Marriage: The Daily Choice to Love

My husband and I have been married 35 years. (Whoo Hoo!) That’s quite a ways before we reach our 50th anniversary, but it’s something to celebrate, nonetheless. Like all marriages, Bob and I have had our share of tough times, exasperating days, and puzzling interactions. But we made a decision in 1974 that we were married for life—a vow for a lifetime. On the other hand, it’s not been a one-time decision.

I identify with what Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries said on her blog on July 2, 2009 about her relationship with her husband: “…love becomes a choice. A choice to step outside selfish perceptions, ongoing frustrations, the self-centered right to be right, and make the choice to love even when our feelings beg us not to … Most days, our love has been a choice to get up everyday and retie the knots that bind us. The beautiful thing about making the choice to love is the feelings often catch up rushing in, taking us by surprise.”

If you’ve been married a long time, you understand Lysa’s words. On the days when I’ve been most ugly toward my Bob, he chose to love me. On the days when he upset and angered me, I chose to love him. We’ve loved each other in days of passion and tenderness, but we’ve also loved each other when the vows we made seemed restricting and hurtful. We’ve learned to submit ourselves to one another in the fear of God, and to follow his pattern for healthy marriage (Ephesians 5:21-33), and God often surprises our marriage with fresh, surprising doses of love.

Granted, there are many difficult and even abusive marriages—and there are biblical ways to deal with abuse—but by and large, the choice to love in marriage is the choice to obey God’s Word and regularly “retie the knots that bind us.”

Reflection: What "knots"might you need to "retie" today?
For more about Christian marriage: see "Six Ways to Divorce Selfishness from Marriage," "Romance in Marriage--Yes!" and "Intentional Ministry in Marriage."


crazydaisy said...

Amen sista! I choose to make my love as consistent as possible. I was taught by the Best! Unconditional, unending, without waver... We have wome big shoes to fill!

Dawn Wilson said...

Yes, you had an awesome model of marriage, "CrazyDaisy"!