Love, Podcast, Purpose

Finding the Absolute Definition of Love

If a couple isn’t on the same page in how they define love, they’re in for quite a challenging marriage. Thankfully there is a perfect and final authority who can tell us what love is. In this episode, we discussed why and how Jesus is our ultimate authority, definition, and example of love.

Transcript Shownotes

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Full Episode Transcript

Selena:
Alright. We’re going to talk about love—

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
Today.

Ryan:
Imagine that.

Selena:
And I think we have [Pauses] taken advantage, or taken, what wha—

Ryan:
For granted.

Selena:
[Selena laughs and Ryan chuckles] For granted. We’ve taken advantage—

Ryan:
You’ve taken advantage of my love for sure! [Selena laughs]

Selena:
We’ve taken for granted our—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Understanding and value of Biblical love. And so, we ar—

Ryan:
Of Biblical love or [Pauses]—

Selena:
I’m getting into it!

Ryan:
Okay.

Selena:
You just wait.

Ryan
Wow. [Chuckles]

Selena:
So, today we’re going to be talking about how Jesus is our example of love and our authority on love—

Ryan:
Oh.

Selena:
When it comes to marriage. So, stay tuned.

[00:00:33]

<Intro Sequence>

[00:01:03]
Selena:
Here we are on the other side! [Both laughing] Do you want to go back, and then you can say it?

Ryan:
No, that was perfect. [Both continue laughing] That was per—Suddenly… I was awake. [Selena continues laughing and Ryan chuckles] Yeah, so—

Selena:
You can do all the openings if you want?

Ryan:
We do take— [Pauses as both laugh] No, that’s great. We were teasing each other. She was—You were regretting not saying “See you on the other side,” and then, so, you jumped in [Both chuckling] and said, “Here we are!” Okay, anyway. It’s kind of my thing anyway. It’s trademarked. Anyway. [Both snicker]

Selena:
Anyway.

Ryan:
Anyway. So, love. Okay. We did a tiny, kind of straw-pull, I guess, a couple—little while ago, me writing Fierce Marriage, the book.

Selena:
Little while ago? That was like two years ago. [Laughs]

Ryan:
Yeah. And… Kind of asked people and did some research, like, “What is popular opinion around love?” And you can probably imagine, listener. It’s not necessarily the Biblical view—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Of it, and so a lot of people would say—You know, actually, let me just take something out of our book. So, we—I looked at a video, namely by SoulPancake. Okay. So, they are—It’s a Dwight Schrute, so Rainn Wilson’s, YouTube channel marketing—

Selena:
Got’cha.

Ryan:
Platform thing.

Selena:
Got’cha.

Ryan:
They created this video, and they [Inaudible] of course—Excuse me. [Selena laughs]

Selena:
Okay. You sound like you’re going to cry about it. [Both laugh]

Ryan:
[Ryan chuckles] That’s so sad! So, I was— had some indigestion. I think I ate the granola bar too soon. [Both chuckle] Okay.

Selena:
This is my life right now. [Snicker]

Ryan:
So, he created this video to kind of illustrate—It’s funny ‘cause they frame it as a beautiful representation of human diversity and diverse views, and just the innate goodness in the human spirit, to love and be loved.

Selena:
And define love.

Ryan:
And define love, but it, honestly, it struck me as tragic, and it struck me as confused. Okay?

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
So, one of the things they said, it was a 34-year-old woman said this, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Well… [Laughs]

Selena:
That doesn’t sound like love to me!

Ryan:
But I don’t believe—

Selena:
That sounds like pride. [Both snicker]

Ryan:
Well, or it’s denial.

Selena:
Uh, sure.

Ryan:
Or complete lack of any sense of decorum or—

Selena:
Right and wrong…

Ryan:
This is right and wrong. [Selena chuckles] And, anyway… So, she said love is never having to say you’re sorry, but I don’t believe that at all, okay? Because I feel like you say you’re sorry a lot. Right? An 11-year-old girl said, “Someone who loves you loves you because you’re you.” A 64-year-old man, so very diverse sampling here, “Love means excepting people the way they are.”

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
Is that true?

Selena:
Nope.

Ryan:
Eh. I think it’s just like everything. It’s got a hint of truth in it. So, there’s—

Selena:
Sorry, yes.

Ryan:
Come as you are, right? That’s like—

Selena:
Well, it’s love—Yeah!

Ryan:
The Gospel says, “Come as you are!”

Selena:
We’re called to love.

Ryan:
“But don’t stay that way.”

Selena:
Is what Kyle talked about.

Ryan:
Yes!

Selena:
We have to love others.

Ryan:
So, we love as you are, but I think love compels us to want more good for somebody.

Selena:
Yeah. Yeah.

Ryan:
And that more good always looks like more obedience. [Inhales] We’ll get into that. You’re pointing at the run—or the… What is it called? You’re pointing at the—

Selena:
Housekeeping!

Ryan:
Housekeeping. [Chuckles] Okay, finally, it has to be—So, this is a 50-year-old woman, said, “It has to be a two-way street.” It can’t just be, you know, “I’m accepting you.” You got to accept me too!

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
Someone, and I’ll end with this one actually, a 19-year-old man said, “I always say I’d rather love someone than be in love with someone, because being in love with someone implies that you can fall out of it.” So, being in love with someone means you can—It implies you can fall out of it. So, anyway, all to say is there’s a diverse kind of view; there’s diversity [Selena chuckles] in terms of how humanity views love, and popular—

Selena:
How they value love.

Ryan:
Culture views love.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And what happens? It’s the air that we breathe.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And so, if we’re not careful, we begin to live as if these, really there’s hints of truth, but there’s false in here as well.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And we begin to live like those are true definitions of love.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
So, what do we have to do? We have to go to God’s word. We have to look at the command to love, but also the example of love, and what? The fuel for us to love.

[00:05:02]
Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And so, that’s what we’re going to look at today. Yeah! Before we do that, Selena hinted at it. We’re going to do some quick housekeeping.

Ryan:
Thank you to all your listeners, raters, and reviewers.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
Somebody actually wrote in and said that they were going through a really hard time in their marriage, like on the brink of divorce.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
And right then, God led them to this content, which obviously God is sovereign over us even creating this content, so…

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
God is working in and through the people listening to this, and in and through us by God’s grace—

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
By His grace. Anyway. They came to this podcast, and it totally changed—got them thinking. I won’t say that we changed them, but God used it—

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
To catalyze change in their hearts. Right?

Selena:
That’s awesome.

Ryan:
Yeah. And they’re on the road to health. So, if that’s you, thank you for telling us. [Chuckles]

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
If you haven’t yet, and you’ve enjoyed this content, just do rate and review. It helps people as they get ready to listen. It helps kind of show them what they’re in for. It also helps us get the word out.

Secondly, if you want to support the podcast, you want to be on mission with us, you can certainly do that. All we ask is that you pray, and that you, with your husband or with your wife, pray and ask. Is this something that God is calling you to participate in?

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
The Fierce Marriage ecosystem, the Fierce Marriage podcast, also the blog, the books, the things that we produce online, the encouragements on Instagram. Do you want to be a part of that? If God is leading you to do that through prayer, we have a way [Chuckles] for you to act on that! And if you go to patreon.com/fiercemarriage—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And there are benefits, there are kind of different things that we talk about. We kind of open a little bit of our personal lives there, just because there’s a little bit more bandwidth there to do it. But we would love to partner with you in that way, and that, I think, is the most faithful… I just love it because it’s like the church being the church.

Selena:
Right?

Ryan:
So, anyway. Patreon.com/fiercemarriage. In fact, this last month was awesome! We usually see patreons drop off at the beginning of every month, and that didn’t happen this month. It’s like the people that are hoping on board are really on mission! It’s just amazing.

Selena:
That’s awesome.

Ryan:
It’s really confidence building for us.

And finally, if you have any questions, call this number: 971-333-1120, or you can text that number, or you can go to fiercemarriage.com/podcast, and there’s a button there. You can ask a question there. We’re going to do a Q&A episode at some point in the near future, because—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
We’ve not done a full Q&A episode in a while, and those are sometimes really helpful.

Selena:
Those are fun and helpful. Yes!

Ryan:
Yeah. So…

Selena:
Alright! Here we go!

Ryan:
Here we go!

Selena:
Here we go. [Ryan chuckles]

So, we are talking about, again, Jesus is our example of love and our authority on love.

