Summary: What does love have to do with marriage? Everything! Want your marriage ot be the best one on the block? This message can help uncommitted couple see the importance of falling in love again.
“What’s Love got to Do with it?”
1st Corinthians 13
Through the years there have been tens of thousands of songs written that we would call love songs. Many of these of course have been country songs. We all remember songs like Your Cheatin Heart, don’t break my heart, my achy, breaky heart. There have also been many country songs that were written about love that have some humorous titles.....these are actual song tiles....
I’m just a bug on the windshield of life.
If love was oil I’d be a quart low.
If my nose was full of nickels, I’d blow it all on you.
My wife ran off with my best friend and I sure do miss him.
You’re the reason our kids are so ugly.
Here’s a quarter call someone who cares.
I still miss you baby but my aim’s getting better.
You tore out my heart and stomped that sucker flat.
I also remember one written by Tina Turner titled “what’s love got to do with it? As much as some of us enjoy these songs...they make us laugh, some people cry I certainly prefer what the Bible has to say about this thing called love. Let me ask you a question...is there anything in life that is more important or more needed than love? Every one of us want to be loved.
1st Corinthians 13 is known as the famous love passage in the Bible. It is read at many weddings. Now when Paul wrote this he wasn’t however thinking about weddings or romance. Chapter 13 comes right in the middle of a lengthy discussion on the use and abuse of spiritual gifts in chapters 12 & 14. There was constant arguing, disputes everywhere and divisions that were taking place in the NT church. They argued about whose spiritual hgifts were the best, they were taking each other to court, they had conflict over the Lord’s supper and I’m sure their marriages were in trouble as well.
One person described marriage in this way: Every marriage is two incompatible people in an impossible relationship. If that’s the case, how in the world can any marriage work today? What is it that can actually hold two people together who may on the surface seem so incompatible?
Well here’s the answer. Simply put, the glue is love. And I think this is a better definition. Love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person. Listen if you suddenly realize that you and your spouse are incompatible that just means that you know what God has already known. The real challenge is to live out your unconditional commitment by loving your imperfect spouse.
You perhaps already know that the Greek word used here is the word agape. And it’s different from the words we see in the Greek for love...like Eros...which means romantic love and phileo which means brotherly love. Philadelphia is known as the city of brotherly love. But agape refers to unconditional love. It’s God kind of love. While we were sinners, Christ died for us . Not while we were good, not while we deserved it. Agape love is a love we give to others without a thought of whether they are worthy to receive it or not. That’s the word used in this chapter.
Follow along as I read the first 3 verses. 1st Corinthians 13. I would call this the Preference of love.
In verses 1 Paul is saying that even if he could master several languages and be able to speak the language of angels but he didn’t have love then he would be nothing more than a resounding gong or a clanging symbol. In the first century there was a big gong or cymbal hanging at the entrance of most pagan temples. When people would come in for worship they would hit this gong in the hope that it would awaken the pagan gods so they would listen to their prayers. Paul is saying if you don’t have love, it’s like pounding on a cymbal to a god who doesn’t listen. One who is dead.
Paul would say that with all the knowledge we have today of medicine, nuclear science, philosophy, psychology and theology if we still do not have love, we are nothing. Love is preferred over everything else.
Then we see the Properties of Love. While love is preferred over anything else he now challenges us to put the properties of love into practice. It’s not enough to just acknowledge that love is important....we have to show this agape love by how we live...by how we treat people..including our family. In the book of John, Jesus challenged us when He said a new command I give to you..love each other. As i have loved you, love each other. John 13:34 NLT.