“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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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