Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)
I did want to have kids; but I thought that not being married would prove that the man I had a child with was “choosing” to stay with me rather than being “forced” to stay because of a marriage certificate. Looking back, it seems strange.
When Jason and I were dating, now and then he talked about getting married. Why, I asked? Why not stay unmarried and have a life together?
Then he said something that hit me like a lightening bolt. “We should get married to have a family.”
In that moment, my faith in marriage — what it means, where it comes from, and what it represents — changed 180°. Today, a healthy, happy marriage and family are the most important things in my world.
One thing I remembered after our first child was born (because things were hard for a while), was that having a happy marriage is a choice, with deliberate actions and gestures.
The initial feelings you have right after falling in love don’t last. How could they? No one would get anything done!!!!! It’s all so distracting — hard to work, hard to study, hard to do anything other than think about that person. Then, reality sets in. You realize he’s not perfect… and neither are you. You have to choose to care for each other and live the life you’ve made. Actually, that’s awesome!
Maybe you’re thinking, “how sad if it’s not natural”. But that’s a fantasy. What’s natural is making the effort. Just like everything else in life, nothing comes easily, nor should it. Making an effort is what makes it special!
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. (1 Corinthians 13:11)
Too many couples simply wait, hoping “the tingles” will return. When they don’t, their attitude and behavior turn negative, and they destroy what they most want — a happy marriage.
Fortunately, emotional love can be restored, but it doesn’t simply happen with the passage of time. It returns only when couples choose an attitude of love, and find meaningful ways to express it through their “love language”. “Loving actions stimulate loving feelings,” says Dr. Gary Chapman in his book, Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage.*
People feel love differently, but we usually show love the way we want others to show us love. My love language is “Time”. Jason’s is “Acts of Service”. I think “Presents/Gifts” is a close second. LOL. If I only find ways to spend time with Jason, he might not feel loved. The same is true for me — I don’t feel loved if he just buys gifts or fixes a leaky sink.
Luckily, Jason and I figured this out, and today things are better than ever. The tingles are there because of the deliberate choices we made in our marriage that turned into a natural way of living.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Hopefully we can all model this in our homes, so our children will learn that a fulfilling life and marriage take work, dedication, and a good attitude.
just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28)
We should strive to be like Him. Humble in our marriage and choosing to show love, whether we are feeling loved or not. Eventually, with His help, things will change in our favor because we choose to love.
Thanks to Lisa LaFortune at “Families! Change the World” blog.
*Bent Creek Baptist Church is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. By clicking the book cover shown above your purchase of this book on Amazon will earn BCBC a fee from Amazon.com. Thank you for your support.