The Facet of the Capacity
to Love, No. 3 -
We are looking at the techniques for a
Christian to become a
mature believer. We are now engaged in
the study of the fourth facet of the pentagon our souls, and that is
capacity to love. To love God, to love
your opposite particular man or woman, and to your friends. Now all of this is based upon Bible
doctrine. That’s the foundation of
pentagon. Bible doctrine which we have
learned and which we have exercised positive volition toward so that we
received it in a permanent usable form residing in the compartments of
One of our senior girls came to me
this week and told me
that she entered a class in high school and the teacher said I want all
to write a paper on love. So she reached
for her notebook where she has her church notes. She
just happened to have them right
there. She opened it to the last two
Sundays where we have been talking about the capacity to love. She said everybody else in the class wrote a
paper that dealt with love on an emotional basis. Love
as an emotional expression.
When they came around to reading her
paper, she had written
a paper on love that presented the biblical meaning of the Greek words
relative to being a mental attitude concept.
She said the teacher read this and just raved. She said, “This is wonderful. Isn’t this wonderful?
This is tremendous.” And
our high school girl was just broken up
about this, because she isn’t all that much to begin with. And here she’s writing a paper on love
making a big hit in the classroom. And
then she started to leave, and I said, “Hey what kind of grade
did you get?” And she said, “I
got an A+.” And she walked off
She has learned something about love,
and it was interesting
that when she sat in a high school classroom, everybody in the place,
minute love was mentioned, thought about the emotional bit. Here’s a girl that says, “Wait a
minute.” God says love is something
different, and He’s
the only one that knows. God is
love. It’s His quality to begin with. And anything we have in the way of love we
get from Him. God says this is a mental
esteem sacrificial seeking the welfare of the object of your affection.
Well it is no wonder her paper made
quite a hit, and it was
worth an A+, because she had some Bible doctrine orientation that gave
exactly right slant on the quality of love that nobody else in that
apparently shared. And therefore you had
a whole class of high school kids who were totally incapable of even
the subject of love, let alone knowing what it’s all about. And they’re the people who are going to
out and get married and have families and be leaders in society.
This is a very strategic facet of
maturity. It is a great thing that the
Word of God
informs us on this subject because it is not natural to man to have
of love. The Greek words were
which referred to mental esteem, free of ill will, sacrificially
welfare of the object of our love. There
is another Greek word “phileo” used in the New Testament
which speaks of
emotional attachment. It’s an
unreasoning emotional expression. But
when God says, “Love one another” as believers, He’s
talking about our mental
esteem. When He says, “Love your
He’s not telling you to have an emotional attachment for somebody
couldn’t likely have an emotional attachment on the field of
combat. But He is telling you to have no
will toward the individual.
Love in the biblical sense is not
natural to man. It is something we learn. Now when our soul goes negative to sound
doctrine, we become calloused, we found, to the plan of God. And when we are calloused to the plan of God,
we destroy our capacity to love in any of the three categories. Callouses on the facets of our soul cause our
physical eyes to misinterpret what we see.
Our whole being is disoriented as we saw from the
Jewish people. That even as they stood
right realizing they
made a mistake not to go into Kadeshbarnea, and they repented, the
they were back in fellowship, and then the first thing they did was
wrong decision. They said, “We
have gone in. We’re going to
go.” And Moses said,
“Don’t go. God is not with
you.” And they went anyhow. The Bible says they were killed and they were
How could that be?
because of this long span of time in which they had gone negative
their year of training in the wilderness, and the resistance of
demonstration of His truth and of His care, the result was that the
were so built up that they were totally incapable of responding. Their minds were just insensitive. Their emotions were insensitive.
Their wills were insensitive. And
all that they were taking in as a result of
their “mataiotes,” as a result of their emptiness, their
spiritual vacuum was
the mind of Satan, their human viewpoint, their lack of any capacities
express toward God in faith rest or in love, or in prayer.
They were totally disoriented. Consequently,
even after they confessed, the
callouses were still there. That’s
it’s a very very grievous thing to go along and be indifferent or
resistant to sound
doctrine because you put another layer and another layer and another
layer. These people, though they were in
fellowship, still found themselves resisting the very thing that God
them to do.
The callouses work against you while
you’re trying to get
them peeled off and get back oriented to God.
