Inside: The honest truth is: long lasting love takes the intentional choice of love every day. Will you choose to love your spouse today and every day in the future?
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From the street, one could see the glow of lights through the blinds. With a chill in the air, the glow was warming to the heart of the cars traveling by. However, inside the house, a chill in the air was present even though the fireplace was putting off an ample amount of heat.
Two recliners sat in the room facing a T.V., beside each chair stood a side table. His held a stack of books and hers an array of yarn and knitting needles. Although they had been married 26 years, each lived in their own world.
Theirs’s had become a relationship of roommates, living in different bedrooms and only sharing the rest of the house. Cordial interaction during the day and of course sharing of meals and the budget, but the emotions and feelings of the relationship had disappeared years ago.
Comfortable was the word each would describe their marriage. They were too old to start again so they just stuck it out. Comfortable.
When I think of this couple, I feel sad. All those years together and they live separately. What they once had in regards to feelings of love have long been replaced with distance.
Maybe I’m a die-hard romantic, but I don’t want to look forward to this. I want something better. I need to see Godly role models in marriage.
Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable. ~Bruce Lee
Love Falls Away
Many married couples go to counseling for this very reason, “we fell out of love.” Sadly, some couples don’t even make it to counseling.
In our culture, we think something is wrong with us or our relationship when we don’t feel in love any longer. Could books, culture and the movies be influencing what we think?
If we had a shot of reality of what happens, we might be able to be proactive and know our relationships are normal and it doesn’t mean marriage is over?
Might we prevent those who have made the decision to throw in the towel because it isn’t like how it used to be, it takes hard work and it’s all the other spouse’s fault?
It’s easy to fall in love, harder to stay in love.
Choice of Love
The honest truth is: long lasting love takes intentional, hard work every day. This type of love is a choice, not a feeling:
- On the days you don’t feel like loving, you choose to love.
- When your spouse makes you mad, you choose to forgive.
- When your spouse gets sick and needs a caregiver, you choose to love through sickness and health.
If we waited to feel love, we might not ever feel it.
God’s word says, (Romans 12:9-13, NLT)
9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.
This passage doesn’t mention anything about feelings, but action. It’s an attitude of love. It’s a verb, and it requires intentionality.
A Marriage Needs a Strand of 3 Cords
The marriage’s that are the most fulfilled have God in their marriage. That’s the secret culture is missing.
You might be saying, “Hey wait, God was a part of my marriage and it broke apart.” My honest rebuttal would be, we live in a fallen world and marriages break up. God’s perfect design for marriage was a union between a man and women. They took a covenant before God till death do us part.
God desires for couples to take the vow seriously and try everything to work it out. Of course, there are Biblical grounds for divorce.
God Gives us the Ability to Love
God is love, and He enables us to love. So might I ask, “How’s your relationship with God?”
Have you prayed for your relationship? Are you working individually and tandemly to grow in faith?
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality (Romans 12:10-13, NLT).
In order to find this genuine affection and the ability to take delight in our spouse, we need to practice ways to get an attitude of love.
6 Ways to Choose to Fall in Love Again:
- Ask God through prayer to choose to love your spouse.
- Send your spouse a love letter.
- Add hugging and kissing to your day.
- Be available. Put down the smartphone.
- Pay undivided attention.
- Show gratitude and thankfulness to your spouse.
(for a longer list, keep reading)
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to increase my prayers to God about my marriage.
A comfortable, distant living is not what I want the future of my marriage to look like. Each day of my life, I desire our love to be greater and deeper.
In sharp contrast with our culture, the Bible teaches that the essence of marriage is a sacrificial commitment to the good of the other. That means that love is more fundamentally action than emotion. ~ Tim Keller
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Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage52 Uncommon Dates: A Couple’s Adventure Guide for Praying, Playing, and Staying TogetherChristian Marriage: From Basic Principles to Tranformed RelationshipsThe Mingling of Souls: God’s Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption#Staymarried: A Couples Devotional: 30-Minute Weekly Devotions to Grow In Faith And Joy from I Do to Ever After