What makes a marriage last?
That is the age old question right? People always attempt to answer it with things such as don’t go to bed mad, always let your significant other know you appreciate them, help around the house, never stop saying “I love you”, etc. All good answers I must agree, but I’ll tell you the real answer. The answer is so simple yet so complex.
LOVE YOUR SPOUSE.
For those of you rolling your eyes, hear me out.
So what is the definition of love?
Merriam-Webster states that love is
- strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
- attraction based on sexual desire
So that’s going to keep a marriage together? I hate to break it to you but marriage isn’t always a walk in the park & if you’re expecting strong affection or sexual desire to get you through the hardships of marriage then you’re marriage won’t last.
Now let’s talk about what the bible states about love. I’m sure not all my viewers have a relationship with God but hang tight because some good stuff is coming.
Love is PATIENT
This is an obvious one that isn’t always so easy. Patient means bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint. Without complaint? You mean when my husband eats the meal that I cooked and never says thank you I’m supposed to be calm? You mean when I’ve asked my spouse to pick up their dirty clothes 3 times I’m not supposed to complain and nag? That is exactly what I mean. You’ve taken out the garbage the last 3 times? Do it again.
Love is KIND
If you bring anger and negativity to your relationship during hard times, you are only going to add to the struggles. Abstain from harsh words or actions that will hurt your spouse. Offer encouragement and support and your spouse will learn to return that to you as well.
Love does not ENVY
We cannot make a marriage work playing the compare game. Being envious is not limited to being jealous of other women/men in your spouses life. Do you envy their social life? Their work life? Maybe you envy them getting personal space & breaks while your a 24/7 parent. Everyone is different but ultimately love does not envy and being envious will only hurt your marriage.
Love does not BOAST, it is not PROUD
Boasting is pointing to one’s self rather than at your marriage. Being arrogant and proud shows that your focus and concern comes from your own individual accomplishments and not from your accomplishments as a team. This can leave your partner feeling inadequate and insignificant.
Love does not DISHONOR OTHERS, it is not SELF-SEEKING
Every choice you make in a marriage should be made for the benefit of your marriage. PERIOD. When you start living your life to satisfy your own personal wants without consideration for your spouse, your marriage is no longer taking priority.
Love is not EASILY ANGERED
Anger is an emotion we cling to when other emotions are too hard to swallow. Anger can solely ruin a relationship because when we allow ourselves to become angry we lash out at the ones we care about. We say things we don’t mean that will hurt them for a lifetime. Avoiding anger in your marriage can open the door for communication and solutions. If you find yourself becoming angry then allow yourself time to cool down and breathe before confronting your spouse.
Love KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONG DOINGS
This is the one. I personally feel like this one makes or breaks your marriage. A marriage is two HUMANS coming together; with all of their burdens, all of their mistakes, and pasts. No human is perfect and there will come a time, or 20 that your significant other wrongs and hurts you. This verse doesn’t just mean that love is forgiveness but that love is the choice to let go and move forward from the wronged action. This means that love is not judgment or consequences. Love is not throwing mistakes in your spouses face, or controlling every aspect of their life when they’ve done wrong. It’s allowing yourself to forgive them and making the choice to continue to grow your marriage.
Love does not DELIGHT IN EVIL but REJOICES IN TRUTH
Honesty is such an important part of a successful marriage. It is not always easy to come forth with the truth, nor is it easy to accept the truth that is spoken to you. However, keeping secrets from your spouse will only lead to guilt, insecurity, and many more struggles. The best thing for your relationship is being an open book. Allow your partner to know the desires and burdens that lay on your heart.
Love always PROTECTS
This is important because often you have to protect your spouse from people who shouldn’t be a threat in the first place. A marriage is a life long commitment bound by God. Your spouse is to be your second priority after God himself. Yes, this means before your family. Yes, this means before your children. You need to make it clear to the people in your life that you and your spouse are one and anything they do or say to hurt them is hurting you as well.
Love always TRUSTS
In a world now drowning in social media, it isn’t a secret that infidelity is much easier to accomplish. You can not make a relationship last if you are constantly questioning the faithfulness of your spouse. If you feel the need to read their messages and have access to their passwords for Facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc. then you are not trusting them and knowing that you don’t have faith in them will negatively impact your marriage.
Love always HOPES, always PERSEVERES; Love never FAILS
The biggest problem in marriages today is the acceptance that giving up is an option. If you put divorce on the table as a possibility or even as a last resort then it WILL happen. Today 50% of marriages end in divorce. HALF OF MARRIAGES END IN DIVORCE. Marriage is hard. Hard is the biggest understatement I’ve used in this blog post. Marriage at times is crippling. It is impossible to follow this without faltering. If you try and fail, well at least you are trying. When you feel like you have hit rock bottom then take a deep breath because there is nowhere to go but up.
When I’m weathering storms in my own marriage, God always says Love him as I have loved you.