Imagine a marriage where love is the driving force behind every action, every word, and every thought.
What if marriage was always meant to be more than a convenient social institution for orderly human procreation?
What if marriage was purposefully conceived by God before all time in order to create a living picture of his desire to dwell in intimacy with you and me?
What if when he created the first marriage in the Garden, he already knew that he would ultimately send his son, Jesus, to be our heavenly bridegroom, and planned to send him to his death so that we could live in intimacy with him forever?
What if God, who was willing to go to any length to be in relationship with you, made you for the express purpose of loving you unconditionally and not for what you could “do” for him?
What if this understanding of God’s love for you led to understand the way you are to love your husband or wife?
What if love was your only motive? Imagine that the primary purpose of your marriage was simply to love your spouse and not so much so that you could get him or her to do what you want, to meet your needs, or even to love you back. How would your marriage change if your spouse never, ever doubted your love?
What if love was your spouse’s only motive? Imagine that you knew that he or she was only after your heart and not your conformance to a set of expected behaviors. Imagine that what mattered most to him or her was to live in intimate relationship with you and not how they could get their own needs met. What would it be like to be 100% sure, at all times, that your spouse loves you deeply?
What if you were both able to love each other “as if” your love was already a perfect reflection of the selfless love of God, even when you behave otherwise. How would your marriage be transformed if every mistake or shortcoming was met with grace and love instead of judgment and condemnation, reflecting the way God looks at us in Christ?
The “what if” statements above are powerful and, if you really believe them, have the power to transform how you look at your marriage and, more importantly, how you live out your marriage.
If you skimmed over this post, giving casual mental assent to the truths contained here, stop and re-read each one slowly. Pause to consider the implications of each. I even encourage you to write down what you might do differently as a result of each one.
- How should you think differently about your marriage?
- How should you treat your husband or wife differently?
- How might you respond differently to him or her in various situations?
- How should you speak differently to your spouse?
- What thought patterns might need to change?
If you want your marriage to bear the fruit of the Kingdom of heaven, learn to think, act and speak according to the truths of heaven.