Saturday, February 9, 2013

Marry More Than a Lover:

Genesis 2:18
I will make a helper suitable for him...

I used to believe that true love was all about the romance.  I remember the late nights coming home after a date and exclaiming to my roommates: "He paid for dinner, he opened the car door, and he even gave me his jacket when I was cold!"  Its funny how fixated I was on things that...15 years later...have very little meaning in my actual life and marriage.

Don't get me wrong, I think there's a really important place for romance and chivalry.  I love when my husband opens the car door for me or brings me flowers home spontaneously.  But it's important to remember that romance is not what creates a healthy marriage, rather, it is simply the overflow of a healthy marriage. 

In marriage, you are marrying far more than a lover.  You are marrying a coworker, a teammate, and a friend.  God knew this when he told Adam that he was going to make a helper suitable for him.  He could have used so many other words to describe Eve.  He could have called her a lover, a trophy wife, or a beauty queen.  I'm sure for Adam, there was nothing more attractive then when he laid his eyes on Eve.  But in God's mind, Eve's role went far beyond the role of a lover...

A healthy marriage is so much more than romance....

Don't give in to the culture of Hollywood that fills your brain with the lies that love is this explosive chemical reaction between two people.  Real love is so much more than that.  A love that lasts a lifetime is built on the give and take between two people every day for as long as they live.

Yes, it involves flowers, and chocolates, and romance...but it's made up of so much more.  Far deeper than the fleeting pleasures of passion, is the unconditional love of sacrifice:

I look at my life and the things that speak love to me are not just found in the ribbons and roses but in the role my husband has as my helper, my friend, and my partner.  Real love is shown through the everyday actions that we exchange in our real everyday lives. In talking about this concept just the other day, my husband and I each made a list of what real love looked like to us in just the past few weeks: 

My List:
Cleaning up the dishes and scrubbing the pots and pans after dinner (God knows how much I hate those pots and pans).
Taking a break from studying just to sit and chat with me about the day.
Taking out the trash.  
Cleaning the ice off my car in crazy cold weather.
Watching the kids just so I could take a nap.
Keeping me laughing with his jokes no matter what's going on around us. 
Taking an interest in all the details of my life- from what I had for lunch to my latest article.   

His List:  
Getting up in the middle of the night with a crying baby.
Having dinner ready- my wife's an awesome cook!
Encouraging me when I feel down or discouraged.
Baking me five dozen cookies when I had to bring them in for work- forgot to mention, I gave her one day's notice!
Dropping by to visit me for lunch. 
Taking an active role in things I'm not good at (documenting the kids lives via pictures, responding to emails and phonecalls, buying gifts and sending thankyou cards, etc.)

Don't let the fog of romance cloud your perspective.

Marry a lover- but marry so much more than that.  Marry a coworker, a teammate, a partner, a helper and a friend.  

**If you're married, please share a comment with our readers: What has true love looked like for you this week?
**If you're single, what are your thoughts on this idea?


  1. So, what if you meet someone who you KNOW would be that person, yet the romantic love happens for one of you quickly and not the other. In studying agape love, I am wondering if you find that is what you are feeling, instead of phileo, would it be wrong to marry and do you think that the phileo and eros could come from agape love over time?

  2. Deb - What is the best way to discover the "Marry More Than a Lover" traits while dating? Isn't dating suppose to be more about romance and discovering the other person?

  3. Dear Anonymous, in a healthy relationship- all loves must be present. They might not all develop at the same time, but in order to enter into marriage- you should love and be loved in every way- agape, phileo, and eros. So, give it time...and see what happens. But don't pursue the next step until they are all present.

  4. lifeofthemind- Be on the lookout! Dating is really the best time to look for these traits. You can see if a person is a teammate, a coworker, a friend, and on and on just by looking. Do they help others? Are they involved in service? Are they hard working and dedicated? Do they have passions and hobbies? These types of things (and there are so many more) that are part of finding a great, yes, look for the romance...but look for so much more before you say I do :)


Love to hear your thoughts...