One lady came to me last Sunday morning after the
service and said, “I
have a good illustration of what you’re talking about. I have a very bad corn on my foot”
kind of a super duper callous, you know).
She said I went to the doctor and the doctor said,
“The trouble is the
shoes you’re wearing. Here’s a
sandal-like shoe. You can wear that shoe
and throw the others away.” She
the others away? I can’t throw all
shoes away. I have all kinds of
and shapes, and I can’t do that.” She
said, “There was my problem. Because
didn’t want to remove the thing that was making the callous, my
shoes, I still
have my corn.”
When you don’t want to give up
the thing that’s causing your
callous which is your negative volition, you’re going to keep it,
going to keep building it up and building it up and building it up. So some of you are going to have to start
throwing away your shoes, your spiritual shoes that are causing your
callouses or this condition will continue.
And you will come to the point where you will be
disoriented to the Word of God and people will sometimes be surprised
you may be a Christian who has been around church for a long time. They’ll be completely surprised when
you moving in a certain direction. And
here you are. We expect a good deal from
you and yet there are callouses on your soul that are working against
against you and against you.
Now we’re going to view the
expressions of biblical love in
these particular three directions that we’ve been talking about. First of all, love toward God.
Abraham in the Old Testament is an excellent
example of the progression of love toward God.
Abraham begins with minimum love for God. Love toward God in this agape sense is not a
natural quality. At 75 years of age,
Abraham is called out of an idol-worshipping city of Ur of the Chaldees
to a new land that he would be given. He
is promised great personal and national prominence with great blessing
So Abraham leaves Ur.
He takes his father. He
wife, his nephew, his servants, and his possessions (Genesis 11:31
– 12:5). God’s love provided a
perfect special plan
for Abraham’s life. This plan was
complete and it was personalized. This
plan included understanding concerning salvation. God
gave him the gospel and God gave him
salvation (Galatians 3:8-9). Now God
explained all this. This was great. Here was this man out of an idol-worshipping
background, a magnificent city, but idolaters to the core, and God
explains to him
the gospel and salvation. He gave him
divine protection and He gave him great personal prosperity (Genesis
14-16, 17). He gave him a great
posterity. He promised that He would
have descendants that would number as the sands on the seashore and the
in the sky (Genesis 12:2, 13:16). He
gave him inner happiness and certain peace (Genesis 15:1).
And best of all, from the point of view of
Abraham and Sarah, he promised him a son and an heir (Genesis 17:15-16). There was no doubt that God loved Abraham,
and it was amply demonstrated.
On the other hand, there was something
else when it came to
the love of Abraham for God. Our love
for God has to be cultivated. It is
something that has to grow. We’re
talking about that “agape” type of love.
And God’s love for us, we’re told, draws
us because of His love
exercised toward us. 1 John 4:19 says,
love Him because He first loved us.” The
more we know about God, the more we love Him.
And the way we know about God is through doctrine.
So love for God is dependent upon how
much you know about
God. How much you know about how he
works. How much you know about His
promises that you can claim. How much
you know about prophecies so you know where the world is moving so that
not engage in foolish useless activities that are countering to the
God. The more we know about God, the
more we esteem Him and therefore love Him.
Abraham began at this
level—minimal love for God. This was
evidenced in several ways. God said,
“I want you to leave your family
and get out of Ur of the Chaldees.” Well
he loved God enough to leave this city, but he did not live Him enough
his family. He left his father’s
he did not break the family ties. He put
love of family before love of God. The
divine principal was clearly declared by the Lord Jesus which was
God was saying to Abraham. Matthew 10:37
says, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy
of me. And he that loveth son or daughter
me is not worthy of me.”
So God had to teach Abraham that love
for God comes before
all other family ties. He proceeded to
teach Abraham this by first of all removing his father Terah (Genesis
11:32). Then he caused trouble between his
herdsmen of Lot and his own herdsmen, which necessitated their
separating. So Lot left (Genesis 13:8-11).
Then there was the trouble over the
foolish move of bringing
Hagar into the family as a secondary wife for Abraham, literally a
in order to produce an heir on their own, thinking that they had to
fulfill His promise. And God removed
Hagar and her son Ishmael and sent them away (Genesis 21:9-14). So that God removed this problem for Abraham
and taught him to love God more than family.
