People say they love various things. But “love” has broad meaning:
- a movie or TV show
- their favorite football team
- their car or truck
- their house
- their dog
- their spouse
While the list is not exhaustive, we can use it as an illustration by summarizing from lowest, to moderate, and finally highest.
So you say you “love” chocolate? Really? No you don’t. You love yourself! You enjoy the satisfaction that chocolate gives you.
A movie or TV show? Really? Same deal – you love yourself. You enjoy entertaining yourself.
The middle portion of the list is a step up the love ladder. I’ve promoted these items because in some circumstances they can have a price. We buy tickets to football games. Add to that the cost of travel to attend out of town games. Our car or truck was purchased and require continued investment in gas, maintenance, insurance, etc. Golfers enjoy the game – the competition and the fellowship – but there is a price. We love our houses, but like our cars, they were purchased and require continued investment.
Now we’re getting to the good stuff. We love our dogs (or cats). We have a special bond with our pets. We sacrifice to provide for them because they are dependent on us.
Clearly our spouses are due to highest position on the love list. I hope it’s becoming clear that the willingness to pay a price for that which you love is key to understanding true love. So our spouses earn the prize, right?
Well, hold on there. It certainly should, but it depends.
Since I first heard this from Dr. Tony Evans, I have intentionally asked men why they love their wife. The answers usually goes something like this:
- She cleans the house, washes clothes, etc
- She cooks the meals
- She takes the kids wherever they need to go
- Sex (they always bury this one way down the list when they really want to put it at the top, but they think it’s inappropriate)
Then I tell them that they never answered my question. Instead, they enumerated all the ways their wife demonstrates her love for them! By the way, one man gave me the correct answer:
“Because I am commanded to.”
The measure of love is the measure of sacrifice. People will do anything if they love it. Oddly, when we truly love something (or some one), we don’t think of it as a sacrifice. We joyfully travel to out of town football games – it’s not a burden – it’s a volitional choice we make because we love it. Men love to work on their toys – they’ll spend countless hours tearing down the engine, waxing, etc – because they love it.
What about your spouse? What sacrifices are you joyfully making?
I am burdened for our marriages and families. It’s not a political, social, educational, economic, or judicial problem – it’s a spiritual one – and requires a spiritual solution. We should all examine our hearts and ask ourselves what sacrifices we are making (joyfully). Most of us never even pause 30 seconds during the day to send our spouse a simple “I love you” text or email.
God help us.
That’s what I think. I’m interested in your thoughts. There’s lots of ways to hit me up so let me hear from you.
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