I’m an admirer of social media. I know some people shy away from it or damn it to all hell because reckless people, through irresponsible behavior, have assigned it a bad rap. However, I happen to believe it can be serviceable in many good ways if used the right way.
In saying that, while scrolling my Facebook timeline yesterday evening, I came across a re-post from a friend of mine that rocked my socks off, and I’d like to give yours a little tremor too.
The original post came from a best-selling author by the name of Lysa TerKeurst, and here’s how it reads:
The first 5 years of my marriage were really hard.
There was yelling. There was the silent treatment. There was this sinking feeling that things would never, could never get better. That’s when I first started hearing the 3 lies:
– I married the wrong person.
– He should make me feel loved.
– There is someone else better out there.
I believed those lies. They started to weave a tangled web of confusion in my heart. And I wasn’t shy about sharing my frustrations about the whole situation with my friends.
Many nodded their head in agreement with me, making me feel ever so justified. But one didn’t. She said, “I know what you think. But what does the Bible say?”
Reluctantly and with great skepticism, I turned to a couple of verses she suggested including 1 Corinthians 13. As I read the list of everything love is supposed to be, I got discouraged. My love didn’t feel kind, patient, or persevering. The love in my marriage felt broken.
I closed the Bible. It didn’t seem to do anything but make me feel worse.
Then a few days later I heard an interview on a Christian radio station where a couple was talking about these same verses. I wanted to gag and turn the station. What do they know about how hard love can be? That’s when they said a statement that grabbed me, “Love isn’t a feeling, it’s a decision.” Wow.
I went home and flipped to 1 Corinthians 13 again. This time instead of reading it like a list of what love should make me feel, I read it as if I could decide to make my love fit these qualities. My love will be kind. My love will be patient. My love will persevere. Not because I FEEL it — but because I CHOOSE it!
Now, before you get ahead of yourself, no, I’m not sharing this because I have troubles in my marriage. This blessed me because of its sheer honesty. Marriage isn’t about a man-made fairy tale. The knight riding in on his white horse through treacherous feats that no average man dare endeavor, to save you from your solitary place of loneliness, to give you an eternal promise of only happy days, does not exist. Sorry. MARRIAGE AINT THAT! The knight will get old, and he may gain some weight in the process. The horse will die. Because let’s face it, horses don’t live forever. Or, he could be a famed knight. Which means he’ll be away most nights on business for the kingdom. There goes your rescue from loneliness. My knight was a salesman with car troubles, a divorcee, and a really nice guy with a heart full of kindness. True story.
The elders used to say, “Salvation is free, but the gospel will cost you. Every marriage sealed before God and founded upon Godly gospel principles requires work. There’s a cost to saying I do. Marriage is a ministry! It’s a vocation of love. Every day, you work the “I” out of the “us” equation. There will be days when you don’t like the person you vowed to love. You will disagree with one another. You will get angry with one another. You will manage, through all the love you vowed on your wedding day, to say and do unkind things to one another. All these things will happen. Why? Because love is perfection at work–you work out your kindness, you work out your patience, and you persevere through the ugly moments. Wow! That sounds like an echo of something my pastor preached a couple of weeks ago. God has a funny way of giving us confirmation.
I’m not trying to scare anyone away from marriage. I’m simply advising that marriage isn’t something you go into because you need rescuing. Only God can do that. Marriage is an appendage to the work God already predestined for you; except you do it with a partner.