The result was that Abraham learned,
and he moved up to a
second stage which was a medium of love for God. Things
had moved upward. Things had improved. He had developed to the point where Genesis
17:20-21 tells us that he fully accepted that God’s promises
would be fulfilled
through Isaac alone. Now that was
improvement. He had moved up in his love
for God that he
was going to look to God to fulfill through this son.
And He was moving toward what we’re talking
about here—building a spiritual structure in your soul. That’s what Abraham was doing. Now he could love God a good deal more than
he could at first.
Because he had moved to the point
where he knew God’s
essence, he was able to appeal for the believers that might be in Sodom
Gomorrah when God said, “I’m going to destroy the
city” (Genesis 18:
20-23). He knew that God was a god of
justice. That God is always fair. He knew this because he knew the essence of
God. He had developed that part in his
doctrinal understanding, and he appealed to God for those people. Well only Lot and his two daughters were
saved, but God responded to what he was in response to Abraham’s
At Gerar, God’s grace was
demonstrated to Abraham and he
learned a little more about God. Remember
that when they came to Gerar, Abraham was afraid of King Abimelech. This was Abimelech I (the first).
He was afraid that Abimelech would murder him
in order to take Sarah into his harem.
So what he did was agreed with Sarah that they would
say that she is his
sister rather than his wife so that he would not be on the king’s
In Genesis 20:2, Abraham said of Sarah
his wife, “She is my
sister.” And Abimelech, king of
sent and took Sarah. Well it saved
Abraham’s life, but he put his wife woman in the wrong position,
in a bad
position, because the king proceeded to take her into the harem. God intervened however and the king
discovered the truth. Now this was a
half-truth. He didn’t exactly lie. In Genesis 20:12, Abraham says, “And yet
indeed she is my sister. She is the
daughter of my father but not the daughter of my mother, and she became
wife.” She was his half-sister. So he was kind of playing on words when he
said he wasn’t exactly telling a lie when he said, “She is
But Abimelech discovered the fraud and
he was horrified at
what Abraham had done. Abraham should have
had a relaxed mental attitude and should have had enough love for God
this problem to Him to protect them against Abimelech.
But he did not. Yet God
in grace showed mercy, protected
Abraham and Sarah, and forgave Abimelech.
This moved Abraham in time up to a
third stage where we are
all interested in coming to, and that is where he is in maximum love
God. Isaac was born. The
family’s joy is complete (Genesis
21:1-8). And then God speaks to Abraham,
and He gives him a fantastic direction.
He said, “I want you to take the boy Isaac. I want you to go up Mount Moriah.
I want you to build an altar. I
want you to lay out this teenage on this
altar. I want you to take a knife, kill
him, and burn him in sacrifice.”
Now can you imagine what would have
happened had God given
Abraham instructions like that back here at minimum stage of his love
God? What kind of a person would it take
now to get a direction like that, to respond to it?
You really have to be in love with God to
make a response to something like that.
Here’s what Abraham did.
He obeyed unquestioningly. There
was no bargaining on his part. There was
no delaying tactics this time like he was at minimum stage and God
out and leave your family.” In
22:3-4 when young Isaac says, “Father, we’ve got the wood
and we’ve got the
matches, so to speak, but we don’t have any lamb.” He gave a confident answer to the boy,
going to provide” (Genesis 22:7-8).
There was no indication that Abraham
resented God. He did not pity Isaac. He did not say, “This beautiful young
boy. What a shame to take his life. There was no pity for Isaac.
He didn’t feel guilty, and he didn’t
what he was going to say to Sarah when he got home without the boy
either. He just proceeded up the mountain,
the servants behind at a certain point and proceeded to the privacy of
sacrifice because he was under maximum love for God.
Do you know what was going on in
Abraham’s mind? I’ll tell you.
Hebrews 11:19 says of Abraham on this occasion,
“Accounting that God was
able to raise him (Isaac) up even from the dead from which also he
in a figure.” Because Abraham had
maximum love for God, Abraham said in his own heart, “I can go up
mountain. I can offer this boy in
sacrifice. And when I’m all through,
going to raise him back to life, and we’re going to walk back
mountain. And God’s purposes,
they may have been will have been fulfilled.”
Because he knew that God said, “Abraham, not
through Ishmael, but
through Isaac the Jewish people will develop.
They will become the leading nation of the world. They will become the apple of my eye, through
Isaac.” And he believed it, and he
proceeded on that basis.
