Food Grows Where Water Flows
The phrase, “Love Grows Where Love Flows” is borrowed and adapted from a powerful political message, “Food Grows Where Water Flows”, used by the farmers of California to explain the importance of water management to balance the crops of fruit, vegetables, and nuts they grow to feed 100s of millions of Americans versus the life-giving water needed for people, crops, landscape, recreation, and ecology. There are long lasting repercussions from simple decisions.
Love Grows Where Love Flows
The same thing is true in marriage, “Love Grows Where Love Flows.” This is a powerful message that explains the importance of marriage to balance two different kinds of love. From the picturesque Greek language: agápē and philéō.
- Cognate: 25 agapáō
- properly, to prefer, to love; for the believer, preferring to “live through Christ” (1 Jn 4:9,10), i.e. embracing God’s will (choosing His choices) and obeying them through His power. 25 (agapáō) preeminently refers to what God prefers as He “is love” (1 Jn 4:8,16). See 26 (agapē).
With the believer, 25 /agapáō (“to love”) means actively doing what the Lord prefers, with Him (by His power and direction). True 25 /agapáō (“loving”) is always defined by God – a “discriminating affection which involves choice and selection” (WS, 477). 1 Jn 4:8,16,17 for example convey how loving (“preferring,” 25 /agapáō) is Christ living His life through the believer.
- 26 agápē
- properly, love which centers in moral preference. So too in secular ancient Greek, 26 (agápē) focuses on preference; likewise the verb form (25 /agapáō) in antiquity meant “to prefer” (TDNT, 7). In the NT, 26 (agápē) typically refers to divine love (= what God prefers).
- 5384 phílos
- a friend; someone dearly loved (prized) in a personal, intimate way; a trusted confidant, held dear in a close bond of personal affection.
Note: The root (phil-) conveys experiential, personal affection – indicating 5384 (phílos) expresses experience-based love.
[25 (agapáō) focuses on value-driven (an decision-based) love – which of course does not exclude affection!]
- 5368 philéō (from 5384 /phílos, “affectionate friendship“)
- properly, to show warm affection in intimate friendship, characterized by tender, heartfelt consideration and kinship.
For complete text and additional resources visit:
Where Love Flows
Volumes have been written on the “love” of Ephesians 5:25, but if you get the message that this is value-driven, decision-based, preferential love, you will get the meaning of “Love Grows Where Love Flows”…
Husbands, love [25 agapate] your wives, even as Christ also loved [25 ēgapē-sen] the church, and gave himself for it; (Ephesians 5:25)
So ought men to love [25 agapate] their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth [25 agapate] his wife loveth [25 agapate] himself. (Ephesians 5:28)
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love [25 agapate] his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. (Ephesians 5:33)
Husbands, love [25 agapate] your wives, and be not bitter against them. (Colossians 3:19)
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love [25 agapate] each other; let us show the truth by our actions. (1 John 3:18)
For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love [26 agápē] to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. (Hebrews 6:10)
This is where the traditional american marriage wedding vows come from…
“Will you have this woman/man to be your wife/husband, to live together in holy marriage? Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, honor, and keep her/him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her/him as long as you both shall live?”
“In the name of God, I, ______, take you, ______, to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.– Traditional Wedding Vows – The Knot
There Love Grows
It is the agapáō (value-driven, decision-based, preferential love) which causes the romantic love to grow. This is how “Love Grows Where Love Flows”…
(25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church.—The love of Christ for His Church is such that He counts Himself incomplete without her (Ephesians 1:23), and raises her to be one with Himself; that He bears with her weakness and frailty; that He draws her on by the cords of love; and that He gives up Himself for her. Only so far as the husband shows the like love in perfect sympathy, in chivalrous forbearance, in abhorrence of tyranny, in willingness to self-sacrifice, has he any right to claim lordship.– Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers
God has recorded several tender compassionate love stories for us to know that he desires husbands and wives to have sweet tender romantic love for one another.
This is Solomon’s song of songs, more wonderful than any other. (Song of Solomon)
And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife. He loved her deeply, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother. (Genesis 24:67)
Now Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” (Genesis 29:18)
For the choir director: A love song to be sung to the tune “Lilies.” A psalm of the descendants of Korah. (Psalm 45)
Trust in the LORD and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you your heart’s desires. (Psalm 37)
Tender compassionate romantic love grows where value-driven, decision-based, preferential love flows
Drink water from your own well—
share your love only with your wife.
Why spill the water of your springs in the streets,
having sex with just anyone?
You should reserve it for yourselves.
Never share it with strangers.
Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.
Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
She is a loving deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts satisfy you always.
May you always be captivated by her love.
Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman,
or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman? (Proverbs 5:15-20)
The ultimate example of unfailing love
Every good present and every perfect gift comes from above, from the Father who made the sun, moon, and stars. The Father doesn’t change like the shifting shadows produced by the sun and the moon. (James 1:17 GWT)
I hope and pray you will let “Love Grow Where Love Flows” in your marriage. If you desire a better marriage, please write to us, if you have insight on growing love please comment below. May the Lord bless you richly.
For deeper study:
- Love Life for Every Married Couple by Ed Wheat – Physician Ed Wheat has helped thousands of couples improve their love-lives and build happier marriages. In Love Life for Every Married Couple, he’ll help you improve your marriage through sharing, touching, appreciating and focusing healing attention on your mate. Answering physical, psychological and stress-related questions in a Christian context, Dr. Wheat demonstrates how to bring your feelings of love back to life.
- Intended for Pleasure by Ed Wheat, MD and Gaye Wheat – A classic for thirty years, Intended for Pleasure is an easy-to-read reference book that combines biblical teaching on love and marriage with the latest medical information on sex and sexuality. This popular resource gently encourages married couples to make their sexual relationship the fulfilling experience it was meant to be. This is a complete sex manual, with basic facts, illustrations, and frank discussion of all facets of human sexuality. A perfect gift for newlyweds and a source book for pastors and marriage counselors, this book has helped more than a million people understand and enjoy the gift God intended for pleasure.