I’m just not in love anymore.
It’s a phrase we hear often enough, a phrase that’s no longer attached to any one generation in particular. In fact, wives who have been married for decades are just as likely to utter these words as those who’ve only been married a short time.
I’m not in love anymore.
I’m sure the words pain you as much as they pain me because I remember a time when the same thought reverberated through my heartstrings.
Yes, me, a pastor’s wife who once upon a time fell madly in love with an enthusiastic young youth minister, only to quickly learn that marriage wasn’t all happily-ever-after wedded bliss.
We struggled off and on for the better part of a decade before learning how to consistently enjoy being married to each other!
But I’m not in love anymore, and my husband isn’t in love with me either, what else can I possibly do?
Personally, I have some strong feelings about those words because I have learned that real love, true love is a choice, not a feeling – despite what our me-first culture would have us believe.
However, let’s set aside my personal feelings for now and dive right into what the Word of God has to say on the issue.
6 Essential Scriptures about Love:
1. According to scripture, our hearts are deceitful. We cannot trust the feeling of being not in love anymore.
Feelings come and go, sometimes without rhyme or reason, so we cannot trust our hearts to lead us in God’s ways. Instead, we must rely on what we know to be true, and we find such truth in His Word.
“The heart is deceitful above all thing and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)
2. God’s Word reveals that loving each other isn’t an option, it’s a command!
Whether or not we feel like loving our spouses, God expects us to love them in our choices.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)
3. According to the Bible, agape love is the kind of love that sacrifices self in favor of another.
Jesus gave us the greatest example of agape love at the cross.
We are to follow Jesus’ example in living out that kind of sacrificial love. Agape love might be as simple as making a meal for your spouse, or ironing his clothes, or as difficult as keeping silent even when a spouse is wrong.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-13 (NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
So how do we know what God expects from us in living out agape love? After all, no one wants to be a doormat!
We must abide in Him and be sensitive to the Spirit, who will guide us when conflicts arise.
The next time the Spirit nudges you to do that kind thing for a loved one, pay attention and choose to obey even if you don’t feel like it!
4. The infamous love chapter (1 Corinthians 13) reminds us that God has high standards for what real love looks like.
According to these verses, we can be obedient in so many other areas, but without love, all of those good works are meaningless!
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)
5. God’s Word claims that if we don’t love others, then we don’t really know God – ouch!
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)
6. We are capable of loving others (even when we don’t feel like it) because Christ loved us first!
Sometimes we’re tempted to doubt this truth. We wrongly believe that we cannot love our spouses, when in fact, we have all power to do just that in Christ!
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (NIV)
Even when the loving feelings just aren’t there, we can choose to act on the very real love that flows from Jesus.
We choose love out of gratefulness for what Christ has done for us.
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After all, I’m not perfect, and neither are you, yet Christ loved us at our very worst when we were unlovable, unworthy, enslaved to sin. We can and should demonstrate that same Christ-like love toward our spouses, even when they’re wrong, even when they are at their worst.
Friends, I know biblical love is not an easy standard to live up to. I fail so often in my own life!
I know the frustration of living in a broken marriage. I know the despair of feeling like things will never change.
I know the sorrow of feeling I’m not in love anymore.
But I also know the joy of seeing the Father change my own heart, as well as my husband’s heart. I know the joy of renewed hope.
I even know the joy of rekindled feelings when we got to the sweet spot of marriage, the “for better” that waited for us on the other side of the “for worse.”
So you’re not in love anymore – that may be true.
Your feelings may have changed, but God’s Word is clear: love is a command, a choice, and the power to love comes not from our feelings but from Christ alone.
Let me encourage to choose love today, and when you do, may you reap the rewards that are promised!
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12 (NIV)
Above all, don’t give up hope that your marriage can change. Let that change begin with you.
As my gift to you to encourage you along those lines, I’m offering the lovely printable below to all subscribers! Just fill in your information and look for your confirmation email (be sure to check the spam folder if you don’t see it right away).
Please remember that you are not alone, my friend. Fellow warrior wives have lived in these same trenches and have won the battle for healthy marriage by God’s design. And the Lord your God is with you in all things!
For further reading: I Didn’t Want My Husband Anymore
Amy Christensen says
Love is a choice! The feelings are wonderful, but they can ebb and flow, come and go and believe me as we age the go comes more often than the come. Ha, ha. But my hubby and I still love each other because we decided too! Thanks for sharing. – Amy
Well said Jen. Keep up the good work of encouragement through living out God’s Word.
Really excellent post! I am so impressed with all the posts I have read from your blog so far. You are definitely doing good things here!
Thank you, Carah! I’m so pleased that the Lord is using these words here.
How do you love a man that constantly berad you.
Verbally abuses you? That is an alcoholic? I don’t
Want any physical contact from him anymore. I am
Struggling to exist in the same household. I use to
Cry but tears are all gone now. I use to argue ,beg
Plead with him . I have supported all the rehabs, etc
But he continues to drink. I am empty inside. I don’t
Hi, Cherry, I am so sorry for the hardship you are going through in your marriage! First of all, I would advise you to seek out the help of a good counselor. I’ve learned in my own marriage that when a spouse is acting in manipulative or abusive ways, one of the most loving things you can do is set down some boundaries. A counselor can help you learn how to do this! I’m not talking about marriage counseling (although that may be helpful as well later on), but personal counseling for you. I also recommend the books In Sheep’s Clothing and Boundaries in Marriage. I do not believe the Lord expects us to become doormats to abuse. A counselor can also advise you what steps to take to protect yourself and also how long to wait to see if any “change” on his part is truly lasting. These things can be very confusing, I know. Please don’t wait any longer to seek out help from a licensed counselor! And if you have questions, feel free to email me! I am praying for you today!