In this sermon, I share how to talk to your spouse about restoring agape love and identify signs that a spouse isn’t interested in change.
Now that you understand what agape love does and does not look like, you can start restoring godly love to your marriage. Restoration requires the cooperation of both spouses and the power of the Holy Spirit. While one spouse can display godly love, the marriage will not be successful without both spouses’ participation. The following steps should be taken:
- Both spouses must respect and accept God’s view of agape love.
- Both spouses must understand that godly love is only possible through the Holy Spirit.
- The power of the Holy Spirit is present when the spouse :
- is born again
- humbly acknowledges their weakness to love like God
- asks for the power of the Spirit to love like God
- receives and believes they now have the power to love like God
The biggest lie
The biggest lie I hear from so-called “believers” is that no one can love like God. We’ve been given a blueprint of what love is and God expects his so-called children to follow it. Scripture says, “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you…” (Philippians 4:13). The keyword here is: “strengthen.” We need Christ’s Holy Spirit (his strength) to love like God. Without God, we can’t do nothing of real value (John 15:5). While we may think we can display agape love on our own, our love will be contradictory, inauthentic, and will not last.
Is he/she willing to change?
Be aware that some spouses don’t want to change because it requires humility and they refuse to humble themselves. The following behaviors are indicators that the spouse doesn’t want to change:
- They keep saying they will change but continue in the same behaviors.
- They express remorse or disgust for their behavior, but they still don’t change.
- They say they don’t believe anyone can love like God.
- They say, “this is just who I am, I can’t change” or, “I won’t change.”
While you should be patient with your spouse’s growth, change will include actual progress. When they fail, they will be authentically and humbly apologetic, and mistakes will become farther apart as time goes on. Eventually, their bad behavior will be a thing of the past. If they don’t want to change, you will not see change, only excuses and reverting back to the same sinful behaviors.
Ready to change
If both spouses are willing to change and believe God’s power will work, here’s the next steps:
- Write down what you’ve done right and what you’ve done wrong.
- Confess your sins and repent.
- Biggest failures for men can be a lack of kindness.
- Biggest failures for women can be a lack of respect (rooted in pride).
- Pray together with the belief that love will be restored to your marriage.
- Write down and recite your plan to love your spouse as God commands.
- Follow through with your plan.
- Review the status of love in your marriage weekly until agape love is consistent.
If both spouses walk in the Spirit and believe agape love will be restored to their marriage, it will.