I once heard a pastor in a wedding ceremony say, “Sometimes in marriage, you will not feel ‘in love’. On those days you will choose to love.”
In society today I feel like people want so much handed to them instead of accepting and appreciating the reward in working for something. We don’t get jobs and promotions simply by wishing it were so. We have to work to get the paycheck and ️sometimes we have to muscle through the times when we don’t want to work, but are expected to, in order to get the paycheck or the reward for our efforts.
Marriage is no different. We don’t magically have a feeling that lasts for years without work. We don’t get years of uninterrupted bliss with another person. No marriage, no soulmates, no relationships, no two people cruise along without any effort for years on end.
I was talking with some friends this weekend. They have been married for 20 years and she expressed how much she has grown by sticking through the hard times. It’s what most happily married people will tell you: it took work; with that work they grew much more than they ever would have alone. They achieved depth and richness in love that they wouldn’t have gotten if they had given up.
When you work through difficulties, you find the true power of marriage. The beauty and the magic happen when you stay through the trials. In marriage, you have the ability to learn more about yourself and your partner than in just about any other adventure in life. You learn grace, mercy, forgiveness of yourself and others and you learn the power of being forgiven. When you choose to love, you become more of what God created you to be.
Here is more good news: We get second chances. We get a fresh start every day. We have the power to use these words to God and to our spouses: “Please forgive me. I can and will do better.”
I encourage all of you who are in times of doubt to consider this metaphor. Fix the bulb. Find the electrician or the specialist who can help you fix it, but don’t throw away the whole beautiful house you built because one or two of the lights have burned out… even if they have been burned out for years.
God bless you and your marriage,