Showing posts from September, 2014

Should You Follow Your Heart or Your Head?

I remember very clearly, as a young adult, struggling with the dilemma of should I make decisions according to my heart or to my head.  I always questioned what would be the best advice to follow - from my emotions or my head knowledge.  I wasn’t following God at that point, but I possessed a strong sense of right and wrong.  I knew that God would have a plan for me if I chose to accept it, but I ignored Him at that time.  Looking back, I realized He never ignored me.  He was there all along skillfully guiding me without my awareness of His hand on my life. As a young adult working full-time in an insurance company, I dreamed of touring around the country performing music. I hated the confinement of an eight-to-five job that I despised doing. After the divorce of my parents and leaving college with only one year under my belt, I didn’t have a great deal of confidence in myself.  The desire to play music, though, overpowered any doubts I had about my abilities. At the time, I d

Through the Valley

Vacation time is always an anticipated adventure that I can hardly wait to get out the door and begin.  My favorite vacations are in our motor home, and they are usually spent visiting family that I don’t get to see enough.  I enjoy it so much that returning home is something I don’t always look forward to.  I know it’s a return back to reality. We (especially us women) tend to ride on this rollercoaster ride called life, jumping from highs to lows at the flicker of an eye.  We rarely stand on that even keeled middle ground for very long.  Reality has a way of influencing our emotions, and we have to constantly be on guard. If we’re not careful, our times in the valley (our lows) may send us in a tail spin that turns us away from what’s really important - God and our spouse. Our relationships with God and with our spouses can often feel like a rollercoaster ride.  One day we’re high as a kite in love (with God and/or our spouse), and the next day, we may feel dismayed as w

Agape Love

Love, according to the New Testament, should be a deep, long-lasting commitment to principles, not an erratic, flesh-fed emotion that we are programmed to believe in.  If we put the fleshly feelings aside, we can discover love as God intended. The Greek word for that kind of love is agape.  Agape depicts the love of God.  It is a very difficult word to translate properly from Greek to English.  Rick Renner describes it very well in “Sparkling Gems.” "Agape occurs when an individual sees, recognizes, understands, or appreciates the value of an object or a person, causing the viewer to behold this object or person in great esteem, awe, admiration, wonder, and sincere appreciation.  Such great respect is awakened in the heart of the observer for the object or person he is beholding that he is compelled to love it.  In fact, his love for that person or object is so strong that it is irresistible."  Agape is a love that has no strings attached.  It isn’t looking for what it c

More Greek Words for Love

While most sources mention four Greek words for love, Ed Wheat also uses the word  epithumia  in “Love Life for Every Married Couple.” Other sources I’ve looked at concerning the Greek words for love seem to combine epithumia with eros.  Epithumia means “strong desire” - to long for, or covet. Negatively, it is translated as lust in the Bible. Positively, it means desire. Married couples should have a strong physical desire for one another. Couples (often women) seem to confuse this aspect of love with feelings. Sex is a very important part of marriage and a true indicator of the health of a marriage. When couples allow their negative feelings to interfere with the frequency of their sex life, trouble begins. Couples that marry naturally carry a physical desire for each other (if they marry for the right reasons.) That desire needs to be nurtured and kept alive for a marriage to survive.  It is very important that we continue to meet the needs of our spouse in order to have a h

Greek Words for Love

One of the biggest difficulties we face in understanding love is the fact that we use the term so loosely.  We LOVE Oprah.  We LOVE hot fudge sundaes.  We LOVE our spouse.  Unfortunately, many of us are more emphatic about our love for hot fudge sundaes than our spouse.  We too often gage our love according to our feelings. In the Greek language, there are five different words for our word LOVE.  I want to look at them to show you a broader aspect of what love is.  You will see that there is much more to love than our feelings of the moment.  Feelings are not mentioned in any of these definitions. Stergo  (also called storge) is the Greek word that represents the love for our children and our family.  It means ‘to be devoted’.  Although there are exceptions, we don’t usually divorce our family members.  Some family members may intentionally go for periods without talking, but in a crisis, they will usually join together.  We may not always like the members of our family, may not alw