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
When it comes to marriage. And so, if we hold this truth to be true [Pauses]—

Ryan:
Do we?

Selena:
Do we?

Ryan:
We do.

Selena:
That’s the question. No. We do, but do you, listener? If Jesus—What?

Ryan:
Do we truly hold this truth to be true? And that’s always kind of the heart check for me, ‘cause we can say that with our mouths and think that with our heads—

Selena:
Right, right. But are we—

Ryan:
But with our hearts.

Selena:
Functionally, are we acting out? Is our faith in action here?

Ryan:
Yeah. Yeah.

Selena:
And so, if we’re living by this truth, then it is an authority that is governing how we love each other; it’s governing our marriage.

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
And how we communicate that love to each other. So [Pauses], just to really understand and define love, we’re going to compare and contrast it a little bit. So, culture’s definition of love, which Ryan talked about, within marriage is very—

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
Contractual, self-serving, a feeling sort of to be pursued—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Above all else. Love is easy. It’s not something—It’s something that happens to us.

Ryan:
It should be easy.

Selena:
It should be easy.

Ryan:
It’s funny because that language of falling in love. What is falling? All it is is—

Selena:
It’s like giving that—

Ryan:
Going to the default lowest [Laughs] spot.

Selena:
Right, but it indicates—

Ryan:
Like gravity is pulling you to it.

Selena:
That something’s happening to us. It’s not something—

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
That we are actively engaged in.

Ryan:
And it’s like you’re helpless—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
To where you fall.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Like it’s just as if some force—

Selena:
So, if you fall in—

Ryan:
Is pulling you.

Selena:
Then you fall out. Right?

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
And then this idea that God is love, but love is not—Or God is love. Sorry, I rewrote this wrong.

Ryan:
Love is God, really, is what—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
We believe God is love, and it’s one of His attributes, but in culture, they flip it and—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
It’s love is God, in that it is ultimate and there is no accountability outside of love itself—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
‘Cause love is the God, not God is love.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
But God is also—

Selena:
And to contrast that with our looking at the Bible’s definition of love and our true authority on love, you know love is from God, which is in 1 John 4, and is perfected in us, we’re going to talk about a few of these verses and chapters later. So, love is from God, perfected in us. It’s self-less.

Ryan:
As opposed to self-serving.

Selena:
As opposed to self-serving. It’s covenantal; it’s not easy. It is active and intentional.

Ryan:
Mm. It’s a decision and not a default, right?

Selena:
Yeah. There you go!

Ryan:
There you go.

Selena:
There you go. It’s a way of being. 1 Corinthians 13 says, “The way of love,” so, it’s not just a feeling to be pursued or worshiped. [Inhales] Are there feelings of love that come out of loving someone? Yes. But are those the objective? Are those the things we’re pursuing? No. Those are—They’re the response, I believe.

Ryan:
Mm. Yeah.

[00:09:59]
Selena:
And then, again, to just—It’s a mark of a believer.

Ryan:
Wow! Yeah.

Selena:
Biblical love is a way that the world sees God in us, because of how we love. Again, if it’s selfless, if it’s covenantal, then it’s not contractual. The world’s saying, “Wait a second. Why are you calling that love when this is what we call love? That looks different.” And someone who’s been saved and has the Holy Spirit at work inside of him or her, they are empowered to love, right? We are empowered to by the Holy Spirit to love how God has loved us.

Ryan:
[Inhales] I want to hover on that a little bit.

Selena:
Okay.

Ryan:
So, you say it’s a mark of a believer. Is it possible for non-believers to experience and display love?

Selena:
[Pauses] Yes!

Ryan:
Okay.

Selena:
I think so. Well, the Bible talks about in 1 John 4 how, basically, if we’re—in John 15, but if we’re abiding in Christ, if we are believers, then people will recognize us as believers through the way that we love. Which indicates that we love differently than the world loves.

Ryan:
That’s good!

Selena:
So, I do think that non-believers can love, are capable of functionally loving selflessly, but is that consistent and do they live their life this way, all the time, and they’re—

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
Constantly trying to do that? I don’t—I would question that.

Ryan:
Interesting.

Selena:
I would question the longevity of it, I guess.

Ryan:
So, I think there is maybe some—

Selena:
And consistency.

Ryan:
There’s a lot of nuisance here.

Selena:
And the motivation, if we want to go there!

Ryan:
Yeah! Well, I mean that gets down to your root of ethics.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And what is good and what is bad. And that goes down to Biblical ethics.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
But I also think there’s this [Pauses], if you’re a purist about it, I don’t think that pure love is possible outside of the work of the Holy Spirit. Pure, Biblical love.

Selena:
Yeah. I would agree.

Ryan:
But I do know that God has given us this thing called common grace—

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
In His general revelation, in the sense that we, in the way that we are created and the way the world operates, we can see it’s almost like a shadow.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
Shadows of these things!

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Shadows of intimacy, shadows of love. And we can show a version of it—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
But it’s a shadow; it’s not the real thing. It’s a… I don’t want to say “counterfeit,” ‘cause that’s too harsh—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
But it’s not—It’s a hint of what is to come and what can be.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And I don’t—You know, we could argue some semantics here. I don’t—I think it’s, generally speaking, I think it’s possible, through common grace, for everyone to experience and give love.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
For sure, to experience love. But to give it, in a sense.

Selena:
Okay.

Ryan:
Anyway. I’m more just kind of spit-balling here because I haven’t really thought through it in these terms. But anyway. So—

Selena:
Well, you can trust me. I have.

Ryan:
You have thought through—

Selena:
[Chuckling] I’m just kidding. [Inhales]

Ryan:
In these terms? Alright. I’ll stand down. Go ahead. [Both chuckling]

Selena:
So, looking at Jesus as our example and our authority on love…

Ryan:
Hm!

Selena:
You know? His purpose was to come and die, right? And be resurrected back to life, to conquer death, which gives us life in Him, salvation, sanctification. And I think one of the greatest verses that really just pin-point love and highlight it for what it is, the Biblical love, which from here and I—we’re kind of— we are talking about Biblical love.

Ryan:
And we’re going to—I want to hear the greatest verse. [Selena chuckles] I’m very—The tension is palpable.

Selena:
This is the greatest… [Chuckles]

Ryan:
[Laughing] The greatest verse. But we’re going to look at that alongside the evidence of Christ himself.

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
And then the Holy Spirit will, and Christ, the love of Christ, will allow us to then live out these actions of love that we see exemplified in Christ. Right?

Selena:
Right, right.

Ryan:
Anyway.

Selena:
When I say Jesus is our authority, He’s our standard, He’s our definition, He is the one that gives the commands of how to love.

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
And—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
He is the voice and authority on what love is.

Ryan:
I just love that so much! I can’t harp on that chord enough, that He is the definition.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
Also, the exemplar, the standard.

Selena:
He’s like all of it.

Ryan:
He’s shown us…

Selena:
[Chuckling] He’s all. Through and through.

Ryan:
And then He gives us— Then He’s like, “Now, here. I’m going to let you love like I love.” And He’s giving us the ability to love.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
So, it is—He is love—

Selena:
And not in its—

Ryan:
In its entirety. [Chuckles]

Selena:
And not in some magical form.

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
It’s really a long-term heart transformation.

Ryan:
It’s almost a freedom to love, and that He’s given us the ability through heart transformation.

Selena:
Right. And the Holy Spirit.

Ryan:
To freely love each other and selflessly. Yes!

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
Yes. Well…

Selena:
So, John 15:12-13, Jesus says, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down—

Ryan:
Oh.

Selena:
His life for his friends.” [Inhales] So, if you want to talk about Biblical love versus worldly definition of love [Chuckles], there it is! “Greater love has no one than this.” Talk about selflessness. “That you lay down your life.” [Inhales] Your life. Your desires. Everything about you; you’re laying that down—

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
For your friends.

Ryan:
So, again, there’s hints of this within culture, where they would say—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
“Hey, be a good person,” and—

Selena:
Think about other people.

Ryan:
“Think about it, then be selfless.” “Go serve the homeless,” and—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Go do things that are all, like, they’re good activities to do.

Selena:
Good things. Yeah.

[00:14:58]
Ryan:
They’re equitable, all these different things. But there’s a twist when it happens as soon as it gets really hard and ugly.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Okay. So, I’m thinking of an example where maybe a husband is dropping the ball and not loving his wife well. That can take a thousand different forms.

