“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” – Mignon McLaughlin.
People describe love in so many different and interesting ways. For example, love is like a ditch because you fall into it. Or love is like a virus. You catch it. Love just happens to you. It inhabits your body. Others describe love like a massive forest fire that simply cannot be doused. Love’s passion will burn from this day until death do us part. There is love at first sight. Some people describe love as bells going off in their mind. Others see fireworks or hear birds chirping. Then there is the media enthusiast who describes his life as a drab, black and white silent film before he met her, but now it is 4K technicolor.
Many people equate love and marriage with feelings. The problem with feelings is that they’re always changing. People are fickle. Sometimes, feelings between spouses will be overwhelming. Other times, the same couple may have feelings that are underwhelming. Feelings are important, but what you do about those feelings is more important. If we want a Godly marriage, we must commit to preserve our priorities and values through intentional and unconditional action.
Look at it this way. We do not act in loving ways because we are “in love.” We are “in love” because we act in loving ways. When it comes to Christianity, we show evidence of Jesus living in us through our actions. If we claim to be followers of Christ, we must show it in our lives and in our actions. Having an overflow of love for Jesus makes us want to love and serve others. We must do that by letting our lives reflect what we believe.The same principles apply to marriage.
We must be willing to put our good intentions into action. In marriage, knowing what you should do is only half the equation. The other half is acting on it. Our tendency is to stop just short of action. God understands this: “ But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.” (James 1:22-24)
In other words, you can say you love your spouse all you want. But if you don’t live out that love in each and every situation, it is like forgetting that love to begin with. Just thinking right does not do anyone any good. Making the decision to live using God’s priorities, followed by daily, consistent actions is what leads to a blessed marriage. In a God centered marriage the couple focuses on doing the right things and then does them.
- Marriage works best when both husband and wife surrender their rights for the good of the other. Agree or disagree and why?
- What actions can we take this week to improve our marriage?