Love for a Lifetime
“Where two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary.” —Ruth Bell Graham
Marriage is God’s idea.
He ordained marriage — and set it as a model of His love for the Church.
If this is the case, why do so many marriages resemble a train wreck? Why do nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, with the average length of first marriages hovering around eight years?
Frankly, many have taken God’s idea and slowly turned it into man’s idea, infusing it with worldly guidelines and standards … or lack thereof.
It’s not easy to blend two lives into one. Very rarely do two people who think and behave the exact same way get married! Some character traits naturally complement — others clash, and when they do, tensions arise.
Here’s when you have an opportunity to exhibit the love of Christ, instead of the self-centered, me-focused way of the world!
This coming Valentine’s Day — and always — commit to loving your spouse as God loves His Church.
When conflict arises in your home:
- LISTEN. Hear the other person out. Then, lovingly state your point of view. Practice the elements of productive conversation! If voices are raised, it’s no longer a conversation, it’s a fight. End it. Revisit the topic, if you must, when calmer heads prevail.
- REMEMBER your spouse has your best interest at heart. You are loved. Give him or her the benefit of the doubt. Always.
- SAY “I’M SORRY.” Seek forgiveness often. Take responsibility — no caveats. Apologize and mean it.
- FORGIVE. Be quick to accept the apology of your spouse! As Ruth Bell Graham said, “A happy marriage is the union of two great forgivers.”
- BE KIND. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). Counterculture to the world? Yes. God’s way with blessings untold? Yes!
My prayer this week: Lord, help me love my spouse the way you love the Church … sacrificially. Help me be willing to forgive. Always kind, loving, supportive, and committed. Help me unselfishly serve my spouse and honor you in the process.