who is sensitive to the needs of another and graciously and artfully meets those needs unselfishly.
How to Build Romantic Love(eros love) 1. This is a combination of emotional, physical, imaginative processes. 2. It can never be forced, but it can be encouraged. 3. Eros love is a pleasurable learned response to… A. the way your partner looks and feels B. the things your partner says and does C. the emotional experiences you share together
How to Build Romantic Love 4. Consistently think on favorable things concerning your partner. 5. Use your God-given gift of imaginative thought to build this love in your mind. 6. Never allow criticism or ridicule of your mate to enter the picture. 7. Provide the right emotional climate for your mate to experience romantic feelings.
How to Build Romantic Love 8. Provide the physical stimulus of closeness, touching, and eye contact. 9. Set up the conditions whereby your partner will find it easy to love you. 10. Remember- you are teaching your mate to respond to you all the time, either positively or negatively. So send out pleasant and pleasurable signals.
How to Give the Gift of Belonging (storge love) 1. Establish the viewpoint of oneness in your marriage. 2. Refuse to let it be broken by outside pressures. 3. Do not see yourselves separately from each other. 4. Be loyal to each other under all circumstances. 5. Spend comfortable time together. 6. Always be supportive. Always be kind.
How to Become Best Friends(philia love) • Genuine togetherness- meaningful time spent together. • Sharing of activities, interests, thoughts, goals, ideals. • Developing real communication.
How to Love the Agape Way • Choose with your will to love unconditionally and permanently. • Develop the Biblical and personal knowledge of your partner’s needs and how to meet them. • Apply everything that you know in communicating this love.