How could he do this?
Only because he had a maximum love for God. You remember that God stepped in.
He stopped the sacrifice (Genesis 22:15-18),
and the result of this maximum love for God was rewarded in James 2:23. It tells us that Abraham was called “the
friend of God.” And the Scripture
fulfilled which saith, ‘Abraham believed God.’”
There’s our word for positive volition to the
Word of God. “… and it was
imputed unto him as
righteousness, and he was called the friend of God.
You and I are God’s friends when we come to
this maximum position of love for Him.
And you cannot come to this position of love for Him
without the Word of
Proof in Obedience
So what’s the proof that you
have arrived at maximum love
for God? The proof that you have come to
this position is obedience to the Word of God.
2 John 6 says, “And this is love
(“agape”): That we walk after
His commandments. This is the commandment,
That, as ye have
heard from the beginning, ye shall walk in it.”
And when we obey his Word, obey His commandments, we
have evidence that
we have come to a maximum position of love for God.
The result will be that we give Him first
place in our lives.
Colossians 1:18 says,
“That in all
things He might have the preeminence.”
When you give God the number one spot, you have
indication that you have
come to maximum love. That is love to
God. Abraham is the example.
Now love to the opposite sex,
your particular man or woman, is another expression of developing
love. And again this is the same kind of
love. This is this mental attitude
esteem position. Now there’s a lot
said on this. The tapes that you see
displayed on the table this morning cover it in considerable detail,
and if you
haven’t listened to those you’re at a disadvantage, and
I’d suggest you get
hold of them. There is a great deal that
the Bible has to say about marital love, but it comes under this same
of mental attitude outlook.
A husband is told to love his
wife, and it is interesting that a wife is never told to love her
husband. If you don’t understand
that principal, you’re
already in trouble in marriage. A
husband is to have a mental attitude free of ill will toward his wife,
wife is told to what? Respect her
husband. To respond to him.
And respect is drawn out because he has
mental attitude love toward her. If he
fails in that, she cannot respond. She
has nothing to respond to. And she
cannot respect him, no matter what he is, who he is, or what he does. Always there is respect when that mental
attitude love is there. And that finds
expression in this emotional “phileo” quality as well.
The experience of love. It’s easy to fall in love.
And right back out of it again.
We have quite a beautiful testimonial here
this morning on people who have fallen madly in love and fallen madly
love with the same person. It would
make the whole service more interesting to a lot of us, but you can
own experiences with that. You may move
in a dream world of misconceptions about a person.
People look at you and you say, “Listen
friend. If you fall in love with
somebody, that is not a signal that you have met the person you should
And yet those high school
wrote that paper on love, this would be the first concept they would
have. If you were to ask them, “How
do you decide
to marry somebody?” They would say,
I’ve fallen in love with them.” Where
did you get that idea? Human
viewpoint. Falling in love is not the
signal that that’s the person to marry.
Love at first sight is no reliable guide. The person you’re taken up with at first
be a person who is most unsuitable and a real misery for you in
marriage. It takes a man and a woman with
to know true love, and therefore it is not for kids.
I had another 19-year-old
girl this past week who was shocked when I said I wouldn’t marry
including 19-year-olds, because she thought she was so mature. She doesn’t have a father (in the
picture). That’s part of the
problem. She has a younger brother while
talking over problems of the brother, in his life, who is a teenager,
mother said, “We don’t have a father (in the home) so I
treat him as the man of
the house.” I said, “I think
mistake. Until he’s ready to be
husband, he isn’t ready to be anybody’s man.
And he ain’t ready to be anybody’s
husband. He isn’t ready to be the
man of anybody’s
house.” It takes some maturity to
the role of marriage, and falling in love is not the clue.
Love with the opposite sex is an exclusive
thing. It’s not a series of
so don’t push things beyond control.
There is a pattern for true
between men and women. We can summarize
it just briefly this morning. Adam had
no right mate so God made a woman. When
God brought this woman to him, he recognized her as his particular
(Genesis 2:23). The purpose of marital
love is laid out for us in the Word of God.
It is fellowship for man’s soul.
Genesis 2:18 tells us that they fit one another. She was a helper who was fit for him, and
that means that all facets of their soul coordinated.
Her mind fit his. Her
will fit his. Her emotions fit his.
