Every young woman dreams of being swept off her feet by a dashing young man and living happily ever after with that same man for the rest of her life. When done alone, or trying to accomplish that happy life, chances are you won’t make it through the first difficulty that comes along. Marriage should be a lifetime commitment, but somewhere along the line, we’ve turned this wonderful institution of God into a totally different thing.
Young couples now, often need a trial period before making a commitment. They live and love together as if they were married, but there is no solid bond between them. They can leave the relationship at any time. To some, the reason to get married is to procreate – to give your unborn child a name – or to satisfy your nagging parents. Dreams of perfection are soon dashed and no one seems ready to work hard at one of the greatest gifts from God.
As children we learn about love from our parents. As toddlers we start to experience love from others. Once in school, we might become madly in love with our kindergarten teacher or the child in the next seat. When we move into puberty all the hormones rush to our heads and our hearts as we fall for the cutest new rock star or the guy who tells you that you look nice. The next step is sorting through those relationships to find the one that you want to grow old with. In time you marry, have children, work together, do your own thing, drift apart and love may fly out the window. When you reach your 70s and your love is still the most important thing in your life, you’ve finally realized true love.
Love doesn’t just happen in the blink of an eye. At first sight it might seem that it’s all perfect. The experts don’t tell you what’s really involved in making a sound relationship. For the most part you’re operating on emotion and nothing more. The idea of conflict entering the picture is furthest from your mind. When you get to be my age, conflict becomes to much like work and we run out of the necessary steam to pursue it.
When you become united in marriage, you soon find that the person you married isn’t the person you thought they were. You weren’t bargaining for the little things, like leaving the toilet seat up or a pile of laundry cluttering the floor in your bedroom. You didn’t know that you’d be sharing your bed with a stranger. Your ideas of perfection and the Pinterest lifestyle have flown out the window. Reality sets in.
If you can’t see beyond your own feelings and needs, chances are your love isn’t going to make it through the next few years. True love takes nurturing and work. When you commit to one another, prepare yourself for that. Love is not about self. It’s about two lives coming together and actually becoming one mind, one heart, one soul. As time progresses, you can almost read each other’s minds and finish each other’s sentences.
Placing God at the head of that union is what solidifies it and allows it to last and flourish with age. That cord of three strands – you, your spouse and God – is the super glue that binds you together into your golden years. You can find this in the best handbook for marriage ever – the Bible.