As I did a little research on my thoughts regarding marriage this week I confirmed the fact that the majority of the single population believe there is a “soul mate” for them out there in the world and that if they find that person they will be happy. I’m inclined to disagree with that theory but I do believe in “sole” mates. To sum it up, “sole” mates commit to walking through life with each other. The most accurate definition of love is found in the Bible in John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” That love is not based on feelings. It is based on commitment.
The Bible calls both men and women to work at their marriage relationship. Men are to lay down their lives on behalf of their wives. (Ephesians 5:25) Women are to be trained to love their husbands. (Titus 2:4) This is pretty clear cut but we still somehow seem to pay more attention to our feelings. I’m not saying we should not have wonderful, warm love-filled feelings for our mate. We should. We just can’t live completely dependent on our feelings. If we are feeling tired that does not give us the right to demand that our spouse care for us and be mad if they don’t. If we are happy because something worked out well in our day we cannot demand that our spouse celebrate with us on our timetable, in our way. If we are disappointed because our spouse did not do something we wanted them to do, more than once, we are not given permission to walk out the door. Biblical love is not based on the worthiness of the one being loved. “We love because He first loved us” I John 4:19. It takes commitment.
While this is a hard commitment it is one with great rewards. There is nothing like watching another person “bloom” right before your eyes when you work along side them to complete a dream project or you cheer them on with no reservations. The sparkle in their tired eyes is a reward when you have their favorite supper ready when they get home late from a hard, long day at work or have their favorite comfortable old sweatshirt clean and ready to wear even though they spilled on it last night. Then there are those times that the decision is hard. You are tired or you really don’t like watching basketball but you choose for them rather than for yourself. Sometimes those decisions come and go with little notice, or so you think. While it may not always register to your spouse overtly, I know the Lord sees your choices.
Marriage is journey, a long walk with a “sole” mate. Your “sole” mate walks the journey with you on the path and off the path. It’s not often glamorous. Sometimes it’s a climb and sometimes you can coast for awhile but the marriage journey is always easier when walked as a team.
Tell us about one time you chose for your spouse even though it wasn’t what you would have chosen for yourself.