I just started preaching a marriage series at our church. This series is basically the result of more than a decade of counseling others in their marriages, preparing new couples to be married, and from my own Marraige. These are (in my opinion) the most important keys to a successful, lifelong marriage.
#1- Understand the real definition of love- COVENANT
Imagine how your decisions would change if you knew you would never leave your current job. You would not be promoted and you could not be fired. That knowledge would affect your decision making.
Perhaps you would decide-
- “I’m going to start treating everyone better because I’m stuck here. I might as well enjoy where I’m at.”
- “I’m going to stop looking for ways to put myself ahead of everyone, I’m just going to try and do my job to the best of my ability”
- “If I’m going to be around these people for the rest of my life, I’m going to see if we can all be happy”
- “I’m not going to engage in this fight because even if I win, I’m stuck with this person tomorrow. I might as well make peace.”
or perhaps you would decide-
- “I hate these people and I just don’t care anymore. I’m going to just be miserable forever”
- “I’m stuck here, I might as well get as much as I can out of this- I’ll cheat, lie, steal, and hurt whoever I need to make sure I’m good.”
- “I’m stuck around these people for the rest of my life, I might as well make sure I’m happy and just tune them out because they don’t matter”
- “I’m going to win these arguments and let everyone know I’m right, even if it means we won’t talk to each other for months.”
God defines love as a covenant, not a feeling.
The Bible defines God’s love for us as a Covenant. A covenant is the strongest promise that can be made. A marriage covenant is this strong promise aimed at a spouse and equally bound to God. That’s right. When we get married, we are bonding ourselves to God that we will never abandon this promise. Even if our spouse deserves it. Our promise was to God, not simply a person.
So if it a commitment for life, then your perspective should change.
If I’m committing to marriage for life, I should make wise choices.