What the women’s lib is
is the idea that a woman should fit a man because this puts her in the
of subjection and him in the position of authority.
There’s nothing more monstrous and ridiculous
and idiotic than the women’s lib, and there is no greater misery
to be brought
into a woman’s life because this is bad doctrine.
This violates every principal by which God
has made men and women. And yet it is
good human viewpoint. God says, “I
two people who fit each other perfectly, and I bring you together. The man to fulfill the woman’s soul and
her body (Genesis 3:16b, Ephesians 5:22-23).
When he does this for her, she becomes his glory (1
The purpose of marital love
fellowship for fulfillment of soul and body, for the establishment of
1:28)—the home and family, setting the pattern for stable
society, and sex has
an ennobling factor only within marriage.
Otherwise it has a degrading factor.
God has prepared a marriage partner for you. God will bring you together without your
hustling around looking for that person, and when you meet, you will
that you have met your beloved (Song of Solomon 5:6).
Only ignorance of the Word views marriage as
some kind of a trial situation.
The basic requirements for a
marriage: If you listen to the tapes,
you will find 24 specific guidelines.
And we tell you on the tapes that if you don’t
like any of these, it is
because you yourself fall short in that particular guideline, and
you’re willing to settle for less. I’ve
had any number of people to say, “Oh, you just want us to marry
just perfect.” And I say,
right. Somebody who is just perfect for
you.” And if you’re willing to
somebody who doesn’t meet one of these guidelines, it’s
because you yourself
are a failure in that guideline so you’re willing to settle for
But there are some basic
requirements for a happy marriage. One
of them is that you do not marry an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14). God says you are not to yoke animals who are
unsuited to one another together. An ox
and a donkey never make a good team because they’re too different
in too many
ways. You have priorities and values and
standards that are so varied between believers and unbelievers that the
conflicts are inevitable. You must have
a compatibility and a common interest. Amos
3:3 says, “How can two walk together except they be agreed?”
So you don’t marry an
if you are a Christian, and you don’t marry somebody who’s
spiritually. I am appalled by how many
Christians are forever going around and they’re marrying some
character, some gal,
that’s way out spiritually beneath them, and they’re
willing to bring misery
and a hell on earth condition in their lives.
And you would think they would know better.
Somebody observed a young
that used to be around here some years ago, and was quite a resister. They observed her in a washateria, and when
she walked out, the lady who runs the washateria said to another
you know that person.” The other
said, “Yes, I know her well. She’s
sad. So sad. She’s
got her second husband now and he’s on
the way out. So sad.”
It’s hard to believe
people sat right here in this auditorium and got the best doctrine in
best information, the best guidelines in the world, and blew it,
thought they could listen to the world around them.
Or they thought they knew about love on an
emotional basis. And they didn’t
understand that in marriage you have to learn to love from the Word of
In marriage the right man has
authority over his particular woman (Ephesians 5:23).
The right man is responsible to care, to
love, for the safety and the spiritual welfare of his right woman. Did you get that? For
the spiritual welfare of his right
woman. God’s line of authority for a
woman is through her husband, and it is his business to see to it that
placed in the best possible situation for her spiritual welfare.
These men who are in seminary
very often are in a position of very grave danger with their wives. I’ve seen more seminary men cut
out of great opportunity of Christian service and Christian experience
they were married to a wife who did not have their spiritual capacity,
excuse her by saying, “Well, I’m in class.
I’m always being fed. I’m
great things out of the word of God.
This poor little gal is not. And
by that very token that poor little gal is not in the position to
you should go to church.
And I’ve seen more
put screws on their husbands and take them off into some
cornball regular old Bible church that was cranking out the same of
nothing to the great loss of their own preparation for the ministry,
never occurred to them that if they had a little child in that home,
wouldn’t ask that kid whether he should brush his teeth or go to
bed or sit up
and watch television. But it never
occurred to them that God says, “I make you spiritually
responsible. I make you responsible for
condition of your wife and her welfare.
And if she doesn’t know better, then you make
the decisions that are
necessary for her to come to know better.”
And don’t presume that
50-50 proposition. That is not
love. That is not sacrificial taking
care that the quality of “agape” love implies.
You are responsible for her spiritual welfare
(Ephesians 5:25, 29, Song
of Solomon 2:4b).
