What if I no longer feel love for my spouse?
There are four words used to describe love in the Greek language. There is storge love which is a naturally-bonded love between family members. Philia love is the love we have for friends. The romantic love that began our relationship is eros love. It is normal for eros love to rise and fall in a relationship. But, what do we do when we no longer feel eros love toward our spouse? That’s when we must fall back on the fourth type of love, agape.
Agape love is a self-sacrificing love given without demands, expectations of repayment, or ulterior motives. It is not given out of pride, for a pat on the back, for personal gain and no condition must be met by the receiver. Agape love has little to do with the feeling of love and much to do with self-denial for the sake of another, with another’s best interest in mind. It’s the acts of service given not only to those easy-to-love but to the obnoxious, intolerable, unlovable, and those who don’t deserve love. The second greatest commandment (after the first which is to love God with everything in us) is to love others, all of them.
Agape love is awakened when we realize God’s agape love for us. We only understand agape love because He agape loved us first. (1 John 4:19) We will never be able to truly agape love someone until we have grasped how wide, long, high, and deep is God’s love and sacrifice for us. When we experience His love and comprehend our worth, we have so much more agape love to give, not from our broken, empty hearts but from hearts completely repaired and filled to their brims by Him.
What does agape love look like in a marriage?
If we ask ourselves, Am I doing this to get something in return? and our answer is, Yes, we have ulterior motives and our spouse has become a business transaction instead of a lifelong companion. I believe in most cases, when eros love is lost, falling back on agape love will eventually reawaken eros love.
This is pure love. This is our calling.