Marriage is of God.
Nonetheless, and like many areas of life, we get attracted to the carrot (fuzzy courtship season) first, before the real deal.
Unfortunately, we naively expect to have a turbo-charged, carrot-filled existence the rest of our married lives.
Without having to plant a single carrot.
Beyond the Carrot.
Mercifully (albeit shockingly), we soon realize that the sweet crunchy carrot we ate in courtship was all there was.
To eat more carrots, we are supposed to get into the business of carrots.
Carrot-planting and carrot-nurturing to be exact.
Dr Gary Chapman refers to it as ‘filling up each others love tanks”
It’s a quick revelation that the sweetness of life and marriage doesn’t just happen by itself. Repeat experiences often require hard work.
Great lives and marriages are about deposits, not withdrawals.
About giving, not getting.
About growing, not stagnating.
About dying to own preferences and embracing sacrifice.
I know. Not exactly the lovey-dovey kind of stuff we want to hear.
But it’s the stuff that actually works.
Learning to be like God.
Marriage is all about learning to be more like God – teaching me to die to self, helping me learn a new hope and faith, one that defies all I’ve ever heard, known or believed.
So instead of spitting out the carrot, stomping my foot (this is not what I signed for!), I have found these two thoughts on marriage encouraging.
Love doesn’t always feel good.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Real love is not a feeling but commitment and action.
You do not walk away from your commitment because it no longer ‘feels good’.
You stay and fight.
Just like life, love is a ‘do’ thing.
You don’t just speak about it, tell someone about it, you show it in your actions.
Action that begins in thought and manifests through intentionality.
Marriage demands defiant faith.
Not comfy or timid faith (timid faith is an oxymoron actually).
You can be humble. But not timid.
Defiant faith helps you overcome the early marriage conflicts and adjustments. It’s how you walk into acceptance, appreciation, awe and gratitude.
Faith has eyes that see the future.
Our microwave-give-it-to-me-yesterday generation demands comforts, unity, cleaving and all nice goodies now. If “I can’t have it now”, we reckon God must have moved on to something else and it’s time to move on too.
But faith equals waiting.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1.
However you look at that verse, it reads “you’ll wait some'”
Faith is not paralyzed by today’s realities but keeps walking, even when it’s stuttering.
It keeps you in when you want out.