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The Mystery of Marital Love

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband
is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church. . . .
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for
her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word. . . .
This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
(Ephesians 5:22-23,26,32)

If you were asked to give a definition for the word love, how would you answer? I suppose it depends on the kind of love you’re thinking about. There are different forms of love. If you’re a parent you might define love as the feeling of deep affection you have for your child (“I love my son to death”). If you’re engaged, you might define it as the romantic attachment you have for your sweetheart (“It was love at first sight”). If you’re a football enthusiast it may mean the great interest and pleasure you have in watching your team play (“I love the Seahawks”).
If you are a Bible student, you may be aware that Greek, the original language of the New Testament, has several distinct words for love. The Greek word eros doesn’t occur in the Bible; it is used in reference to the love of sexual attraction. Philia is the love shared by friends. Then there’s agape (uh-GAHP-ay), the highest and most important form of love. A key characteristic of agape is the willingness to put the welfare/happiness/comfort of others before your own. Agape has been defined as love that decides to do what is in someone else’s best interests no matter what, even when that person doesn’t deserve it. Read More…

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“BREAD OF LIFE” READINGS July 2019

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TLH = The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941; WS = Worship Supplement 2000; LSB = Lutheran Service Book, 2006

Date Hymns Reading Comments
Jul 1 TLH 191; WS 727 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 Get rid of what is sinful so that it does not corrupt everything around it.
Jul 2 TLH 424; LSB 600 1 Corinthians 6:9-20 Those who continue in sexual immorality without repentance are rejecting the Lord Jesus Who bought them with His own blood.
Jul 3 TLH 246 (LSB 507) Leviticus 10:1-11 The deaths of Nadab and Abihu reminded Israel of the need for holiness before the Lord.
Jul 4 TLH 623; WS 791 1 Corinthians 7:1-14 The apostle Paul reiterates God’s intent for the marriage relationship. God wants husbands and wives to stay together until parted by death.
Jul 5 TLH 418; LSB 847 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 Sometimes just being permitted to do something doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do it.
Jul 6 TLH 415 (LSB 510) 1 Corinthians 9:19-27 The apostle disciplined himself carefully so as not to lead others or himself away from the prize in Christ Jesus. Read More…

A Six-Step Engagement Plan

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Life is full of choices—some of little consequence, and some that can change the entire course of your future. There is perhaps no other decision that has more far-reaching implications than selecting a spouse. Here are some time-tested scriptural principles, as well as practical advice on how to go about making this choice in a way that will bring the Lord’s best blessing.
First, keep in mind what marriage itself is. At its heart, marriage is the unconditional promise between one man and one woman to be husband and wife, faithful to each other so long as they both shall live. In Jesus’ day, “betrothal” was just such a public and unconditional promise, although the man and woman did not live together as husband and wife until after the actual marriage ceremony. That’s why the Bible refers to Mary and Joseph both as being betrothed (Matthew 1:18) and also as being married (Matthew 1:20) prior to their wedding day. Read More…