It’s so important for a married couple to understand what makes each of them feel loved.

The language of love for a wife might be affection and small gifts. The language of love for a husband might be just showing up at a ball game.

And we’d better understand what God’s language of love is—because Jesus told us, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

That statement in the New Testament was originally written in Greek—and the ancient Greeks used a variety of words to describe love. One word for “love” is eros, meaning sexual love. Another is philia, meaning brotherly love. And a third word for “love” is agape—not a feeling, but a decision.

Agape is not the kind of love that says, “I’m going to derive pleasure from you by possessing you.” Agape doesn’t say, “I’ll love you just as long as you love me.” Agape is a decision that says, “I’ll be primarily concerned with your well-being, regardless of your condition, and irrespective of your reaction.”

Our relationships and our world are starving for that agape love.

As you depend on the Spirit and obey God’s Word, God will mold and fill your heart so you can learn to love Him and others with a genuine agape love—the kind of love that can transform your marriage and have a ripple effect around the world.

More on this topic:
Bring new Life to your marriage
The guaranteed way to win with your spouse
How you can forgive even when it seems impossible
Jill answers questions about relationships and singleness