The act of communicating consistent love
By Jim Phelps with Ron Edmondson
On Valentine’s Day, a man doesn’t need to be reminded to shower his loved one with the special gift of a romantic card, a box of chocolates, an array of roses, or any other amorous accolade. The reminder is most valuable when he forgets his role outside of Valentine’s Day, a birthday, an anniversary, or another special day of the year.
Love is a constant, ongoing adventure, not an occasional day of the year that a man goes beneath his rough exterior to show a little tenderness toward his loving companion. Love is not connected with obtaining or fulfilling a desired behavior on a pre-assigned day of the year.
Love is unconditional and best epitomized by the love that Christ demonstrated for all of mankind. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us 1 John 3:16 NIV84, despite a person’s iniquity and sin.
There are no conditions — nor will there ever be any conditions — to receive His great love. There is only an inconceivable, genuine, heartfelt passion for people, confirmed by a love that completely sacrifices oneself for the betterment of the other. Submission is what sets the stage for a man’s love to be tempered by caring, tender affection as the stronger vessel.
A man is called to protect and nurture a woman, allowing her to benefit from his strength. Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life 1 Peter 3:7 NIV84.
Be attentive to Peter’s words, not the selfish and prideful thoughts or actions of one’s own desires. Sometimes, it takes intentional effort to be considerate of her feelings, concerns, hopes, and dreams.
Before Paul directs wives to submit to their husbands and husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church, it is incredibly important to notice his appeal to all followers: Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ Ephesians 5:21 NIV84. Don’t miss it, guys. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Even before Paul would give clear instructions for husbands and wives to love one another, it should already be resonating in the mind of a man to set aside his own interests to love and care for his female counterpart as Christ does the Church.
Nowhere in the Bible is there an exception to a man and woman’s mutual submission to one another. Hear this: the man’s role in relationship with a woman is best epitomized by Christ, the servant leader.
Ron Edmondson, Senior Pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, KY, leads one of the fastest growing churches in America. In a recent conversation with him, I asked, “How can a man express sacrificial love through servant leadership that meets the needs of his Valentine?”
He quickly replied, “Communicating love to our Valentine should be considered a never-ending, life-long commitment.” Here are three of his suggestions.
1. Continually learn her. All of us are changing. Our needs, wants and dreams are continually adapting to our experiences and the world around us. We demonstrate love by desiring to know even more the one we love.
Great couples ask questions of each other. They explore each other’s hearts and minds on deeper levels, uncovering the unspoken desires of the heart. They spend quality time together, even learning to love each other’s activities.
2. Constantly pursue her. All women want a certain amount of romance in the relationship. Many men would never consider themselves romantic, but the good news here is they get great credit for genuinely trying.
Strong couples keep dating on a regular basis. They pursue one another; giving no other relationship preeminence among this one. They avoid sameness and boredom, which is one of the leading causes of marriage failure. When men intentionally lead this effort, we demonstrate our concern for the relationship and our intent to keep the spark alive.
3. Consistently out-serve her. This one will be hard for most men, but this is a great way to use our competitive nature. When the goal is to out-serve our wives, we at least make progress towards doing so, and it generates a desire to be a servant leader in our homes.
Equally important in serving our wives is to provide the service to them that has the greatest value – not necessarily only the things the man likes or wants to do. It is hard not to love someone who serves you at this higher level of commitment.
Jim and his wife, Cori, are passionate followers of Christ. They work to
seek financial support and raise awareness for various nonprofits.
Jim is particularly interested in mobilizing men and growing small groups.
He is also available for small group networking.