Selena:
Mm-hm!

Ryan:
But I’m picturing the wife who’s miserable because maybe it’s gone on for years.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Okay. So, the cultural definition of love would say, “Hey, you know…”

Selena:
They’d have you respond.

Ryan:
“You deserve better.”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
“You are not happy. You deserve to be happy.”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
“You need to get rid of that dead beat and go find somebody who can love you the way you deserve.”

Selena:
Yeah. Biblical love—

Ryan:
Okay.

Selena:
Does not say that.

Ryan:
No! But—

Selena:
And that’s so hard. That’s a big pill to swallow.

Ryan:
But you—

Selena:
It’s a tall—

Ryan:
But you could see it on the news. You could see it—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
On TV. You could see it anywhere. They’ll say, “Hey! It’s good to love someone and to be selfless…” [Ryan inhales & Selena laughs] “As long as it’s not for a long time. As long as it’s not too hard.”

Selena:
“And as long as they’re making—”

Ryan:
“As long as it’s not too ugly.”

Selena:
“It’s making you feel good.” [Chuckles]

Ryan:
And as long as you’re accepted the way you are, and no one’s challenging who you are, because who you are is, by the way, it’s defined by a thousand things outside of the Bible. It’s—

Selena:
Right. Outside of your identity—

Ryan:
Your race, your gender—

Selena:
In Christ. [Chuckles] Yeah.

Ryan:
Your sexuality. It’s a thousand different things. [Laughs]

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
It’s not any objective standard. So, as long as no one calls you to an objective standard that you disagree with…

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Then you should love them. And as long as they don’t get too close to you.

Selena:
Right. And they don’t really mess it up for ya.

Ryan:
Like, get someone food but don’t invite them into your house. [Selena laughs]

Selena:
Yeah. [Both laughing]

Ryan:
So, sorry. I just—The more you look at kind of the air we breathe and the—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Culture we live in, the more the hypocrisy becomes so crystal clear.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And so, I just want to make sure that we’re not living as hypocrites in this way.

Selena:
Yeah. No, this is a challenge to us—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
As well. And I think we’re most challenged in our marriage relationship because it is the closest human relationship, ideally, that you have—

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
Within your life, and maybe, you know—That… Yeah. So.

Ryan:
There are friendships that are close, and so I want to be nuanced to there, because God has given us this beautiful gift of friendship. We see it—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
In David and Jonathan. We’ve talked about friendship along—awhile back. [Inhales] But within— Marriage is a unique relationship.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
It doesn’t mean you can’t have rich, deep relationships outside of marriage. It just means that it is unique, especially in this expression of love, particularly different types of love.

Selena:
Right. Right.

Ryan:
So…

Selena:
So, I think it’s interesting, too, that Jesus, again, as our authority on love, he says, “This is the greatest thing that you can do in love. There’s no greater love than to lay down your life.” But it—

Ryan:
Huh.

Selena:
Also, the first and second commandments that He gives us, when He came and He, you know, they were like, “What’s the best commandment out of all ten?” or whatever, and He’s like, “I’m here to blow that out of the water.” [Ryan laughs] “Like, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” Like—

Ryan:
Wow.

Selena:
That’s the first commandment, is to love…

Ryan:
Wow.

Selena:
The Lord your God. The second one is to love your neighbor. So, again, we see the vertical and the horizontal.

Ryan:
It’s not to…

Selena:
Like, relational.

Ryan:
It’s not to…

Selena:
Love yourself.

Ryan:
Well… [Both laugh] That’s true.

Selena:
Oh my! [Continues laughing]

Ryan:
Ewop. That’s true! But it’s also not to do all these things that maybe resemble righteousness—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Or do things that resemble service, or you know why He does this, and this is Him cutting right to the absolute core of it, is that if you love, all that stuff will follow.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
If you love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, all that stuff that you have to do—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Comes out of that being…

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Of being one who loves God.

Selena:
Right. And who is loved by God.

Ryan:
Mm-hm. Yes. [Both chuckle]

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And that, well that’s the starting point, right?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And then loving your neighbor comes out of that same place. Like if you—[Chuckles] Anything you could do that’s good for your neighbor, bringing it over food ‘cause they’re sick, or giving them any sort of help, or a kind word…

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Or listening to them. All of that will come out a heart of love.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Naturally.

Selena:
And to [Inhales]… To put that into a marital relationship, right? What does that look like? You know, if [Inhales again] if Ryan is not being very great that the moment, or something—

Ryan:
Never happens, but, go ahead. [Selena chuckles] It’s hypothetically speaking. [Selena laughs]

Selena:
Hypothetically speaking… [Inhales] Is my response supposed to change because he’s my husband and because I’m familiar with him, right?

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
If anything, it should deepen my response to… Yeah, it should motivate my—I guess my motivation should be… Come from a deeper place of, “Okay, I’m not feeling this, and I don’t really want to, but I know this is how I’m supposed to love my…”

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
“My husband right now. Like, he’s being unlovable, or he is not—He’s being really selfish. How can I show him God’s love? How can I…” You know, and I feel like—

Ryan:
Yeah, I know.

Selena:
That’s a hard question to deal with, because loving somebody well doesn’t mean, again, loving by our standards but God’s standards. What does that look like?

Ryan:
[Deep breath] And—

Selena:
How could—Go ahead.

Ryan:
Well, I mean we could write… We could—There are probably books, and volumes and volumes written on this—

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
Topic, but the way Jesus just slices like a hot knife through butter…

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
All the way down to the core of that. It’s not just “love your neighbor.” He takes it a step further and says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
So, no one would ever do them self-harm, right? Assuming health…

Selena:
Right. Right.

[00:19:59]
Ryan:
But, [Pauses]—

Selena:
Mm. [Inaudible]

Ryan:
No one—Like, I’m always looking out for myself. I always want the best scenario for myself.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Like, if I’m tired, I want to get rest. If I’m hungry, I want to eat food. I’m supposed to love you in the same way that I would love myself. If I see you hungry, I’m not going to be okay with that. I want you to, metaphorically—

Selena:
Finally, you’re seeing this! [Both chuckle]

Ryan:
If you could just choose a restaurant, [Selena laughs] I would gladly feed you! [Ryan laughs] “You want to get Mexican?” “No.” [Both chuckle] “How about teriyaki?” “Eh. [Both chuckle] I want something light.” “Okay, how about Pho?” “Eh.” [Both laugh] Anyway. You’re distracting me.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
But, metaphorically speaking—

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
Literally speaking, if you’re hungry, I want that need to be met. If you’re lonely, I want that need to be met. If you’re hurting, I want you to feel better.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
I want to love you as I love myself—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
If I’m in Christ. If I’m… Yeah.

Selena:
Right. And I think an indicator of us not loving well is when our response is not that. You know? “You’re hungry? Well, go figure something out.”

Ryan:
Oh! [Chuckles]

Selena:
Or…

Ryan:
That’s convicting! I’m being honest. [Both chuckle]

Selena:
You’re—

Ryan:
How many times have I just, like—

Selena:
“You don’t feel good?”

Ryan:
Peaced out, ‘cause I just couldn’t handle it. [Laughs]

Selena:
“Well, I don’t care. I didn’t feel—You’re tired? [Ryan laughing] I was tired last night, so, I don’t care.” [Selena laughs with Ryan] Like, you know, when we start getting—When that vocabulary starts being the record inside of our minds, then I think we’re not loving—We’re not on the track to love very well! [Selena laughs]

Ryan:
I’m literally thinking to right before we started this podcast. You’re like, “It’s been a really long, full day,” and I was, in my head, I’m like, “I was up an hour before you and haven’t stopped since.” [Ryan laughs and Selena chuckles] I’m not thinking about you at all!

Selena:
Kay, but you’re not growing a baby! I always get that one! [Both laugh]

Ryan:
It’s always the trump card. [Selena laughs] But, I’m just point—kind of shining a light on my own, like—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Vacuous heart.

Selena:
It’s okay.

Ryan:
To where I didn’t even think to be like, “Oh, I’m sorry you’ve had a long day. How can I make your—”

Selena:
It’s been good and productive! It’s just kind of been back to back to back to back—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
To back, so…

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
It’s good to be aware of. So—

Ryan:
So—

Selena:
In this next section… Can—

Ryan:
Well, I just—

Selena:
Nope.

