Affection for someone is something that seems to rise up instantly when you are young. It’s not something you have to work at, it just comes upon you when they are around. Great. But the real question is… how do you keep that affection? Through the highs and lows of dating, how do you keep the affection? through the highs and lows of marriage, how do you keep the affection? Ultimately… what stops you from getting a divorce?
I don’t know about anyone else, but I would prefer not to get a divorce… ever. I’ll have you know that I am not married, nor am I in a relationship, but I would like to take a stab at this matter of keeping the affection. So hear me out and give me feedback.
I have heard all my life that marriage is stressful, tough, hard work. This is followed up with seeing 75% of my friend’s parents divorced. I then started wondering if it would be smarter to simply not get married, as much of a bummer as that might be. After all, Malachi 2:16 says that God hates divorce, so, what is a young man to do in our generation if he wants to please God?
But have no fear, I think I have an idea that may portray a lasting marriage concisely and simply. Though I may not be married, I feel we can all agree on these things.
Top priority is God. Make time with God above all else. Ask him to tenderize your heart, to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit. Ask him to teach you what love is. I heard once that a good husband prays through and practices 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. I would recommend memorizing it.
Make time for your wife. Commitment doesn’t follow love like Hollywood tells us, in real life, love follows commitment. If you commit your heart to engaging in something, basketball, cars, painting etc., you’ll start to enjoy it. Someone by the name of Kevin Respress once wrote on twitter that “the proof of Love is the investment of time”. Learn how to make time for your wife, and don’t try to fit her into your schedule, prefer her over yourself and fit yourself into her schedule as much as possible.
I feel that marriage is probably like my relationship with God. More time invested makes the relationship stronger, and in the dark days, only the strong survive, both in faith and marriage. My relationship with God is not something that I describe to people as grueling and tiresome, I love to read my Bible, I love to pray, and I love the secret place. I imagine that when I commit my life to being my wife’s comforter, protector, and spiritual leader, putting aside my preferences in order to look out for her best interests, my marriage may not be as laborious as I imagine. After three years of having time alone with God every day, it’s actually become the part of my day I look forward to, when it’s just me and Him alone. That shift comes when you resolve in your mind that quitting is not a choice, both with pursuing God, and your woman.