God’s plan for marriage
one man for one woman (1 Corinthians 7:2-4), faithful physically to one
mutual claims upon each other. Divorce
and harems are not in God’s plan.
Divorce comes from the distortion that’s
imposed upon us from the old
sin nature. Don’t defend the
that are necessary.
Last Christmas I talked to a
thoroughly modern seminary student in Chicago.
He was appalled by the idea that divorce is out of
Christians. Now there are a couple of
reasons why God justifies divorce in certain circumstances, but divorce
of line. It is again a distortion of
understanding “agape” love. So
this is because you never would have gotten into it in the first place. You wouldn’t be seeking to divorce this
if you had made sure you could respect him and respond to him in the
place. If you found and really were sure
because you had a long enough basis of experience that you could
him, you wouldn’t be trying to divorce him now.
Or you to divorce here.
God says this is a twisted
distortion of our being because of the old sin nature within us. It is not the plan of God.
So don’t give me the gaff about
meanness, lack of mutual concerns and interests, and everything else
line. That’s important and
you should have thought of, but God says once you commit a thing, you
committed. Like my number one son has
said, “Christians are in a really bad position.
They only have one shot at marriage.
The world can go around and try it again.” So make sure, if you want real happiness, that
it’s one shot. That’s maximum
plan for you.
Abraham was in trouble when
to his wife Sarah. When Sarah came and
started talking to him about helping God to fulfill his plan for an
him to take a concubine in the servant girl Hagar, he should have
talking and put her in her place right quick.
Instead, like a do-do, Abraham sat there and he
listened to her because
he was at minimum love for God, so he was unable to respond with
to what God had promised that He would do.
Solomon, with his thousand
fell from a spiritually magnificent position to where he was a pathetic
character at the end of his life who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes,
nine-tenths of which tells you what is not true, but is human
viewpoint, as he
discovered how there was all vanity and nothing. He
gives you one thing after another in that
book that he tried and tried and tried. And
finally he came back. Doctrine—that’s
the answer. There is where I made my
mistake. When I left that, I left
everything. The right man and the right
can destroy their right love by jealousy (Song of Solomon 8:6).
We have an illustration of
life in Genesis 24 through 27. It’s
story of Abraham securing a wife for Isaac.
How would you go about securing a wife for your son? Your son comes to you and says, “Dad,
graduated from college three times, I have four degrees, I’ve
been to trade
school five times, I’m 35 years old, and I’d like to have a
wife. Would you find one for me? Now, what could be better?
A smart boy who knows a few things.
He can probably earn a living now in our
complex world, and he wants you to get him a girlfriend.
Well, that’s what Isaac had to do. This is about the way it was with Isaac.
And so daddy Abraham takes
servant Eleazar and says, “We’re going to get this boy a
wife. And he tells him how to proceed, and
very interesting to read this story as to how Abraham proceeded to get
for his son. First of all, he said this
girl has to have the same spiritual outlook as Isaac does.
Therefore we can’t go over here to these
beauties that they have over here in Canaan.
The Canaanite girls. These
beauties when they run their Miss Canaan pageants.
And these girls come through. Some
of these girls from Moab, oh they are
really something when they put on that Midnight From Moab perform, they
something. And Abraham said, “No,
girls are beauties, but we’re going to get a girl for Isaac,
number one, who
has the same spiritual outlook as he does.
We won’t object if she looks good, but first
she’s got to be spiritually
So naturally he had to go
his own people, and that’s where he sent Eleazar, to go back to
had come from, to his family where he could find a girl spiritually
Isaac. This is why, young people,
wise for you to seek the approving confirmation of your parents before
marry somebody. When you decide
getting kind of serious about somebody, you had better let your parents
it before you get yourself too emotionally tied up because they may
throw a few
cautions and observations in your direction that you haven’t
thought of. Experience in marriage comes
only after you’re
married, and that’s too late to use it.
So take advantage of your parents’ experience,
and before you get
married, get their approval for your selection.
I have discovered that people
do this have fantastically satisfying marriages because their parents
their children’s weakness and they have the experience to analyze
involved in these two people joining together that the individuals
do not have. I’ve also noticed that
young people around here who have bucked their parents when their
trying to put cautions and put a little restraint on them, and their
were perfectly right, and they had perfectly good insight; I’ve
found that when
those young people buck their parents that they’ve had their ups
and down and
their real problems. Some of them have
fractured apart and some of them are hanging together.