Ryan:
I want to… Aren’t we going to read 1 Corinthians 13, at any point?

Selena:
We are! But not yet. We’re not there in the notes yet.

Ryan:
Okay.

Selena:
That’s the third—We are going to go through three sections of scripture.

Ryan:
M’kay. Okay.

Selena:
And really flesh out how Christ’s love translates into our marriage.

Ryan:
Mm. Love it!

Selena:
And there’s two—There’s a lot about love in each of these chapters, but we picked out two points that are kind of like, “Okay, this feels tension. I don’t know how to love my spouse like this. I don’t get this,” kind of thing.

Ryan:
Huh.

Selena:
At least, that was our hope. Okay, my hope. I wrote this.

Ryan:
Okay. [Selena laughs]

Selena:
But, in 1 John 4, talking about how God is love, verses 18 and 19 talk about how there’s no fear in love. So, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.”

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
So, talking about fear in marriage, fear in loving someone, I think we very easily get married, right? And then we may not understand how we’re afraid in our marriage. Like, in—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Loving someone.

Ryan:
Okay.

Selena:
Like, I get afraid, I think, to allow anybody really close to me. Even with you, I think I can—

Ryan:
Oh, yeah.

Selena:
Keep you at arm’s length, and I can be like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m telling you all the truth,” but—

Ryan:
But we just celebrated…

Selena:
I’m going to hide this other little part, ‘cause I don’t want you to know that, or I don’t want to deal with that with you—deal, uh, yeah.

Ryan:
Well, I mean, we just celebrated 16 years married—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Last week, and 20 years together, and still—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
I feel, and I’m not trying to throw you under the bus, but still, at times, I feel like you’re keeping me at arm’s length.

Selena:
Right. And that can be for—

Ryan:
And it can be—

Selena:
A lot of reasons.

Ryan:
Yeah, there’s a lot of reasons, but I do feel like fear is one of them, because—

Selena:
For sure!

Ryan:
You’re afraid that I might, in some way…

Selena:
Well, growing up in a single parent home, there might be some abandonment issues, or there might be some just hurt in the past that was never really—

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
Resolved, and so, maybe not knowing how to navigate those waters very well, it’s like, “Well, I just don’t want to get in them.”

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
“So, we’re just not going to go there.” [Laughs]

Ryan:
[Inhales] Yeah.

Selena:
You know?

Ryan:
And to use a really relevant example is, I think, a lot of spouses who have—if they’re a husband or a wife, and they’ve dabbled in pornography, or they’re addicted in—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Pornography, or they’ve even just been looking and lurking online—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Like on Instagram…

Selena:
For sure.

Ryan:
They have this sense that, if I share this with my spouse—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
I won’t be loved by them.

Selena:
Right. Oh, fear and shame really go hand in hand—

Ryan:
They do! Fear and shame—

Selena:
When it comes to—

Ryan:
Go hand in hand. [Selena clears her throat] But here’s the kicker, and I think maybe it’s people aren’t saying it, or I haven’t heard it said, but the reality is you might not be loved by them, because your spouse might not understand this.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
They might run.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And that’s the tragic part of sin and shame—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And fear and infidelity, or even just—

Selena:
Addictions, yeah.

Ryan:
Lust and addiction is if you—That’s why we always sit down first with any couple. We say, “What do you believe about God, what do you believe about covenant, and what do you believe about love?”

Selena:
Yep.

Ryan:
Because if you don’t believe the same thing about—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Those three things…

Selena:
Or if you can’t even answer them…

Ryan:
Then all of everything we’re saying about true love, maybe there is no fear in love. That’s true. But if you’re not living in love in your marriage, and it’s not—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
A two-way street… Tragically, that is a fear that’s probably well-founded. However, here’s the big Gospel caveat—

[00:25:03]
Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
Is that we have all things we need. In Christ, we have all things we need—

Selena:
Mm…

Ryan:
For life and Godliness.

Selena:
Yep.

Ryan:
So, we have every fulfillment of every need in Christ.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Not just a pat answer, but it’s true. If—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
If and when we fully place our faith and trust and our affections on Him.

Selena:
Right. And we’d know who He is.

Ryan:
So, we can live in the light as He is in the light, and we can have fellowship…

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
That’s another one from… Is that from 1 John?

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
It’s somewhere in there.

Selena:
Sounds good. [Both laugh] 1st Ryan… [Both chuckle]

Ryan:
No, it’s an actual verse. [Chuckles]

Selena:
19. [Laughing]

Ryan:
It’s an actual verse.

Selena:
I know it is.

Ryan:
But, okay, then we can walk in the light as He is in the light—

Selena:
Yep.

Ryan:
Being fully known—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Fully loved in Christ, and that will kind of hold us over until we kind of feel the—have the affections and the feelings of love come around in our marriage.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
If that ever happens.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
The point is that we are honoring Christ first and honoring our spouse out of that honor and out of that love.

Selena:
Right, right.

Ryan:
And so, it’s, in that way, it’s a step of faith. So, anyway. Love does drive out fear. I just don’t want to be so “Christianese” about it, and say, “Alright! You shouldn’t be afraid of anything.” And I know—

Selena:
Right. No, it’s says “perfect love casts out fear.”

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
And I think “casting out,” it’s an active word. So, it’s—

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
Going to take on some definition of—It’s not just, “I don’t—” When I think “casting out,” I do think of something somewhat quick, but it’s also—it’s more of like a—

Ryan:
It’s like a, “You are not welcome here.”

Selena:
A powerful—Yeah.

Ryan:
You are—Yeah.

Selena:
It’s like a powerful movement verses, like, a quick movement, if that makes sense. Like—

Ryan:
It’s a deliberate…

Selena:
Yes! It’s an—

Ryan:
Get out of here.

Selena:
Enforced…

Ryan:
“Go on! Get!” [Laughs]

Selena:
But also, there’s like this—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Process of it to happen.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
So, that’s, I guess…

Ryan:
Interesting.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
It’s good.

Selena:
[Inhales] This second part that kind of struck me was how in 1 John 4:20-21, how we’re called to love our brother—

Ryan:
Hm.

Selena:
Like brothers and sisters in Christ, essentially.

Ryan:
Yeah, it’s not your physical…

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Although, we are called.

Ryan:
Yes, but it’s—

Selena:
The verse says, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he’s a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
So, the question that is being asked here is, “How do I love my spouse, kind of like no matter what?” Right? What does that look like if they’ve broken my trust, or they’ve hurt me in a big way, or they’re just unengaged and apathetic? How am I supposed to continue loving them, and why should I do that?

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
I think that’s a big question, and Kyle actually talked about that at church today.

Ryan:
Our pas—One of our elders.

Selena:
One of our elders at church—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
On Sunday talked about—It was a very liberating sermon.

Ryan:
You know what? You should just go check it out. It’s thegospel—

Selena:
[Laughing] You should go check it out.

Ryan:
It’s thegospellifechurch.com, and it’s the latest messa—It was preached on September… What is today? September [Pauses] 1st.

Selena:
Was it the 1st?

Ryan:
It was preached on September 1st. Yeah.

Selena:
Okay.

Ryan:
So, find that. It’s thegospellifechurch.com. Anyway. It was a really good message.

Selena:
Yeah. But it was basically talking about we can’t judge who we are supposed to love and not love. Who we show Christ’s love to and who we don’t show Christ’s love to.

Ryan:
Right, he’s saying that we have to trust God to basically sort out the wheat from the chaff—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And the wheat from the weeds…

Selena:
Right, and God—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Sees, from our perspective, wheat and the, what was the word? Was it “charn” or something like that?

Ryan:
[Chuckles] Charred.

Selena:
[Selena laughs] No. [Ryan laughs] Anyways.

Ryan:
Mm. Favorite vegetable. [Chuckles]

Selena:
Darnel! It’s darnel. Wheat and darnel. They look the same.

Ryan:
I like charred better.

Selena:
[Chuckling] They grow the same. But, when they’re at their peak of production, they look different.

Ryan:
Produce a different—Yeah.

Selena:
And they have different effects if you—

Ryan:
Consume them.

Selena:
Yes. And so, it was just interesting to me, because I think we’re so quick to say, “Well, you deserve love; you don’t; you deserve love; you don’t.” And how quickly we do that in our marriage, especially when you know someone so well, right?

