The Truth About Marriage

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jn 8:32 NLT / “Love can’t be bought, love can’t be sold—it’s not to be found in the mar­ket­place.” SS 8:7 TM / “The amount you give will deter­mine the amount you get back.” Lk 6:38 NLT

The idea of “the per­fect mar­riage” mis­leads and dis­il­lu­sions us, prepar­ing us to walk away when fan­ta­sy clash­es with real­i­ty. And it always does! Only when you accept the truth about frail, fal­ter­ing, frus­trat­ing people—and you your­self are one—can you find last­ing hap­pi­ness in mar­riage. So let’s look at some of the most com­mon mis­con­cep­tions about mar­riage:

  • The love bug: We think if we’re in the right place, at the right time, with the right per­son, love will “bite” us and we’ll embark on a life­time of bliss. The trou­ble is, when we are worn out from tak­ing care of kids, jobs, and mort­gages, the love bug flies off. In the dai­ly grind of dish­es, dia­pers, and drudgery, some­thing has to give. So romance vacates cen­ter stage and real­i­ty takes over. And because we con­fuse romance with true love, we mis­tak­en­ly think love has moved out and we need to fol­low it. The truth is, love does­n’t die because romance bows to real­i­ty. If two peo­ple who fall in love are will­ing to stand togeth­er in love through the chal­lenges of life, romance can blos­som again stronger and more resilient than ever. Romance may bring us togeth­er, but unselfish love keeps us togeth­er. The Bible says: “Love nev­er gives up. Love cares more for oth­ers than for self. Love does­n’t want what it does­n’t have … lsn’t always ‘me first,’ does­n’t fly off the han­dle, does­n’t keep score of the sins of oth­ers … always looks for the best, nev­er looks back, but keeps going to the end” (1 Co 13:4–7 TM).
  • The truth about and Mrs. Right: Many who excel in their careers strug­gle when it comes to meet­ing peo­ple in a social set­ting. This has giv­en rise to the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry phe­nom­e­non of find­ing a mate through the Inter­net. Today, in the west­ern world, two out of five mar­riages begin that way. Gen­er­al­ly speak­ing, dat­ing ser­vices pro­file peo­ple based on their age, looks, val­ues, tastes, ambi­tions, and pref­er­ences, and help them get togeth­er for a date. Well, guess what? The divorce rate is just as high among cou­ples who met via the Inter­net as those who did it the old-fash­ioned way. How come? Because ‘love can’t be bought, love can’t be sold—it’s not to be found in the mar­ket­place.’ And when the bub­ble bursts, three things hap­pen:
    1. We cry, manip­u­late, or pres­sure our mate. And when that does­n’t work we blame them for chang­ing and mak­ing us mis­er­able. ‘He’s not the man I thought he was.’ Maybe not, but he’s the one you married—and, with some excep­tions, the prob­lem isn’t all his.
    2. We con­clude that Mr. and Mrs. Right are Mr. and Mrs. Wrong. So we start search­ing for the right one, or give up on the oppo­site sex as being false, faith­less, and fick­le.
    3. We real­ize that last­ing hap­pi­ness can only be found in one Person—God. So instead of try­ing to find the right per­son, we decide to become the right per­son; the one God cre­at­ed us to be … giv­ing gen­er­ous­ly, allow­ing oth­ers to be real, lim­it­ed, change­able human beings, and look­ing to God for our joy.
  • The truth about the con­tain­er: When the offer­ing plate was passed in church, a lady did­n’t put any­thing in. When she com­plained all the way home about how poor the ser­vice was, her lit­tle boy said, “Mom, that proves if you don’t put any­thing in, you won’t get any­thing out.” Mar­riage is like an emp­ty container—you get out what you put in. This truth frees you to make your rela­tion­ship rich and reward­ing by becom­ing a giv­er rather than a tak­er. Some peo­ple think the con­tain­er comes filled with romance, sex­u­al ful­fill­ment, and being served in the style to which they’ve become accus­tomed. They think they can take what­ev­er they want from a nev­er-end­ing supply—instant, low main­te­nance, sat­is­fac­tion guar­an­teed! Then one day they dip in and come up emp­ty. Shocked, dis­ap­point­ed, angry, despair­ing, and hope­less, they con­clude that their part­ner failed, fooled, or for­sook them. Why else would the con­tain­er be emp­ty? Then they go look­ing for a new con­tain­er. The truth is, it’s your respon­si­bil­i­ty to make enough deposits every day to guar­an­tee suf­fi­cient with­drawals for a rich rela­tion­ship. Jesus said, “The amount you give will deter­mine the amount you get back.’ Ask your­self what you’d like to have in the con­tain­er, and how much. Then deposit enough to gen­er­ate that amount. J. Allan Petersen said: ‘There’s no love in mar­riage; love is in peo­ple, and peo­ple put it into mar­riage. There’s no romance in mar­riage; peo­ple have to infuse it into their mar­riages. A cou­ple must form the habit of giv­ing, lov­ing, serv­ing praising—keeping the box full.”

Source: The Word for You Today – Super­Chan­nel, Orlan­do, FL, USA. Pub­lished on March 11–13, 2017