There is so much more to life than what our five senses tell us! There's an unseen world that exists with this physical one, and God created them both. We have been placed here not to just survive, but to live life to the fullest!
My husband and I have been married for almost 28 years. Been a breeze? Definitely not.
But it's worth it! There's something about making it through the trenches together. It breeds a type of resilient, deep relationship you get no other way.
Marriage: the epitome of the ultimate relationship! Hmmm. That says a lot, because many marriages are nowhere near that. Yet God designed marriage to be the knitting of flesh and purpose. Of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24).
This past June, my husband and I celebrated the first wedding on either side of our families. Our only son was married to a wonderful young woman! No longer do the two walk separately, but as one. Not that the two lose themselves or their individuality, as in their personalities, ambitions, desires…. But they no longer live to serve their own interests without considering the other. And let me tell you, “living together” is not the same as making that commitment, that covenant, or those vows with each other.
Marriage is not easy!
It takes work, dedication, and commitment. A couple may come together because of attraction, love, or by arrangement, but will only last by sheer commitment and a maturing of love. The cloud-nine love that initiated the relationship will not last, and unfortunately many look for it over and over in “other” relationships. Choosing to love one’s spouse for “better or worse” is love that stands the test of time, love that grows and matures, and becomes what is impossible to know any other way but by experience.
Couples may fall in and out of love depending on the weather, the bills, the baby up all night, that time of month…. But the kind of love that survives is not so much about feelings as about choice, commitment. It’s like no other love, because it can incorporate the relationships of brother & sister in Christ, friendship, family, and lover. It’s physical, emotional, and, on some level, spiritual. Only two clear biblical ways out of it: adultery or death (Mat. 19:4-9).
Of course, keeping the romance alive goes a long way.
Something as simple as taking a walk together – alone. And, if it comes down to it, seeking mentoring, or marriage counseling, and a call to prayer, before the journey gets seemingly impossible, are serious considerations.
It’s said, go into marriage with your eyes wide opened and half closed, thereafter. Full commitment, like that of Christ and the Church. Yeah. Much to think about: a husband should love his wife as Christ loves the Church and gave Himself for her; nourishing her, cherishing her. A wife is to respect and submit to her husband as unto Christ (Eph. 5:22-33). Doesn’t sound too romantic here, but maybe in some biblical stories like Ruth & Boaz, where Boaz shelters and protects her; Solomon & the Shulamite woman, with poetic verses of passionate love; Esther & Ahasuerus, the King of Persia, where instead of reaping the king’s fury, she earns the salvation of her people; etc.
And even though there is biblical grounds for divorce, it’s not God’s first choice, as He hates divorce. The story of Hosea & Gomer transcends understanding, as it depicts a prophet’s obedience to God in keeping an adulterous wife. Again, portraying Christ’s love for us, even when we stray.
A lifetime commitment?
Yes! A call to guard our hearts & minds from straying from each other, striving always to stay faithful to those sacred vows. And even if one marriage fails, and another takes its place, having an accountability to the Lord still carries much weight. After all, He sees past all our pretenses and struggles to what’s really in our hearts, and He will always be there to help in every need.
I’m a romantic at heart. Almost 28 years, and I’m still in love with my husband. But not just for the poetry and passion, but for the strength of love & commitment. The hope and trust in each other. But especially the hope, faith, and love in a living God who gives us richly all things to enjoy (1Tim.6:17). And that most certainly means marriage!
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