Mar 9

Affectionate Love

2006 at 2:09 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Marriage | Sex & Romance

The final topic in our mini-series on marriage is affection. When I asked my husband, Mike, if affection was among his “top three,” I received a resounding “oh definitely!” I suspected as much.

I find it interesting that Scripture highlights an affectionate love as a priority for us as wives. In Titus 2 we are commanded to love our husbands, and the word for love there is the Greek word, phileo.

My mom defines phileo for us in Feminine Appeal: “This word describes the love between very close friends. It is a tender, affectionate, passionate kind of love. It emphasizes enjoyment and respect in a relationship.”

It is also interesting to note (as my mom writes) that phileo is used instead of agape. You see,

“The Greek word agape refers to a self-sacrificing love. It’s a love that gives to others even if nothing is given back. Yet Paul didn’t use agape in describing the love we are to cultivate for our husbands. He chose phileo. In fact, in commands specifically related to wives, agape is never used. Now this does not mean we have been released from needing to extend this kind of love. [However] I believe women are generally weaker in exhibiting an affectionate love—thus the instructions given to us in Titus 2.

In fact, women will often continue to sacrifice and serve their husbands even if all tender feelings for them have subsided. I have met women like that! They obviously do not respect their husbands. They certainly do not have tender feelings for them. Yet that does not hinder these women from continuing to wash their husbands’ clothes, cook their meals, and clean the house for them.

How often I am guilty of this same thing! I frequently get bogged down with serving Mike, all the while neglecting one of the things that mean the most to him. For all you wives who can relate, we’ll try to inspire you tomorrow with some ideas for showering your husband with a tender love.