Loving the Unlovable Lover
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 at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a ESV)
Part 3: CHARACTER – Immaturity embraces wrong thinking (Part 3 of a 3 part series, “3 Enemies of Sex” )
There are 3 Enemies of Sex
The first enemy is absorbing any negative cultural influences that undermine sex. The second is picking up sex-killing religious attitudes from the church. And the third is spiritual and emotional immaturity of either spouse.
Any one of these can kill sex in the best of marriages, and if one or the other spouse, or both, have all three then the end is near. However, we all entered marriage relatively immature, emotionally and spiritually, especially if we married young. There is hope.
God wants us to mature in Christ, discern the negative influences of the culture, and have a sex-positive, non-religious attitude toward sex. This is not done overnight. It takes time and patience but it is possible with God.
The Joy of Growing Old Together
The joy of growing old together is growing in maturity with God and with each other. As we mature, sex improves with our increased maturity. However, some of us never grow up and this is hard on our spouse. We have the choice to grow or not. We are not robots. God gave us free will. Choose to grow.
The Immature Lover
What does an immature lover look like? Well, they exhibit the opposite of the loving attributes in our passage today. An immature lover is impatient, insists on their own way, gives up when the going gets tough, and is often irritable and resentful about sex.
It’s hard to have sex with this person. However, we were this person at one time – or some iteration of them. Maturity is growing, not arriving so be slow to point a finger.
The Mature Lover
What does a mature lover look like? Everything on our list plus the capacity to love the immature lover. This capacity to love the unlovable lover comes from outside ourselves. The Fruit of the Spirit, love, is a by-product of growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. (See 2 Peter 3:18))
If you married an immature person, and we were all somewhere on the spectrum of immaturity when we married, don’t withhold sex because they are immature but pray for their maturity.
Also, treat your spouse as if they were mature; that is, extend grace to your unlovable lover just as Christ extends grace to us every day, a sinner in need of grace not condemnation.
We have sex with the unlovable lover primarily because we promised to have sex with them the day we got married. A mature person understands the covenant commitment of marriage and their conjugal responsibilities.
What’s love got to do with it? Everything.
Bible Thought: Maturity is extending grace and withholding condemnation.
Prayer: Father, help me to pick up my conjugal responsibilities and lay down any resentment or bitterness toward my spouse. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Just do it,
Rene & Gloria