Marriage Tip #1

by admin

It has been a passion of mine to learn as much as I can about marriage and how it works, and how I can strengthen mine for about 8 years now.  Hence, I read a lot of stuff on marriage, and attempt to put that understanding into practice.  I must admit, I am not as good at rolling out some of these ideas as I would like to be, but nonetheless a few have stuck with me.

One foundational truth was taught to me a long time ago.  This foundational truth has the potential to guard your marriage against a host of forces that would pull it apart.  It is a truth that is hardly ever mentioned in romance books, movies and stories – in fact it is almost antithetical to the typical Hollywood love story.   I don’t know how I learned it, I don’t recall any of my family expressly teaching it to me (although as I look around at the remarkable – in many ways bizarre success rate of marriages in my extended family, somebody must have been teaching something somewhere).  It has been the bedrock of my marriage, and informed me from the very start what I am going to have to do to get and stay married.

It is this statement: love is a choice.

If you build your marriage around this reality, if you AND your spouse both believe it and act like it’s true, I am convinced that marital happiness is not only much more within your grasp, but the odds of divorce drop precipitously.

A fantastic daily marriage tip is offered by The Generous Husband.   He started today with a piece, which I will quote here:

Because love is a choice, I can’t “fall out of love”. If I “don’t love you the way I used to” that means I chose to make a change – it’s on me. I don’t love her less when I am tried, stressed, or grumpy. I don’t love her more when she does what I want, or less she does not.

The ramifications of this are endless.  But I want to highlight one big one here.  One of the biggest reasons most of us marry is for security.  Don’t deny it.  At some level you wanted security.  You wanted to know you were loved with a love that isn’t just passing.  You wanted to have someone in your life who was going to be there for you when nobody else would be.  You wanted To be able to trust someone to always be there, to always have your best interests at heart.

If you think that love is a feeling, you will NEVER have that security that your crave.

Neither will your spouse.

So my advice to you today is change your mind on love.  Recognize that you must make love a choice, and make that choice every day, or you will not have even a fraction of the marriage you want or desire.

God made a choice to love humanity, and sacrifice everything for us (John 3:16).  He modelled the choice of love and instructed us to do the same.  He commands us to love our neighbour (Matthew 22:37-40), for husbands to love their wives (Ephesians 5:25).  If love was a feeling then those commands are nonsensical.  You can’t command someone to have a feeling.  If you are a Christian, the Bible clearly teaches that love is a choice.  But even if you aren’t, this truth has the potential to unlock so much goodness in your marriage that, in my opinion, you’d be a fool to believe anything else.

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