Wow! What a provocative title. Is Pastor Tobin trying to give counsel, like these books, or be funny. My answer is yes–both. I have a Doctorate and know something about love. OK, OK, so that did not work either. A medical doctor gives prescriptions, analyzes, and counsels. A Dr. of “Letters” or subjects teaches, so here I go with both.
In the Bible we are to love different people in different ways. For instance, we are to love God with all of our strength, heart, mind, etc. That is a command to all believers. This means that God is in the forefront of your thoughts and action plans. We probably all could use as improvement in that area. Affection is as an aspect of this love. Of course we are to love the Lord with Agape. A love we are only capable of because He supplies it at salvation.
John 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
Interestingly it is this love that a husband is to love his wife with (Ephesians 5:25-33). Husbands are given an example “as Christ loved the church.” So how does Christ love the Church, His Bride? He loves His Bride preemptively (I John 4:10). This means he loved her first, and then pursued her. Second, He loves the church sacrificially. He gave everything for her. Thirdly, He loves the church eternally. He never leaves or forsakes her (Hebrews 13:5). Finally, Christ loves His Bride, the Church, unconditionally. It is not based upon any performance of the Bride.
Wives, however, were to learn from elderly women how to love their husbands. I can just hear a wife joke about the learning process. A wife’s love is different that the husbands. Her love is “Philandros,” which means friend or friendly, and affectionate. The wife need to love her husband affectionately as his best friend. Honestly, that is how God designed you as his helpmeet.
Finally, there is the love Christians are to have toward one another. The Lord Jesus commanded us in John 15:12, and John reminds us in I John 4:11. We might ask but what if they hurt us etc.? We know the answer to that too. So What! It makes it difficult but God hasn’t rescinded His command. Further, His love will enable us to love those brethren who have wounded us. Pastors often has to. It is viewed by God as wicked when we do not forgive or love the brethren. He still loves us even when we are wrong. The love we are to love the brethren with is Agape, His love. If we are to love our enemies with His love, we can love one another.
Well, that’s all from the doctor for February. So, get better!
*Note: Pastor Tobin’s new booklets “ The Husband’s Commands” & “God’s Commands for the Wife” are available at the office for $3 each.