But it’s not the best that it could have
It’s not old-fashioned
to go to
your parents and ask them. I was 23
years and a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps when I went to
father and asked him if he thought it was alright if I got married to
blonde. And I don’t think that was
bad an idea. Not too bad an idea. So don’t think you’re such a
your parents don’t know anything because they’ve got
insights. They know you.
They’ll let you know. And
he put his hand out and he shook my hand,
and he agreed it was a good bargain.
The girl that Eleazar was
get for Isaac, first of all, had to be spiritually oriented to same
insight that Isaac was. Not his
spiritual equal perhaps. He was going to
be leader. But she could not be a do-do
when it came to spiritual things. So the
Canaanite girls were out. Isaac was
content to wait until God provided the marriage partner.
Eleazar then proceeded with the home ground
of Abraham, and he said, “God, I know that in marriage you bring
together. I know that I do not have to
go out and hustle to find the girl. All
I have to do is make myself available to your information.
And God, you’ll identify her.”
And he set up a situation for
identification. And that’s exactly
God did. When Rebekah came to that well,
the bell of identification rang, and Eleazar knew he had found the girl
was God’s choice. The right
woman for Isaac.
Rebekah exercised her free
volition. This is why a lot of men have
trouble with their wives, because they’re trying to work around
volition which is drawn out by their “agape” love. And unless a woman responds with her true
volition, you don’t have anything.
Unless she can respond from her will to coordinate
with your will, you
don’t have anything. And this was
Rebekah did. She was delighted to
respond immediately when Eleazar came along.
She said, “This is from God.
So he brought her home, and
remember the story when Rebekah and Isaac met, it was love at first
sight. But this marriage that began on
such a right
basis was hindered later on. What
hindered it? The fracture of
love. Mental attitude sin came in and it
destroyed the expression of God’s love toward one another.
For one thing, there was the
of famine. It led Isaac to lie to King
Abimelech II in the same way that Abraham had, about Rebekah being his
sister. Except that Abimelech II saw
Isaac and Rebekah in the garden together and they were carrying on like
were more than brother and sister. And
he said, “You lied to me, and you put me in great danger before
God.” And God took care of the
It was lack of confidence. Fear is a mental attitude sin, and God says He
condemns fear. Jealousy tore the
marriage apart because one had a favorite desire toward Jacob and the
toward Esau. And Esau ended up marrying
up marry two Hittite women (Genesis 26:34-35).
Rebekah schemed against her right man so she could
gain his blessing for
her favorite son Jacob. And Esau
threatened to kill his brother. Now
that a sweet family. These who began on
a right man / right woman basis are ending up with their kids going to
each other apart.
Rebekah convinced Isaac to
Jacob away. The situation became so
desperate, she said, “Send him away to Uncle Laban.” And they sent the boy away, and Rebekah never
again saw Jacob. She never again saw her
favorite son. And it was years before
Jacob and Esau were reconciled. Parents
who should have been able to supply a home atmosphere and condition
that was a
joy and a delight for these children, because of mental attitude sins,
apart the lives of their kids.
So we’ve looked this
love toward God and found that it can proceed from a minimum to a
depending upon how much doctrine you have and how positive you are for
it. When you know God, you esteem Him.
We’ve looked at love
husband and wife, and we’ve just barely touched on what’s
that. But we have sought to demonstrate
that there is one thing that’s supreme, that that husband has to
type love, a mental outlook toward his wife so that he’s not
treating her in
bitterness, in competition, in hatred, in envy, in jealousy, or in
indifference, so that she can respond to him as she’s been made
to respond with
her own mental attitude love, and an emotional quality of love develops
And as we have demonstrated
case of Isaac and Rebekah that people who start off as right for each
permit a breakdown of mental love to destroy the family life and the
relationship that’s within them. It
Song of Solomon that says jealousy is as cruel as the grave. That bitterness will destroy anything that
you may have that you esteem in marital love.
Next week we look at one more
element, one that’s very very big with all of us, and that is how
do you keep
going with your friends? How do you
maintain this quality of relationship with your friends?
And we’re going to look at some of the
beautiful examples of David and Jonathan in the Old Testament, two
characters who in a very wonderful way demonstrate mental attitude love
John E. Danish, 1971
to the Basic Bible Doctrine index
the Bible Questions index