It is easy to love your spouse when everything is going good in your marriage. When the romance is alive and things are going well. When your spouse and you are getting along great and the lines of communication are active and amicable. It is easy to commit to love and affection in those times. But we all know that those magical moments only make up a small percentage of a real marriage. Every married couple will be quick to let you know that there are also times, many times, when you feel as though your spouse is just to preoccupied with their job, or the kids to give you the love and attention that you need and crave from your relationship. There will be times when you feel yourself wanting to scream out to the world…”What About ME!!!” Times when you feel like you have been abandoned inside your own marriage. What do you do during these times, when you certainly are not “feeling” love. When you find yourself becoming calloused and angry because you feel like you are being neglected and ignored in your marriage.
I am going to be completely honest with you here. You will face these moments in your marriage. Every married person does at some point. I am not saying that it is right, or okay that your spouse may at times “forget” to treat you with the love and respect that you deserve in your relationship. It is not right that we allow our jobs, our children, our passions and our pastimes to creep into and overshadow our relationships with our spouses at times. But it does happen. And when it does, you need to know how to handle the situation. So what do you do? How do you effectively handle the situation in a fashion that will lead to a more healthy and positive marriage in the long term?
Well, for starters, you must remember to always take your difficult and trying circumstances before the Lord in prayer. After all it is only God who can give us the stamina and the grace we need to get through any of the difficult situations in our lives. But beyond that, the most effective practical thing you can do to get through these difficult moments is to make a choice.
Make a choice to love. Make a choice to stand by your commitment, the commitment that you made when you stood at the alter and said “I DO…Till death do us part.” That is not a promise that is made lightly. It is a promise that is meant to serve you and your spouse in those times when the going gets rough. It is a promise to stay committed to love even when you don’t feel like it. Love is easy to do when everyone is happy, and everything is good. Commitment is second nature when things are going good. It is when you don’t feel like loving that you must love all the stronger. It is when you don’t feel like your own needs are being met and when your feelings are hurt that you must commit to loving and serving your spouse all the more.
Love is not a emotion, it is an action. Commitment is not a reaction, it is a promise.
Scripture clearly demonstrates Gods example of this love for us in Romans 5 verse 8 where it says…
“But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.”
Did God wait for the people of this earth to show Him love and meet His needs before He came down and laid down His own life as a sacrifice for our sins and condemnation? No He did not. He actively chose to love us in spite of our sins and selfishness and failures. He made a commitment to love us and serve us and die for us, even as we were cursing Him, and spitting in His face, and making fun of Him and turning our back on Him in hatred and shame.
The King James version puts it this way… ” God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The word ‘commendeth’ here means ” to show, prove, establish, or exhibit” … “to bring together or fuse together as one.” So even as we were hating and mocking God, He CHOSE to love us and commit to us His blood and His life, that we might be saved and set free.
And because He first loved us, we…(those of us who are walking the true Christian life)… came to realize that love and in that realization, we understand that we owe Christ our everything, and we in turn give all of our love and affection back to Him.
This is the design and the example that God has set forth for us to follow in our marriages and in our lives. It is God’s plan for your marriage that you CHOOSE to love and make a PROMISE of commitment, regardless of what your feelings may suggest. Remember, love is not about feelings, it is about a promise that you made. As we chose to love our spouse, the feelings and emotions will follow.
You can learn more ways to love your spouse even when you don’t feel like it, and pick up tips and strategies for dealing with hurt and anxiety in your marriage by visiting www.ChristianMarriageRetreats.net.