“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” – Romans 5:5.
When you meet someone and immediately feel a connection with him or her, it’s often hard to explain. Some call it love at first sight, but others just feel like they’ve known the person forever. It’s an amazing feeling to be so happy and so comfortable with a person, especially when those feelings are reciprocated. Date nights, big and small, are always a special occasion, and being with your person simply feels like home. You found your soulmate and are ready for your happily-ever-after life of romance and passion, being loved, and overflowing with love.
We all want this idyllic marriage. There is no chance we will fight, argue, or bicker. Our love will prevent us from ever growing apart. In fact, poets will be writing sonnets on our love so future generations can benefit from our love story. But then each spouse discovers that neither of them measures up to the ideals of the other. They each realize that the other was not perfect, productive, organized, efficient, or logical and didn’t quite measure up to his or her own ideals. They begin to wonder if love was really the cure for everything as romance novels and books suggest.
The Christian life is not designed for maintenance. It is meant to be vibrant and alive and in the process of adding to and developing your character. Your faith is not static; rather, it is dynamic and changing. And the same should be true of marriage. If you want to invest in your marriage continue to grow spiritually, and grow more like Jesus; see, love, and care for your spouse like Jesus sees, loves, and cares for them.
The love of God is so much greater than the love we talk about usually. Because if a marriage is based on God’s love, it won’t manipulate, or be easily threatened, encourage lies or retaliate. It’s different and better—and it’s about being secure and faithful within the marriage. A love that lasts a lifetime involves two imperfect, flawed, deeply broken people finding all their need for intimacy not in each other, but in God. When both people in a marriage press into God in such a way that they sense that He is present, He is working, redeeming all those broken pieces that create havoc in their marriage.
When spouses let go of expecting what our spouses will never be able to give us— that’s when true love grows and thrives and becomes something beautiful. True love doesn’t fit neatly on the inside of a Hallmark card. Real romance looks more like two broken people who’ve learned to receive love from the One who loves them like no other and then found ways to pour that love on each other.
And that kind of love lasts a lifetime.
- What have you done in the past that helped you deeply connect with your spouse?
- How can you help each other feel deeply loved and cared for?
- What is one new relationship skill you could learn that would help nourish your marriage? Who or what are you investing in?