What is a Godly Marriage? | Love is a Choice -- Choosing to Love Your Spouse



I loved my husband so much when I first met him, or so I thought. We only dated for 2 months before he told me he was certain that God had brought us together and that we should get married. Honestly, I agreed, and we both still feel the same way today. Three months later, we were married and starting our lives together. I was 18 and he was 21. We were young at heart and ready to take on the world. But we weren't prepared for the world, because the world is a liar when it comes to "love".

Love is....
Over the past seven years I've come to discover that "falling in love" is an emotion that so many of us get caught up in. In fact, it's one of the biggest delusions in relationships. Sadly, while "falling in love" is temporarily fun, it is also one of the biggest emotions that causes conflict in marriage. Eventually, someone feels like they are not as loved as they were when you first started dating....and the conversation goes down hill from there. Losing that temporary "falling in love" feeling can cause you to go looking for it elsewhere if you do not quickly realize that love is a verb, not just a noun -- true love is constant and unconditional, it never fails, it never stops.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:14-8 NIV
Love isn't just love, it's so many other things. It's patience, kindness, not proud or easily angered. It has integrity and it always perseveres. Love is an action, a verb. Not just a noun. Love is unconditional.
 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 NIV
While we were still sinners -- blaspheming, hating, lying, committing adultery, murdering -- Christ died for us. The only condition being that we accept His gift to us to make us whole in order to spend eternity with Him. He died for us unconditionally, because He chose to love us. He left the choice up to us, as to whether we choose to love Him back and accept this gift. He could have called 10,000 angels down from the throne of God to come and save Him, and yet He chose to hang on that cross. He chose to die for someone who didn't deserve it. We may have placed Him on that cross, but love kept Him there.

Love and Marriage
And so we come to love and marriage. If you're like me, you're now singing the song from the old tv show, Married with Children. But that's not the type of marriage I want you to have....at all.

Since we are called to be like Christ, then we are called to choose to love our spouse unconditionally. We are commanded to choose love in every situation, as hard as it may be. Your spouse is going to make you angry, you're going to butt heads, you're going to say things that are hurtful. But that doesn't mean that love has to be non-existent.

And, bomb shell here; guess what. Your marriage is not going to be the same as it was when you were "in love". If you allow it, your marriage will be ten times better than that temporary stage. The scariest part of it all is that over 50% of marriages are based on the "in love" emotion. When you're actually not "in love" with your spouse at all. In fact, you probably don't even know what love is until you tough it out for over 5 years...10 years...some people don't even realize it until after 20 years, while others decide to end their marriage prematurely through irreconcilable differences or sin.

The best part of marriage is finding out what your spouse desires in your marriage and what makes your spouse tick. In Gary Chapman's book, The Five Love Langauges, he talks about filling up your spouses love tank. When we first start dating and decide to get married, most of the time we're basing our relationship on how our spouse makes us feel without them ever really 'doing' anything for us. During the honeymoon stage, your spouse could do absolutely nothing for you and you'd still be head over heels in love with them. We often say, "all we need is love" or "we could be living in a box and it wouldn't matter, I'd still love you". But a year or so later, reality sets in, real life takes over, and that "lovey dovey" experience is gone. Now, you need proof that your spouse loves you. You need something tangible. If you lived in a box after year of being married, you'd probably both be dead....but you had love, or did you?

You need your spouse to serve you, and you need to serve your spouse. These things are what make your love tank fill up. These acts of service are things that show love to your spouse. Serving your spouse is one of the most important ways to show your spouse that you love them. Why? Because Christ came to serve, not to be served. And we are to love our spouse as Christ loves the church.
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21 NIV
This, by no means, implies that you are supposed to be walked all over and at your spouses every beckon call. As you can see in the above scripture (used earlier in this series), marriage is about serving one another and submitting to each other. Not just the wife submitting, and not just the husband loving. Both people in one marriage choosing to submit to and love one another.

It seems like so many of us make it a life goal at a young age to find true love. Yet what we fail to realize is that when we commit ourselves to someone, we choose to make our relationship with them "true love". And true love only comes through loving as Christ does. We all love in different ways. Each of us have different love languages. Each of us love others in unique ways. Finding and maintaining true love is dependent upon your act of choosing to love your spouse -- it is not dependent upon the misconception of fate.
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love." Galatians 5:13 NIV
Make it a practice every single morning to sit down and think of ways to love on your spouse that day, even if they are not showing love towards you. We are commanded to love one another without condition. It can certainly be hard, but obedience normally is. Spend time with the Lord every morning and ask Him to work on your heart and attitude toward your spouse. The more you love your spouse, in every situation, the more you'll see their own heart change towards Christ. Whether you realize it or not, you are one of the greatest influences of Christ when it comes to your spouse. Make sure you are loving them the way that Christ chooses to love you.

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1 comment

  1. I loved this. Thankyou. And what you said about the emotion of love is very true. Love is not just a feeling, it is an action. A commitment, a choice to preserve for life with your spouse. This has definitely reopened my eyes. A Lot of people have been deceived by the world, the secularism, the media, movies, TV shows, music etc. All of that fades, but when love is true it will remain.

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