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
And God’s like, “Well, I may not be done with them yet. Maybe I’m not done with you yet, and I need [Laughs] this person to—”

Ryan:
He’s saying that you’re not the—

Selena:
“Teach you how to— “

Ryan:
You’re not responsible for the weeding of this field.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
You’re supposed to tend to it, basically.

Selena:
Right. Right.

Ryan:
Because, I think, the fear—Well, one of the things that Jesus is talking about is in a parable, is that if you go about the business of weeding or torching the field, then you’ll basically ruin some of the good.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Right? And that’s why the farmer is the one who should do it, not us.

Selena:
Right. We—

Ryan:
I—Go ahead. I don’t want to interrupt ya.

Selena:
Go ahead. No.

Ryan:
Well, this makes me think of—What was it, Mark 7? So, it’s in Luke 7, I’m sorry, is the sinful woman who’s forgiven.

Selena:
Oh yeah.

Ryan:
Right? And it says, “But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Right? So, giving love, loving my brother… In other words, my brother or my sister. So, you’re my sister in Christ before you’re my wife. You are God’s daughter first before you’re my wife. He knew you, He loved you, before I loved you.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
So, I’m stewarding your heart as a daughter of God; that’s a really intimidating thing.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Thank God that He is loving! [Both laugh] And he loves me; he calls me His son as well. But, if I’m forgiven little, in other words, we’re all forgiven much.

[00:30:01]
Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
But if my perception of my forgiveness is little, then my experience of love will be, also, little.

Selena:
So good!

Ryan:
But if I have an appreciation of my sin, and what I mean by that is if I understand the vast chasm between God’s holiness, awesomeness, greatness, majesty, everything about God that makes Him God…

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And me, a human sinner, desperately in need of help. Somebody who has not only rebelled against God, but done it willingly, and done it constantly and will do it—

Selena:
And still do it. Yes. [Chuckles]

Ryan:
Constantly. Okay, if I don’t have good perception of those things, I have a small view of how much I’ve been forgiven, and therefore I have a small view of God’s love toward me.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
So—

Selena:
Which—

Ryan:
That’s what this parable is—

Selena:
Then, we—

Ryan:
Talking about.

Selena:
Are only able to love “smalley,” I guess. [Chuckles]

Ryan:
In a small way, that’s—

Selena:
Or in a small way…

Ryan:
“And he who is forgiven little loves little, but he who…” It goes on. You can assume the opposite. Right?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
He who loves much, who is forgiven much, loves much.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And so, all that to say is that that’s why you have to look at the Gospel as our standard, because if I am constantly feeling self-righteousness, like I don’t really need the love of Christ…

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
I’m a Christian because that’s how I grew up, or I’m a good person; I don’t really need Him…

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Then I’m not going to have a radical view of what it takes to love a sinner!

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And what it takes to be loved as a sinner, and the grace that it is that you even love me, and therefore I should extend grace to you. We always say this, is that if God has not held my sin against me, how could I possible hold your sin against you, in a moral sense?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Right?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
There is a sense that we have to rebuild trust if there’s trust that’s been broken; we have to rebuild our relationship if there’s a fracture there. But Jesus says this, He also talks about it in Matthew [Pages flipping]—What is it? Matthew 8… It’s 8, Matthew 20—What is it? [Ryan chuckles] Matthew 18! [Selena chuckles] Parable of the unforgiving servant, right? [Ryan inhales] Where, just to paraphrase, is that this guy is forgiven billions of dollars of debt in today’s—

Selena:
Oh yeah.

Ryan:
Money.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And then he turns around and goes to collect a $300 debt from a friend…

Selena:
[Chuckles] Right.

Ryan:
He’s ringing his friend’s neck, saying, “Pay me back what you owe!”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
When his debt of billions of dollars had just been wiped clean, and the ruler, the king, turns around and says, “You wicked servant!” And, basically, “Go to jail—”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
“Until you—” He gave him a death sentence. “Go to jail until you can pay it back. Your family, your everything. You’re going to go in jail [Chuckles] and earn it.” Which you could never earn it in a hundred lifetimes!

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
You could never earn that back.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
So, but we are like that wicked servant when—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
We don’t love each other, when we don’t forgive and we don’t fulfill what this is saying, in loving—

Selena:
Being patient with each other, and being kind—

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
And not judging, and asking questions in earnest about a hard situation, not just—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Necessarily policing someone.

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
You know? Our goal should be to seek understanding about hard situations…

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
‘Cause obviously it—

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
Feels hard to love our spouse, right? And within the context of a hard situation, where, again, trust has been broken, hurt has happened, or—

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
There’s just been this long period of apathy and disengagement. [Inhales]

Ryan:
Right. [Selena clears her throat] We tend to think very momentarily—

Selena:
We do.

Ryan:
Very short-term.

Selena:
We do.

Ryan:
We forget that we serve an eternal God.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Who has this long view of our soul—

Selena:
Thank God! [Sigh]

Ryan:
In eternity. [Selena laughs] In eternity, not just the last five years.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Or the next five years.

Selena:
Sorry, but even our lifetime.

Ryan:
Or the last—Yes! Yes. And so, that’s why we have to align our view of love with His view, which is an eternal view.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
It’s not a temporal view; it’s not a life-long view; it’s an eternal view!

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Anyway. I could go on.

Selena:
And that’s hard. That’s hard. That’s where we really need the Holy Spirit, to minister—

Ryan:
Yeah, I’m preaching to myself. I’m not trying—

Selena:
To minister to us, because in the midst of, “My husband’s addicted,” “We aren’t having sex,” or “We’re just not connecting or whatever,” “He’s working so much, we don’t have a relationship.” In the midst of those really hard and dark times, having that momentary view is death to our hope, right?

Ryan:
Yeah! Wow.

Selena:
But God is like, “I’ve got a longer view in mind. It’s ‘we’re in this for the long game.’ Trust me, trust that I’m at work. Pray! Pursue! Do what you can do—”

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
“And trust me.” So, moving on to this next section of verses. So, we have two sections of—or three sections, I’m sorry, of scripture. This is our second. Our first was 1 John 4.

Ryan:
Which is God is love.

Selena:
Talking about, yep.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
God is love. There’s no fear in love, and then how to love our brother no matter what. John 15, we did touch on this, about how greater love has no one than this, so Jesus commanding us to love as He has loved us.

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
Which is verse 12, “Love one another as I have loved you.” And so, the questions here are, “How can we love our spouse?” which we have talked about. I feel like we talk about, almost, in ever podcast [Ryan laughs] episode.

Ryan:
Well, yeah. It is a marriage podcast.

Selena:
It is a marriage pod—But when they make, again, when they make you so angry, or they’ve broken your trust—

Ryan:
They’ve hurt you deeply.

Selena:
Or they don’t feel lovable. You’re like, “I don’t want to love you. You don’t do anything to make me want to love you.” [Chuckles]

[00:35:00]
Ryan:
Been there! And no offense but been there. And you’ve been there… With me.

Selena:
Okay.

Ryan:
Well, maybe. Once or twice.

Selena:
And… [Chuckles]

Ryan:
Never been there! I was just kidding. [Ryan chuckles and Selena laughs] Funny joke, everyone!

Selena:
Yeah, right. [Chuckling]

Ryan:
Ha-ha! [Chuckling]

Selena:
Yes! No, we’ve—I think we’ve all been there countless times, probably.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
And so, how do we love in those instances? And—

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
Again, when we go back to the Biblical definition of love and seeing Jesus Christ as our standard and our example and our authority of love, you know, He was selfless. Greater love has no one than this that they lay down their life for their friends.

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
And so, laying down our lives, not as a doormat, right? There’s a difference because if you’re being—There’s a difference between being selfless and being a doormat [Pauses], right?

Ryan:
Right. Absolutely!

Selena:
One, when you’re being selfless, you’re actually interacting. You’re doing an active, intentional—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Thing. You’re not—

Ryan:
Being a doormat is being passive.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
It’s an excuse to be passive, and you’re just basic—

Selena:
And apathetic and just—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Exist, right?

Ryan:
But, being selfless is a very active, loving thing to do.

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
Being selfish is an active, selfish thing to do. [Laughs]

Selena:
Right. So, asking yourself, how has Jesus loved you? I think this goes back to what you were saying, like when we have a small view of what we’ve been forgiven of, we have a small view of how God has really loved us, which means we have a small view of how we are going to love others, especially when it comes to our spouse.

