Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to join together forever Julia and Sam in holy matrimony, and now let us proceed with their promises.
“Do you Julia take Sam to be your lawfully wedded husband? To have and to hold, to fix soup when he is whiny and is use to mommy babying him back to health. Will you promise to love him while you clean up after every meal and Sam sits on the sofa watching TV or plays on his phone?…And How about you Sam? Do you promise to love Julia when the minivan breaks down because she forgot to check the oil and you can’t afford to fix it since you are up to your ears in debt? Do you promise to remind her of how beautiful she looks even when the stretch marks of childbirth linger and your sex life diminishes because she is too tired keeping up with the daily life…”
No one ever tells you that do they, or at least if they try, you may not be deterred because you are so In “love” with your future spouse that nothing else matters. Yet, I pose the question. Do you really know what love is?
Love is not an emotion. It is a choice. When a spouse does not understand the true meaning of love, it can become mentally and physically draining, detrimental to physical intimacy, and damaging to external relationships including: friends, family, and co-workers.
A loveless marriage does not have to mean a death sentence to the bond that has been created and sealed by God. Instead, a restoration process must begin and it only takes one willing heart to initiate the steps towards healing and rebirth.
If your spouse is unwilling to seek any type of outside council, then look into counseling for just you. Surround yourself with people who will pray you through and will not give you unhealthy advice.
Seek the greatest Counselor and spend time in His presence. Pray. Ask him to reveal to you anything that you are unaware of that needs to be changed.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
Write a list of all of the positives you can possibly think of about your partner. If you can only think of one for now, that’s a start.
Love even when you don’t feel like it.
“The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. (1John 7-10 MSG)
Find at least one way that you can make your spouse feel appreciated. What is their “Love Language”? If you cannot figure it out, ask the One who made your spouse. He can show you the way. You just have to ask Him for help.
Being in a loveless marriage is tough especially when the desires of your heart are greater than the outcome you are receiving, but that is not an excuse to give in. Instead, it is a reason to try and fan the ember of hope into a flame.
This is a well written article and also good sound advice. However, it does not always work out when one person’s heart is hardened against God and you!
Thank you sharing your comments. I have seen what the power of a praying spouse can do including softening of a hardened heart towards God and the spouse. But, I do believe it is biblical to allow the other person to walk away if they are unwilling to live with their believing spouse.
13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife? (1Corinthians 7:13-16)
However, unless God directs otherwise, or if the life of the person/children is in jeopardy, then we are called to stay true to our commitment.
So many marriages are entered into without a sound understanding of what real love is, even “Christian” marriages. If a person went up to a newly married couple and asked them what real love is, I wonder how many of them would give the answer you give in this article. I would venture to say not very many. How many churches are teaching this? Is this even being included in pre-marital counseling? Thanks for a very timely piece of writing.