Let me start this post by saying, I am no expert in the institution (or is it constitution) of marriage, neither have I ever been married, but this issue just came to me, and I believe I have the wisdom of God, to explain some things with biblical backing. So bear with me. I asked this question on my poll on Instagram a couple of weeks ago; if love was enough when it came to marriage. 92% said no, while 8% said yes. That just goes to show that the majority of people don’t believe love is enough when it comes to marriage.
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This has been an on-going narrative, which has unfortunately seeped into the church; many believe that there are other elements which are of more importance than love in a lifetime committed relationship. Such as friendship, patience, forgiveness, trust, understanding and the likes.
Last night I was on Instagram, busy scrolling (I do a lot of that these days) and stumbled upon a clip by a renowned pastor, who put it in bold that marriage was bigger than love. I was stunned by that statement. I quickly skimmed through the comments to see if anyone would challenge the statement, and one person amongst 200 people, said she didn’t believe so, because Love is the greatest of all, according to 1 Corinthians 13. I quickly liked her comment, and commented: same here, and sent her a dm.
I did not want to challenge his statement on his page, because these days, if you bring out a point of view different from what others agree with, you will be termed a hater, so I decided to steer clear, and express myself here, where we welcome everyone’s opinion, as long as it is done respectfully, so let’s talk!
Do you think people come to this conclusion because they do not know what love really means?
Let us start by defining love: according to Google, love is an intense feeling of deep affection or a great interest and pleasure in something. The Cambridge dictionary defines it as—“to like another adult very much and be romantically and sexually attracted to them, or to have strong feelings of liking a friend or a person in your family.” Both definitions play love down to feelings and emotions, and something that can be seen as passive. But that is not all that there is to love. Yes if this is the kind of love that is referenced, whenever that question is asked, then that’s fine; I would also raise my hands in solidarity saying; it will never be enough. Marriage is definitely bigger than such love.
But if we go by the biblical definition of what love is, then love is greater than everything, including marriage. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 defines love as something or someone who is patient, kind, not jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. It does not demand its own way (considers other people’s thoughts). It is not irritable and keeps no record of being wronged (remember when you always used to say—remember when you did that the first time? Or second time? Or you did that yesterday, so I will withhold certain things from you). It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out (it fights for others). It never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance (It is not passive).
This kind of love isn’t void of emotions, but it is greater. In fact the bible says in 1 John 4:9—“He who does not love (everything 1 Corinthians 13:4 says), does not know God, for God IS love.” How then can we as believers go around saying that love isn’t enough when it comes to marriage, just as the rest of the world? Yes we need friendship, yes we need patience, yes we need to persevere, yes we need to keep growing and evolving into one flesh, as married couples, but all those things wouldn’t work, if love is not the center (or foundation) of the relationship or marriage.
I have made stupid decisions in life, which has dealt me severe consequences, yet my father still loves me, my brother adores me. They haven’t thrown me away or disowned me, because the love they have for me runs deeper than any mistake that I can ever make. It has nothing to do with friendship, but everything to do with love.
For those who bring up the friendship argument, because they believe when love runs out, friendship is what the relationship falls back on, but here is the kicker: you can love someone or people who you aren’t friends with, but you can’t be friends with someone, you don’t love. So love is the ultimate. Our very belief in God as Christians hinges on love. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, so whoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.” —John 3:16. Love was the catalyst which drove God to sacrifice himself for us.
Jesus when asked what the greatest commandment was, he said—“you shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the great and first commandment, and the second, which is just like this; love your neighbor as you love yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law of the prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40. Ephesians 5:25 goes ahead to tell husbands to LOVE their wives, the way Christ LOVED the church and gave his life for her. It is safe to say that you can’t have a successful marriage, where love, the way the Bible defines it, isn’t at the center of it.
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.” —Galatians 5:14, which reiterates what Jesus said.
Yes, you need all those great qualities that people love to throw into the mix and say is bigger or greater than love, but all those things come out from a loving place. I will be patient with you because I love you, I will forgive you because I love you, I would pick my battles with you because I love you, I will be friends with you because I love you, I will honor and respect you because I love you, I will give my life for you, because I love you, I will make sure the marriage works because I love you. And if I have to choose to walk away from a situation that has become toxic, I will do that, because I love you and myself too much to stay in a place that has become destructive; let’s get help, let’s figure it out and come back to making it a safe place for our family to thrive in.
“Above all these things put on LOVE, which is the bond of perfection.”—Colossians 3:14
To claim that love isn’t enough when it comes to marriage is to claim God isn’t enough in your marriage. And a creation can never be bigger than the creator.
“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.” —1 Corinthians 13:13.
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.