Ryan:
Yeah. And what it takes, and what it costs—

Selena:
Absolutely!

Ryan:
To love others.

Selena:
Absolutely.

Ryan:
I think that’s a big piece we kind of gloss over is the cost—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Of the love of God.

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
I mean, I just—I can’t fathom, okay?

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Just, real quickly, just here, you and I, talking. I cannot fathom, or at least I struggle to fathom [Pauses] how the eternal God of the universe would submit Himself [Pauses] in the way— I think, what is it, Hebrews, that talks about it? Is like, then submitting Himself to—or, no, it’s Philippians! To death on a cross.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And to life, human life, to take on human flesh and human life—

Selena:
Seriously.

Ryan:
And to submit Himself to the law that He created and to live it perfectly, to fulfill the law that He created.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
He created the law! He didn’t have to obey it!

Selena:
Right? [Chuckles]

Ryan:
Right? I mean, I know there’s [Selena laughs] a lot of—I mean, He did, ‘cause He’s good and good is good, and God is—

Selena:
And He’s God. [Chuckling]

Ryan:
Good, and He—But what I’m saying—

Selena:
He is a character. Yeah, I know.

Ryan:
Is that He created gravity, too, ladies and gentlemen.

Selena:
That’s right.

Ryan:
He could have flown everywhere. [Laughs]

Selena:
[Chuckling] Right.

Ryan:
He—

Selena:
He can defy the—

Ryan:
He submitted Himself—

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
To that, and—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Became flesh for us. How vast a view of love is that?

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
That He has given us the example of love that is so— I don’t know. I don’t know. [Selena laughs] I’m just a little bit mind blown by that, so… Where else do you want to go with this?

Selena:
So, the second part of this section is John 15, talking about how Christ is the true vine, but how true Biblical love should bear fruit. There should be—

Ryan:
Oh.

Selena:
Indicators of real fruit being born in your life. And so, in your life, in your marriage, especially. I think it’s in those really close proximity type relationships, especially in marriage, where you, if you’re not seeing fruit, then you’re not really loving well, right? I mean, that’s—Yikes.

Ryan:
Well, yeah. Yeah.

Selena:
So, I just—I did want to read verses one through eleven. I know, it sounds like a lot, but it’s really—

Ryan:
Do it!

Selena:
Good.

Ryan:
Do it.

Selena:
“‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Ever branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does not bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I’m the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me, you can do nothing.’”

Ryan:
Mmpfh.

Selena:
“’If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father’s glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I’ve spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.’” And then he goes in verse 12, “’This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this…”

So, two things here.

Ryan:
Preach it! What do you got?

Selena:
We bear fruit, and that fruit glorifies God. So, we are glorifying God by the fruit we bear.

Ryan:
I was kind of taken aback by this thing that He said, and you glossed over it, not maliciously, but—

Selena:
[Selena chuckles] I never gloss [Ryan chuckles] over scripture maliciously!

Ryan:
You said, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.”

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
“Apart from me, you can do nothing…” [Selena inhales] Take that in for a minute. [Selena chuckles] ‘Cause He’s not just saying, it’s not like all the sudden Jesus departs from us.

Selena:
Kind of—

Ryan:
In a very existential sense—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
It’s very true.

Selena:
Kind of answers your question early—

Ryan:
Colossians 3.

[00:40:00]
Selena:
That you said… You said, “Can a non-believer love how Christ loves?”

Ryan:
Yep, He did. Well, okay. [Selena chuckles] So, where am I getting that from? Well, Colossians 3.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Or just Colossians, talking about the preeminence of Christ, and that in Him, all things exist—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And He is preeminent before all creation. [Selena breathes deeply] He’s the firstborn of all creation.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
So, yes! I mean, it’s not just—There’s no caveat to that.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
“Apart from me, you can do nothing.” [Inhales] And so, literally, He’s holding our very atoms together by His grace and by—

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
His Sovereignty and by His preeminence. He is holding matter itself together. And so, basically, He’s saying give credit where credit is due, and when you do that, love will be—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
The outcome.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Love will be the—When you’re abiding in me…

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Now, you could spend books talking about what it means to abide in Christ.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
To be in Christ. The doctrine of the union of Christ.

Selena:
Well, and He gives us this picture of the true vine, like a vine and branches.

Ryan:
Yeah. So, that’s going to—

Selena:
It’s a very good word picture.

Ryan:
Bear natural fruit. So, what you’re saying is that if love is alive in us, if Christ is alive in us, if we are abiding in Him—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
It’s a fact. No matter what you do, apart from Him, you can do nothing. So, every breath you take is a gift from God. [Inhales] Okay, so that’s a humiliating thing, in a good way.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Humiliati—He gives us—It’s a humbling thing [Selena laughs], not humiliating. [Selena laughs harder] Humbling thing!

Selena:
Who’s mixing their words now?

Ryan:
Well, they’re similar… And so, it’s a humbling thing. Now, if I’m abiding in Him, I will bear fruit. And so, the question it begs and the reality that it points us to is that if we are always fighting in our marriage love is absent.

Selena:
Mm!

Ryan:
Now, there’s some good fighting that’s productive. But if it’s just vitriol and it’s totally just caustic fighting—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And it’s not getting you anywhere, and it’s just filled with rage and anger—

Selena:
It’s not going towards reconciliation.

Ryan:
And hate.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
It’s not going toward reconciliation. That’s always the marker, is that is that fight leading somewhere healthy, or is it leading somewhere unhealthy?

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
And are you saying things that you’re going [Chuckles] to regret later? Lots of stuff to be said about communication.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
Ironically. Unironically, I should say. [Ryan chuckles and Selena laughs] But, it’s going to [Pauses] bear fruit in our lives—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
That is pointing us toward love. The opposite is if you have no fruit, what happens? We are pruned. Why? So, we can bear fruit.

Selena
Mm.

Ryan:
And so, I think remembering that, the pruning seasons, remembering in the fruitless seasons—

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
That there’s a reason in how well we’re—

Selena:
Ah, there’s a purpose. Yeah.

Ryan:
Abiding in the—Well, what I was going to say is there’s a reason, and it’s based on how well or how poorly we’re abiding in Christ.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
Or how well or how poorly we are a vine, or He is the vine and we are the branches, if that makes sense?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Right. ‘Cause as a branch—

Selena:
We’re always wanting to be the vine, aren’t we?

Ryan:
We want to be the vine; we want to be independent. Like, just lop me off of this vine.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
It’s a huge buzzkill.

Selena:
“I can produce fruit!” [Laughs]

Ryan:
“I can produce fruit. Just let me hang out in the dirt. Just throw me onto the ground; I’ll find roots! [Selena laughs]

Selena:
You’re not a succulent! [Both laugh]

Ryan:
You’re not a—What are those things your mom always grows?

Selena:
They’re succulents. They’re—

Ryan:
Chicks and hens?

Selena:
The hens and chicks, as she calls them.

Ryan:
Hens in chicks!

Selena:
Yeah! She’s like, “You can just throw them anywhere and they start growing!” It’s true!

Ryan:
It’s true.

Selena:
But, that’s not what you are.

Ryan:
Those things are resilient.

Selena:
You are a vine.

Ryan:
I’m a human, I’m not a hen.

Selena:
You’re a branch [Selena pauses as Ryan chuckles] to the vine.

Ryan:
Yes. So, anyway. That’s good. So, anyway. Is that—Are we bringing that one too close?

Selena:
Yeah! Wrap that up.

Ryan:
‘Cause I’m excited about this one, and it’s [Selena chuckles] funny, ‘cause this is like the quintessential love passage, so bear with me. But I want to read from 1 Corinthians 13.

Selena:
The whole podcast started with this, but I started diving into other scripture, and I was like, “We can’t ignore this other [Laughs] parts of scripture. Not that we’re ignoring it, but [Inhales] there’s a lot in John—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
15, 1 John 4 that talk about—There’s a lot in the whole Bible.

Ryan:
So, qui—

Selena:
Let’s just be honest.

Ryan:
Yeah. Yeah. And I love 1 Corinthians 13, because it’s really—Paul is talking to the people of Corinth, the church in Corinth. It was—There’s a lot going on in terms of how they viewed love, and how they viewed it—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Poorly, and their expressions of love were informed by the culture of the day. Corinth was a very active city. It was right in an isthmus, so it was getting sea—

Selena:
Isthmus.

