Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Agape Never Faileth"

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
If you love, you love forever, for as Abraham Lincoln said, "Love is eternal." Love has its source in God, for the Bible says that "God is love" (1 John 4:8), and He is eternal. And even love of man for woman and vice versa is a gift from God, for "God created man in His own image. In the image of God created He him; male and female created He them" (Gen. 1:27).

Those simple one-syllable Anglo-Saxon words convey a wealth of meaning: our maleness and femaleness are in the image of God, and since God is love, our male/female love is of God. It is God-intended, God-given. But such love is regulated by law, just as electricity is regulated by law. Transgress the law of electricity and you have disaster. Transgress God's law of male/female love, and you have disaster instead of the happiness that the Creator/Redeemer has intended for us.

And what is the law of male/female love as God intended? It is built-in to the very nature of love itself: love is eternal. Therefore love makes infidelity impossible. The seventh commandment of God's ten has its own inherent promise: Adam and Eve will not, cannot, commit adultery! But, you say, times have changed; now "Adam" has multitudes of females to whom he can be attracted when the first Adam didn't have but one--that's why it was impossible for him to commit adultery. But wait a moment: the love that Adam had for Eve was God-given, and thus would have kept Adam faithful to her forever even if there had been a million females in the Garden of Eden.

But there is a second factor that does make a difference: after sin came in, man/woman became unfaithful by their very nature. Now both Adam and Eve can rove. And now a new definition of love is necessary--agape, a love that loves sinners, bad people, ugly people. Now sinful "Adam" loves sinful "Eve" with the same love wherewith the Savior has loved him in his unworthiness and sinfulness. In the Garden, Adam loved a perfect Eve; now, because of Jesus, he loves an imperfect spouse, and vice versa.

Read 1 Corinthians 7 and you will discover that sexual love is still faithful, even after sin has come, and it is agape. Satan wants you to think that your spouse's unlovableness warrants divorce. Before you take that step, think of why and how a patient Savior still loves you. Then read Hosea, and think of how He loves a Bride who has been very unlovable. And remember, "agape never faileth" (1 Cor. 13:8).

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: July 12, 1999.
Copyright © 2012 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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