Marriage is hard! Truth be told, marriage really does take work! I can say that because I have been married for 20 years. We have had some tough times and some amazing times.
I have come to the conclusion that marriage is like a garden, if we sit back and expect it to take care of itself, it will be in ruin. If we weed the garden, it will thrive. If we water and feed the garden, it will grow. But, if we forget about our garden or make something else a priority, it will die and what we will have is a garden (marriage) that is a complete mess, a garden or a relationship that is choked by weeds as the result of a lack of care. The garden must be taken care of to flourish. This is the same for a marriage! Ok, you get it!
My husband and I recently started watching "Staying in Love" by Andy Stanley. He is the pastor of Northpoint in Atlanta, Georgia. He makes some statements that really help to put marriage in perspective. He says we need to make love a verb. I thought, what does that mean? Well, it is so true! Are we loving our husbands, are they loving us? What do we need to do to love someone? We have to show it! Some of you are saying, well, he is not lovable. Why should I love him when he does nothing for me?
Well, Andy Stanley says that when we first get married or start dating, it is easy to be in love but staying in love is a challenge. As time goes on and life happens, things change and it takes work to continue to have that feeling of being in love. Couples find themselves in a spot where they feel like they didn't choose the right person. We hear it all the time, "I am not in love anymore" or "I must hove chosen the wrong person." He says that once you choose to stay with that person and make it work you are doing right thing. By making love a verb, we are trying to love that person, not just having the feeling. God's word in John 13:34 commands us to Love One Another, it is an imperative, a command.
It also commands us to submit to one another in Ephesians 5:21. What does that mean? Does that mean I have to serve my husband? Yes, but that doesn't mean we do it alone! God will help us! We must mutually submit to each other. It means we both need to, but sometimes God calls us to step up and be the first. That means I must choose my husband over everything else!
I would love for each of you to watch this four part series with your husband! If your spouse says, no thanks then I would love for you to take a look at these. I bet your husband will begin saying, "There is something different about you." What do you have to lose?
My hope in writing this post is that each of you think about what your marriage is like. Does it need work? Have we taken care of our "garden?" Are we allowing the world to dictate what is right for our marriages? When we don't have that "in love" feeling anymore are we too quick as a culture to give up and start again, looking for that feeling? That feeling can come back, trust me, I know! God can restore that "in love" feeling even if you think He can't! I want to share with you what I have learned.
Remember, the garden needs care! What are you doing to take care of your "garden" today?
key words: staying in love, andy stanley, marriage, marriage is like a garden, love, valentines day