Hi this is pastor Ken with my Monday Marriage Message. I have been humbled by the response to this podcast on Marriage. The response to it has been even greater than to my other weekly podcast, Thoughts On A Thursday. Because so many of you seem to find it valuable I am going to continue this endeavor throughout 2022. I thought I might begin the year speaking about love. So here goes, let’s kick off 2022 with the question… What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Made famous by Tina Turner, this song released in 1984 spent three weeks atop the Billboard Top 100 and was her first top ten single since the early 1970’s. The song’s title, What’s Love Got to Do with It? asked an interesting question. Essentially, the song says that the attraction between the characters in the song is just that…an attraction, and the singer asks, “What’s love got to do with it?” making the point that there is no need in their relationship for love. Love then, at least in terms of the meaning of this song, is irrelevant.

The scripture I have chosen for today says just the opposite. It states that if love is not present, everything else becomes irrelevant. 1 Corinthians chapter 13:1-3 in the NKJV reads: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

This passage clearly has one message. Love matters. Love is relevant to everything. Paul states here that even if he could speak in any language, earthly or heavenly, if he did so without the intent of the words expressing love for the hearer, it would be no more valuable than a highly irritating noise. How many times has this been proven down through the ages? When we hear advice being showered on us by a know-it-all who just likes to hear themselves speak, it’s simply an irritation. When we hear a politician pandering for our votes without a trace of our furtherance in their actual intent, it is no more pleasing than the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. If our spouse speaks to us harshly or with contempt, a clanging noise would be a marked improvement.

Paul goes on to say that even if one has incredible spiritual gifts, being able to preach great messages, or discernment, or can give a needed word of knowledge, or even produce a needed podcast, if it is done without love, it is irrelevant. Our ability to minister to others is powerless without love. It doesn’t matter how talented we may be, it doesn’t matter how great the idea behind the ministry, if it is done without love it is utterly useless. Paul continues by making the point that our level of faith, too, has no value without love. If we lack love, even faith great enough to move mountains changes nothing except maybe the mountain’s address. Finally, he writes that acts of service to others or to God, if done without love, are of no value.

So what does this have to do with our marriages? Allow me the latitude to utilize the awesome work of Dr. Gary Chapman and His Five Love Languages in conjunction with the spirit of what Paul writes here in ‘The Love Chapter.’

If I speak words of affirmation to my spouse but do not have a godly love that guides my other interactions with them, the words quickly become meaningless and eventually they irritate rather than bring comfort and express love.

If I spend quality time with my spouse only to do the things I find important and am otherwise deeply engaged in personal hobbies or scrolling through my social media accounts, the time spent with my spouse will begin to stink of selfishness and will not convey love.

If I engage in physical touch only when it pleases me to do so, I am loving without love and the irony of that will soon become apparent, causing my spouse’s love language to become a meaningless message.

If I perform acts of service for my spouse simply so that I can be recognized or to get my spouse off my back, then they will cease asking for them and I will have shut down their appreciation of love with the lack of my own.

If I only give gifts to my spouse on the obligitory occasions and find the need to tell them how expensive they were or how much of a bother it was to get them, they will feel guilty for desiring my love, and my lack of love will make them feel unwanted.

What’s love got to do with it? Everything! When love is in the air, we breathe easy, we are able to rest in the knowledge that our spouse is acting selflessly toward us which causes us to want to do the same for them. When love is lacking, and selfishness prevails, we might try to placate ourselves by asking “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”, but what we will be left feeling is …Love Hurts.

Questions to Answer:

1. How do you think you are doing when it comes to expressing selfless love toward one another?
2. What areas of your life do you feel you need to improve on when it comes to doing those things out of ambition to love better?

Actions to Take:

1. If you have never done so, find out what your primary and secondary love languages are as well as those of your spouse. You can take an assessment at https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/

So now, recognizing that love is relevant to all things, and making sure that it is your motive for all that you do…especially in your marriage…Go Be Awesome!