Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love…
Song of Solomon 2:3-4
Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men.
I delight to sit in his shade,
and his fruit is sweet to my taste.
Let him lead me to the banquet hall,
and let his banner over me be love.
The idea that love takes delight in the other person seems like it should be obvious. But in practice it doesn’t play out that way very often. Quite often delight is only found in the beginning of a relationship. Not that there can’t be true love at the beginning of a relationship but often there is more lust than actual love.
Lust is more than just a sinful desire to please the eyes. Lust is an unhealthy desire for all of the good things that a person has to offer. Lust can be over the fact that a person makes a good income or it can be over something seemingly unlustful like the fact that a person is very intelligent. If it is an unhealthy desire for someone, or what we would more commonly term a “turn on”, then it is probably lust and not love.
Love also fills desires though. It should cause us to take delight in the other person. You should find the person you love attractive and take delight in what they do and who they are. The biggest difference between delight in love and lust is that lust is fleeting.
When a relationship is new and you describe your partner, it is always about their good qualities – their sense of humor, their smile, their athleticism, etc. Once again, this can be love or lust. As a relationship ages though (this could be months or years) the description of the relationship changes from all of the good qualities about the other person to the bad qualities – he leaves the toilet seat up, she nags, etc.
In short, lust is fleeting while love will stand the test of time. Because all relationships head in a negative direction with time it doesn’t mean that they were all lust and no love. True love is something that can be reignited. Think back to the qualities that first attracted you. Do you still delight in them?