We all want to be loved and accepted. We want to be appreciated and heard. We want our man to take notice of us and love us unconditionally. But after the wedding vows are said, hurt feelings take place, misunderstandings creep in, and complacency happens.
If we’re not intentional about prioritizing our marriage, the love that we once had for each other will slowly start to fade.
Then the marital domino effect starts to take place….
- Problems start to surface.
- Fighting becomes the norm.
- The cold shoulder is given.
- And intimacy is lacking or maybe even non-existent.
You can’t help but ask yourself went wrong?
How did our marriage end up like this?
Before we deal with the symptoms (problems), let’s look at the types of love in the Bible outlined below. Afterwards I’m going to give you some tips that you can apply to help make your marriage stronger.
There are 4 types of love depicted in the Bible.
- Agape Love which would describe God’s divine love for us. John 3:16 reflects Agape love.
- Phileo Love is brotherly love. The passage in John 21:15-17 where Jesus asked Peter if he (agape) loved him 3 different times, and each time Peter replied with “yes Lord you know I (Phileo) love you.” This is a picture of brotherly love.
- Eros Love is simple to understand. It is an erotic or romantic love; the type of love between a husband and wife found in the Song of Songs.
- Storge Love is family love, the bond among mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers.
A typical love story goes something like this:
He’s good-looking. He finds you attractive. You talk for hours. He’s kind to you. Your heart skips a beat when you see him, and he starts to sweep you off your feet. Romantic feelings, emotions, and lust take over, then you fall in love, hence Eros love has taken place. You get married with the hopes and expectations of living happily ever after.
Many husbands and wives try to live off of Eros love, but when the problems of life creep in and your emotions and feelings for your man start to wane, the future of your marriage almost seems like it is doomed to fail. But is it?
A strong marriage has a strong Phileo love. The couple has established, built, and continually works on the deepening of their friendship.
So, that’s where we’re going to spend our time today; strengthening your Phileo love in your marriage.
In the book of Genesis, even after God created all the animals, Adam was still alone. God, being an all-knowing God, knew that Adam needed a companion, one that was suitable for him.
So what did our smart God do? He made woman. That’s me and you, friend. 🙂 Wives are designed to complement their husbands.
And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Genesis 2:18
We play a huge role in our marriage and don’t let society (or the Enemy) tell you otherwise.
Our men need us; they were designed that way and we were designed for them.
As a married woman, you were created for your husband. This is a concept that the world does not embrace and many times we wouldn’t even hear this message in the Church, but, hey, it’s right there in the scriptures so don’t ignore God’s wisdom!
For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 1 Corinthians 11:8,9
Your man needs you.
He needs loving you.
Kind and content you.
If you haven’t noticed, all these things make for a great friend, but unfortunately your man has let you down.
He disappointed you.
Stopped listening to you.
Stopped wooing you.
And romancing you went out the window a long time ago, unless of course he’s trying to have sex with you!
So, how in the world do you turn your cold, angry, and maybe even bitter heart around and love him back and make your marriage stronger?
It all starts with Phileo love; brotherly love. Well, really it starts with forgiveness first, but as a Christian woman, that’s implied here.
If your heart is so bitter, try to build your friendship first before you work on the Eros love in your marriage.
Learn to do things with your husband.
Here’s a quick tip. Seeing how you were created for man, don’t expect your husband to pick up needlepoint or scrapbook with you because that is not how he is designed! It is much easier for a woman to learn to do something that the man likes. You’ll find that when you show a genuine interest in him, and you’re friendly about it, he’ll probably soften a bit and will show more interest in you.
Get involved with his hobby or his favorite sports team, rather than expecting him to do something you enjoy. Men are designed to lead, wives follow. I know that is not a sentence that’s politically correct to type out. But I don’t care.
I’m a wife who is set apart and one who has a strong personality!
I’m going to embrace the scriptures instead of the culture.
I’m going to walk in truth instead of my emotions.
And when I do these things, my marriage gets stronger!
If you want a stronger marriage, keep taking an interest in your guy and learning about him.
Attempt to do these things without criticizing, condemning, questioning, or bossing him. Thank you Lord Jesus for the Holy Spirit who helps me to keep my mouth shut!
A gracious and encouraging wife is not designed to change her husband, instead, she is at his side being his friend and companion.
Think of building your friendship with him the way you would with one of your girlfriends.
Would you treat him differently?
Would you speak to him differently?
Would your attitude toward him be different?
Would you be more loving, kind, and gracious?
Use these questions as a tool to help you become a better friend to your man.
By building the Phileo love- friendship love in your marriage, you are essentially building your marriage. And over time, your respect for him will grow again and so will your Eros love.
As a Christ-centered wife, your friendship with your husband will make your marriage stronger because friends go into battle together. That’s what we do. He’s your person. Fight with him, not against him.
You’ll naturally display the Gospel message because your marriage will stand out like a beacon of light to a very dark and hopeless world.
A stronger, Christ-centered marriage begins by just being his friend and accepting him, warts and all. 🙂
Want more encouragement in your marriage? I can help you here.
Live a poured out life for Christ,