During our wedding, my bride and I listened to the pastor read 1 Corinthians 13:7: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.” After that, we vowed that our marriage would last, but we underestimated how much the pressures of life, our schedules, our selfish habits, and even our adorable kids would pull us away from each other. Even now, we sometimes find ourselves living close by each other, but not feeling close to each other.
Bearing and Enduring
Marriage would be easy if it weren’t for these “all things” that we’re expected to bear and endure. Proverbs 19:11 says, “A person’s insight gives him patience, and his virtue is to overlook an offense.”
Why choose forgiveness? We forgive because we’ve been forgiven by God. We love in the way that He loves: His love is a covenant, not a contract. A contract, in a business sense, means that I only have to keep up my end of the deal if the other party keeps their end. But successful marriages are based on a covenant: a lifelong, unconditional commitment to do our part, even if we must endure a spouse who fails to keep theirs.
Your marriage will reap what you sow. (Galatians 6:7) If you don’t like what’s growing in your marriage, maybe you should take a look closer at the kinds of seeds you’ve been planting.
Believing and Hoping
Have you ever noticed that we tend to judge others by their actions, but that we judge ourselves by our intentions? Even when we disagree, I know that my wife’s intentions are pure. This core belief has prevented many disagreements from becoming destructive.
No matter how bleak your relationship seems to be, believe unswervingly in your spouse’s motives and trust that God is walking with you through this winter season. The winter makes spring so much more beautiful.
Don’t Give Up
Marriage has stretched us more than we ever thought it would. But it has also satisfied us more than we ever imagined. Don’t give up. Keep giving. Keep serving. When there’s no response, serve some more. Love is an action, not a feeling. Love is unconditional. It is relentless, it is persistent, and it is aggressive. Fight for the one you love, and keep praying together.
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