Lasting Love in Marriage – MM #133

LASTING Love - Pixabay - CanvaWhen we marry, we naturally expect that we will experience lasting love. That’s a great expectation. But God expects more. He designed marriage to speak of His lasting love to the couple and for others who witness this type of lasting love. It’s like what Al Janssen wrote:

“One of the original purposes of marriage as God intended it in Eden was to reflect His image. That means marriage is about something bigger than two people. Marriage is one of God’s primary means of speaking to the world, and the world takes notice when a man truly loves his wife the way Christ loves His church.”

Lasting Love

An article titled, Lasting Love, written by Susan Graham Mathis (Feb/March 2004 issue of the Focus on the Family Magazine) featured Christian music artist Michael W. Smith and his wife Debbie. At this point they were married over two and a half decades. Their relationship appears to reflect the point made about the “world” taking “notice when a man truly loves his wife the way Christ loves the church.”

WE sure took notice as we read the article. And that’s why we’d like to share some of the statements made that especially reflect the message God wants for us all to observe. On the subject of having a SACRIFICIAL MARRIAGE it reads:

“Part of their strategy in raising a family that is healthy is being willing to sacrifice. As Michael said, ‘Debbie has been unselfish since day one, and she has graciously released me to do what God wants me to do. A big part of marriage is giving, sacrificing and being unselfish.’

Making Love Last

Michael goes on to say,

“My kids see the way I treat Deb and how we interact, and they watch us with other people. They also see that I have turned down opportunities in order to make family my priority.”

Debbie goes on to say,

“If Michael needs or wants something [I try to find] a way to serve him. God uses sacrificial love in marriage to shape us into being more like Him. So we forget our agenda and follow His. It’s interesting how he uses marriage to build character.”

Lasting Love That Protects

On the subject of PROTECTING THEIR MARRIAGE (as we all should do) the article reads:

“As Michael and Debbie strive to be unselfish and giving in their marriage, they also find themselves protecting their home from enemies that might come against it. ‘You can’t put a price tag on family. As a celebrity, fighting for my marriage and family is always a challenge,’ Michael says.

“’Fortunately, I work with a good team, and they all know that I don’t want anything to get in the way of my family. ‘I protect my marriage by setting up certain parameters, and I don’t go outside those parameters. I don’t let myself get into compromising situations. And I have friends who keep me accountable and grounded.’

“’I credit the Lord with keeping us strong,’ Debbie says. ‘One key is having people pray for you, people who know what’s going on in your life.’

“The Smiths have been in a prayer group with the same seven couples for 14 years. The couples hold each other accountable. And as a result each of their marriages is strong.”

Role Models of Lasting Love

On the subject of being ROLE MODELS, the article notes:

“The Smiths guard their relationship not only to portray God’s purpose, but also to model a good marriage to their children. ‘I’d like my kids to see I’m a God-fearing man who loves his wife and kids well,’ Michael says. ‘The way Deb and I have treated each other over the years speaks louder than words.’

“’When there’s tension in the air, our kids know it,’ Debbie says. ‘So after we’ve resolved things, they need to know that everything’s fine, that we worked it out and forgave each other.’

“’The kids observe our priorities, what drives us and what makes us tick,’ Michael says. ‘I hope they’re seeing we have not only fallen in love with each other more and more over the years, but that we have also taken opportunities to pour our lives into other people.’

“Debbie says, ‘They know that family is central to everything we do. Michael and I are committed to each other. Our children see us hug all the time, and it rubs off on them. It’s healthy to let them know that no matter how long we’ve been married, we’re still crazy about each other.’”

Lasting Love: The Covenant Walk

The article closes by saying,

“As the Smiths walk in covenant together, they desire to show the next generation God’s design for marriage. ‘I love the quote from St. Francis of Assisi, ‘Preach always, but if necessary use words,’ Michael says.”

We totally agree and pray that God will speak through the witness of what Michael and Debbie are living out as a mission of love to God, for all those who observe their lives. We pray the same for you, whether you have a spouse that helps in this mission or not. Do things God’s way, and you will be participating with God Himself as a witness to all who observe your life. In closing, we’d like to leave you with the following thought:

“God offers us meaning in marriage —first by showing us His marriage; second by inviting us to follow His model, offering us the Holy Spirit as our counselor; and finally, by assuring us that those who faithfully follow His plan will receive God’s approval.” (Al Jansen, from Your Marriage Masterpiece: God’s Amazing Design for Your Life Together (Focus on the Family Books)

The important point is to faithfully follow GOD’S plan for marriage. Psalm 33:11 reminds us:

The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purpose of His heart through the generations.

Cindy and Steve Wright

— Additionally —

Here’s a related article that talks about lasting love and lasting marriage:

God’s Prescription for a Lasting Marriage

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Filed under: Marriage Messages

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