Ryan:
“Iths-miss.” [Laughs]

Selena:
“Iths-miss.” [Chuckles] Sounds like “Chriths-miss.”

Ryan:
I feel bad if you had like a sli—If you had a-a… What is it?

Selena:
A lisp.

Ryan:
A lisp. [Ryan laughs and Selena chuckles] “If-ith-mis.” [Ryan laughs] Ge— [Ryan breaks out in laughter] [Ryan starts speaking with a lisp] “The Apostle Paul [Pauses] and he was talking, and they have an—”

Selena:
Stop!

Ryan:
“[Continues doing a lisp impression] They have an isthmus.” [Goes back to his regular voice] Anyway.

Selena:
You probably had a lisp, didn’t you?

Ryan:
I did not. Maybe I did. I don’t know. [Ryan inhales as Selena chuckles] So, there’s two bodies of water, and there’s two bodies of land.

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
And there’s a lot of—It’s basically New York City, okay? [Chuckles] It’s as worldly and as cultured as New York City, and he’s addressing this. So, in a lot of ways, this is us in the West.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
In a lot of ways, he’s talking to us, and he has to draw the line in the sand and say, “Listen! You’re doing something that you think is love; it’s not. Here’s what love is.”

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
“That’s not love. This is.” And here’s what he says: “Love is patient and kind. It bear”— [Chuckles as he stumbles over a word] It begs a point. Like, they’re basically living in a way that love is not patient, and love is not kind. Okay?

Selena:
Well, if you’re selfish, love is—

Ryan:
Yes.

Selena:
Impatient, and—

Ryan:
Yes.

Selena:
[Pauses] Taking. [Laughs]

Ryan:
Yes!

Selena:
Not kind!

Ryan:
And it’s—

Selena:
Just rough—

Ryan:
Self-serving. Yeah.

Selena:
And self-serving. Yeah.

[00:44:56]
Ryan:
So, it says “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures [Selena sniffles] all things.”

Okay, so, obviously there’s a lot of that we’ve talked about thus far on the episode. I want to go back to our book. So, we talked about this last week a little bit, I think.

Selena:
The book, Fierce Marriage.

Ryan:
The book, Fierce Marriage. And we, actually, so, what I love about this is we see this in the person and work of Christ. So, we see Him working out every aspect that Paul—

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
That Paul just says, Christ shows.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
Paul is telling us. Christ is living it.

Selena:
Showing us and living it.

Ryan:
And showing us.

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
And so, I’m just quickly going to go through what—a little bit of what we wrote here. It says, “So God’s ultimate love was proven to us through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Christ is the literally personification of God’s love, and it is only through trusting Him that we experience and are able to give true, lasting, 1 Corinthians love to each other.”

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
So, the first one, Jesus’s love is [Inaudible] and pure. He met the needs of the people around Him through healing, providing food, ultimately giving His life that we might be saved. So, that’s the selfless, that’s the pure side of love. Let’s see… Christ is the perfect lover of our soul. He is the ultimate example of patience! He waits lovingly at your heart’s door for an invitation in, and when invited, He’ll come in and eat with you, and you with Him! Revelations 3:20. Jesus was never arrogant or rude. He dined with social outcasts and sinners because He loved them. He called them into salvation in the same way He would dine with you and me. He is a good shepherd, tending to our wounds. A shepherd was the one who would pick feces, fecal matter, out of the— [Chuckles]

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Out of the wool of the sheep. He’s the one who’s healing their broken bones. It’s not a lofty position to be in. [Both chuckle] Jesus was selfless. Alright? His will totally aligned with the Father’s. Though fully man, He never insisted on His own way. He rejoiced in doing the will of the Father, even as he walked the path to the cross. A few more. Jesus does not grow irritable or resentful with us.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
Thank God! We see that in how He patiently instructed us in ways that we could understand, through parables and stories, and how He discipled and loved the disciples—

Selena:
Mm. It’s my on-going struggle.

Ryan:
Even in the midst of their doubt in the face of the Messiah.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Finally, Jesus never fails and never ends. He was there at the dawn of time. That’s in John 1. And He will remain for us. He remain—That way, He will remain for all eternity. His presence and power know no bounds, and the same is true for His love.

I wanted to close with this. It says, “Your marriage will flourish when Christ becomes your absolute standard and context for loving each other. Anything else is rooted in convenience rather than covenant.”

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
“God is calling you to something richer, deeper, and vastly more fulfilling that convenient love. God is calling you to covenantal love.” But not only that—

Selena:
So good!

Ryan:
Not only that, He’s shown us. He’s calling us to it, He’s told us, but He’s also shown us. And He’s given Himself to us in this 1 Corinthians way!

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And so—

Selena:
He empowers us and helps us to do that.

Ryan:
And so, the response is, then—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
To live out, not just a convenient version of love, but a covenantal love toward each other.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
So, when I’m feeling like being very selfish, I can then choose to not be!

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Is that a—That’s a supernatural decision! [Ryan laughs and Selena chuckles] ‘Cause it’s hard. I—

Selena:
It goes against the flesh. Yeah.

Ryan:
If we’re in the flesh, we just want what we want.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Right? Or if I feel like—

Selena:
And then if we don’t do it or get it, then we [Pauses] get mad—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
About it and get all [Pauses] in a funk.

Ryan:
So, what are you—So, one piece that I want to pick on here is, well, two that you kind of talked about, is rejoicing in wrongdoing. What is—How can we possible do that, or how do we do that? And believing all things, what does that actually mean in those passages?

Selena:
Just quickly. You know, we may not outright rejoice in wrongdoing, right? It say, “Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing.” But if you’re talking about transparency, right? And we’re talking about living in the light… If we’re allowing things, sinful behavior and addictions, to continue on within the confines of our marriage, we are essentially rejoicing in wrongdoing.

Ryan:
Hm.

Selena:
I feel like, I know it feels like a big leap, but really if we’re not rejoicing in the truth of God’s love and His freedom, and what that means is we are acknowledging that this is sinful behavior, we’re acknowledging that this is wrongdoing. We are not going to rejoice and live in this any longer. We are going to live and rejoice and walk in the way of love, how God has loved us.

Ryan:
Hm.

Selena:
So that means we’re [Laughs] going to step out of that. We’re going to draw those lines. We’re going to start the healing process and we are going to bring others in to help us understand God’s truth, and to help us to rejoice in the truth and not in the wrong things that are happening within our marriage.

Ryan:
Mm. Interesting.

Selena:
The last one—

Ryan:
Good!

Selena:
I feel like is a little bit longer.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Talks about believing all things, or love trusts all things in different versions; it talks about that.

Ryan:
Yep.

[00:49:56]
Selena:
And I thought that was pr—Like, that’s… challenging, I think, for marriage, right? Especially one that has, again, undergone maybe some infidelity or, again, addictions. There’s just been a huge betrayal of trust, a lot of hurt, right?

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
So, love is saying what? Just believe all things, just trust all the time, no matter what? I was like, “God, help me reconcile this.” [Laughs]

Ryan:
It feels like a blind faith.

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
It feels like, just kind of a—

Selena:
And I don’t think God’s called us to that. I mean—

Ryan:
That’s not what He’s saying.

Selena:
Blind faith.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
That’s not what He’s saying here.

Ryan:
He’s not sayi—It’s not some sort of… It’s not an ignorant or a, like, you’re just, you know, glossing—

Selena:
It’s not—

Ryan:
Over things.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Brushing things under the carpet or under the rug or—

Selena:
Well, and you have to take it—

Ryan:
Fake it ‘til you make it.

Selena:
For what this verb— what this word is. It’s a verb. So, we went to gotquestions.org. Great website. We’ve talked about it many times. And they say first we should understand what the description of love—

Ryan:
Does not mean.

Selena:
Does not mean. “The fact that love believes all things does not make a loving person a dupe,” [Selena laughs and Ryan chuckles] is what they said. “Neither does it mean that love is naïve, undiscerning, or credulous. We’re not talking about gullibility here, and a foolish lack of skepticism…” These are not parts of love. “The Greek word translated as ‘believes’ is a form of the verb pisteuo,” I think, “which means ‘to believe, place faith in, or trust.’ The word is a common one,” and it’s “found in the context in which belief is an expression of love.” But this is the kicker. “Those who love will always ‘believe’ in the other person. There is no second-guessing or questioning of whether the person should be loved.”

