Marriage is challenging.
Take two people whose genders make them different by nature, stir in unique personalities, the needs of children in the family, the pressures of extended family, and the stress of difficult circumstances, and you have a pot lid that’s ready to blow! It’s not fun. It’s not romantic. It may even seem hopeless.
For example, my husband and I are so different. I love communication. He prefers to be alone with his thoughts. I am an organized planner. He flies by the seat of his pants. I love to be with people. He can take ’em or leave ’em. ( That’s a joke but, we did have to come to a happy medium as to how often we entertain guests.)
Let’s face it, there are time periods in marriage where the mushy, romantic feelings are few and far between and all we feel is frustration, stress, anger, and disappointment.
As couples, we sometimes wonder: Where is the love?
Well, it’s in those very times– the dull and dry, feeling-less moments–when we need to remind ourselves that love is a verb. It’s something we choose to do, even when its the last thing we want to do.
In choosing to love, day after day in marriage, even when we don’t feel like it, we are a living picture of the sacrificial, forgiving, grace-filled love expressed to us by our heavenly Father. And as we press on in this kind of intentional, sacrificial love, we begin to see blessings in our marriage–the blessings of obedience to God’s Word.
Because… marriage is also, awesome! A lifelong friendship. An exciting journey of highs and lows. A relationship with someone who knows you to your core and chooses to love you anyway. It’s building a home and raising children and having grandchildren! And traveling, and holding hands through the difficulties of life– emerging on the other side stronger than ever!
My point is that melding two very different people into one shouldn’t work. And if we relied on feelings of love and adoration, it wouldn’t. But my husband and I have learned that seeing love as a verb is the way to marriage success.
It’s so wonderful to have feelings of love for your spouse and you will! But, as the years go by, you will have to choose to love–by your actions, your words, and your attitudes. And that obedience, effort, and self-sacrifice will ultimately lead you to a strong, impactful, enduring marriage that is a beautiful example of Christ’s love for us.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)
“Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25 (NIV)
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:14 (NIV)