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
“Love is simply given.” It’s unconditional. “The loved one does not need to perform anything or achieve a certain goal in order to be loved. Just as
Christ—”

Ryan:
Wow.

Selena:
“Loves his children unconditionally, He calls us to love others. Love is based on who He is, not on what others do.” So, that’s what it’s saying in this passage.

Ryan:
You’ve just blown my mind, ‘cause—

Selena:
You’re welcome.

Ryan:
Thank you for digging that up, ‘cause that’s one of those parts of this passage that I’ve always just kind of dismissed, like, “I’m not sure what that means. I’ll just move on to something else.” [Selena laughs] Oh, but he’s saying is that—

Selena:
But it’s a powerful way to understand love.

Ryan:
It’s placing belief—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
In the person. Belief, not just belief, blind belief, but belief as an expression of love—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Meaning that you don’t have it together now, but I believe that you can, because I’m not God.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Because God has put me in your life to be your spouse; He’s put you in my life to be my spouse.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
I don’t see how this is going to work. I have to believe.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
I think, particularly in terms of addiction, okay?

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Not just, so… All kinds of addiction. Drug, alcohol, gambling, pornography… Whatever the addiction is…

Selena:
Right. Spending.

Ryan:
If you’ve experienced addiction personally, or you’ve known someone closely who’s addicted, which it’s probably a large number of people listening—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
To this podcast, you know how out of control you feel!

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Whether you’re addicted or are closely related to somebody who’s—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Addicted, you know how it feels. Hopeless! Because it’s got such a hold on [Pauses] on you—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Or on that person. So, what is the—He’s saying love believes that there—You believe as an expression of love. What’s that? The antithesis of that would be, “I’m giving up on you,” as an expression of apathy.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
So, instead of giving up on you, I’m not giving up on you. I’m sticking with you, even though you consistently always break down.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
You consistently always break our covenant, or you whatever. Jesus is the, again—

Selena:
While we were still sinners [Both chuckle], Christ died. [Selena laughs]

Ryan:
[Laughing] Yes! You’ve blown my mind! And I love it because that, to me, is so crystal clear now that it’s belief as an expression of love.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Not just belief because you’re not facing the truth.

Selena:
Or doing it ‘cause you just don’t really know what it means, and you’re just—

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
Trying to…

Ryan:
And it’s not—

Selena:
Make it work! [Chuckles]

Ryan:
It’s not in any way a blind thing; it’s an eyes wide open thing.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
The thing is you see God bigger than you see the person.

Selena:
So good.

Ryan:
You see who they can become verses who they are right now.

Selena:
And remembering how—

Ryan:
Because of their identity in Christ.

Selena:
And remembering how God loves us, like—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Long term. He’s—

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
In this for the long game. So…

Ryan:
That’s good. Alright.

Selena:
You want to trust. So, in closing, 1 John 3:18: “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
I think we just want to end it with that [Ryan chuckles] verse because [Selena chuckles] …

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Love, again, is not just saying frilly words; it’s not just talking about doing things but it’s actually doing them and, like you said, not with our eyes half closed, but with them wide open, understanding—

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
The truth about love, understanding who the authority is on love, and how He governs our lives and trusting that. Trusting His definition, trusting His authority, trusting that He designed it and created it a certain way. When we aren’t feeling of all the feels that we want to feel when things aren’t working out how we think, we are still committed to His way of loving rather than our own understanding. [Breathes deeply] So…

Ryan:
That’s phenomenal. So, what do we got here for our—

Selena:
Couples conversation challenge.

Ryan:
Yeah. Couples listening to this, how can we put this into tangible practice at this moment?

Selena:
I am always about going to read the Bible, so…

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
1 John. Go read these three chapters; they’re not long, and they’re really great. [Inhales] 1 John 4, John 15, and 1 Corinthians 13.

Ryan:
1 John 4, John 15, and 1 Corinthians 13.

[00:55:00]
Selena:
Right. And list out—

Ryan:
Okay.

Selena:
A few aspects of Biblical love and discuss whether or not you are loving each other well. Why and why not?

Ryan:
It gives you an opportunity to do two things. If you honestly take this and have that conversation, which if you do that, good for you! [Laughs] ‘Cause—

Selena:
It’ll be fruitful.

Ryan:
It’ll be fruitful, and that’s what we’re saying. Go do this! It will give you two opportunities to explain and express how you love each other, but also maybe to who— have a conversation for how or maybe why you have not felt loved.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
And that’s okay! That’s okay to have that con—to have those talks—

Selena:
They’re good to have those conversations.

Ryan:
And say, “I feel loved when you do this; I don’t feel loved, I feel the opposite of loved [Selena chuckles] when you do this.”

Selena:
Right. It’s good.

Ryan:
And I think those two things are helpful for any relationship, no matter how long you’ve been together—

Selena:
Absolutely.

Ryan:
No matter where you’re at. So… Alright!

Selena:
Alright!

Ryan:
Well, thank you, Selena. This rundown was sponsored by Selena’s Special Sauce, [Selena chuckles] salty and sweet, oh what a treat! [Selena laughs] Soon to be cookies! We had one— Somebody texted in, and they said, “I’ve been waiting for those cookies to go for sale,” and I said, “All the critics agree. They’re far too salty and not nearly sweet enough for public consumption.” [Both laugh]

Selena:
I was like, “[Inaudible], were they expecting cookies?” [Both laugh]

Ryan:
It’s like that’s why I moderate [Selena laughs] the text messages, not you. [Ryan laughs]

Selena:
I was like, “Oh dear. This is— They’re going to be let down.” [Ryan laughs and Selena chuckles]

Ryan:
No, but seriously, Selena, thank you for putting this together. This rundown, it’s just—Man, it—We’re marriage writers, and I’ve been a Christian for the most of my life and been in—And this still blows my mind.

Selena:
As it should.

Ryan:
And God is still good.

Selena:
The Gospel is so good, and rich, and—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Renewing, and new.

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
All the time, I feel like.

Ryan:
All the time. So, let me pray for us.

Selena:
Okay.

Ryan:
Lord, I thank you. I thank you for clearly showing us love, for giving us instruction for love.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
God, you gave us your words that describe and illustrate what it means to be loved by You, and how that should bear fruit in our lives. It should transform our hearts and enable us to love each other. And then You’ve given us, by Your—

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
Holy Spirit, You’ve given us the ability to live this out. So, God, thank You for that! Thank you for this profound, deep truth, that You are [Selena sniffles] love.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
That You have given us love, and You’ve called us to that same way of love as we’ve talked about in 1 Corinthians 13. So, thank You, Lord, for that.

I pray for the husbands and the wives who can’t feel it right now.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
And they feel like love is lost. They feel like they’ve forgotten it; they’ve forgotten what it means to show the way of love—

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
To each other, to understand that You are love, and to grasp that what it means to have a greater love, the greater love of laying down their lives for each other. I pray that You would open up their ears and their hearts and soften their hearts to each other. I pray that you would work in their marriage. I pray that you would strengthen their marriage.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
I pray that they would be stronger for it, God, as You prune. And I pray that the fruit would grow back, and it would be fuller and richer than ever.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And I pray that You’d use their testimony to, again, to show more people what it means, that You are love and—

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
You’re calling them to love.

So, in Your precious name, Lord,
Amen.

Selena:
Amen.

Ryan:
Alright! Ladies and gentlemen, thank you, once again, for listening to the Fierce Marriage podcast. We’re so thankful for you. Selena and I—Well, Selena… Aren’t we? I’m extremely—

Selena:
Yes!

Ryan:
Blessed to be able to do this.

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
So, thank you for listening, Fierce listeners. And, of course we’ll be back in about seven days, and until then…

Selena:
Are you serious?!

Ryan:
Oop. This episode’s been in th— [Ryan laughs and Selena chuckles]

Selena:
Wow.

Ryan:
Alright. Okay, okay, okay. I got emotional [Selena chuckles], okay? This episode is!

Selena:
[Chuckling] In the can. [Laughs]

Ryan:
Alright. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll see you in a few days. ‘Til then, stay fierce!

Selena:
[Selena laughs as she speaks] “I got emotional…” [Both chuckle]

[00:58:28]

<Ending Sequence>

[00:58:47]

<Podcast ends>

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