In the previous Marriage Message we shared several Married love Myths VS Truth. In this Marriage Message we will be sharing several more. We believe you will find truths you had never have realized before. It’s one thing to fall in love. It’s another to stay in love once you are married. But you have to face the truths and get rid of the myths you may be holding onto.
“If you want to have and maintain a beautiful and meaningful marriage, you’ll have to exert a lot of effort. Falling in love is so easy that you don’t even have to try. It just happens. Keeping that love alive and vibrant over the years is something else. You just don’t fall in love and forget it. There are too many people who believe that their love is enough to carry them through. Not so. The truth is that, like a delicate plant, love needs to be nurtured and paid close attention to. The smart couple knows this and takes steps to preserve their love.” (Bob Garon)
Last week we shared 3 marriage myths written by Michael McManus in his great newspaper article entitled: “Myths and True Meaning of Married Love.” This week we’d like to conclude with the edited last 5 myths McManus wrote about on this topic. As in the last message, we’ve added comments and discussion questions at the end of each one hoping you’ll spend quality “Intentional Time” with your spouse going over them together.
MARRIED LOVE MYTHS VS TRUTH:
MYTH #4: Love is a feeling.
In fact Scripture says love is a decision, not an emotion, but an act of the will. Read 1 Corinthians 13 which begins “Love is patient.” Are you naturally patient? I’m not. But with my wife, I really try to be patient because I love her.
• What about you? Are you living the principles of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7? Read those verses together slowly and use it as a check up list comparing your own actions with each other.
Additionally, to help you with this, we’ve put together a Scripture Based Marriage Check-up List. It’s based on 1 Corinthians 13 and other scriptures, as well. It’s something that we use in our own relationship. We go through this list regularly—asking each other these questions. And then we ask our partner for forgiveness wherever we’ve hurt them. We do this because we’ve pledged to love each other with the principles of the Bible as our guide. This list helps us to do so. We believe it can help you too.
MYTH #5: Only minor changes are needed to adjust to marriage and the other person.
Actually, major reconstruction is needed. We are a fallen race, a sinful people. The ego must be crushed. How proud we are —how selfish and self-centered! Pride must be destroyed. Our whole inner life must be restructured to please the other person.
Keep in mind:
“In marriage the pressure is felt most in a whole series of tiny sharply defined issues of morality, (that) take the shape of commandments: Honor the day of your anniversary: remember to take out the garbage; don’t use the power saw when your wife is home if she can’t stand the noise. Only another person can challenge and confront us at this deep personal level of our own private will and reveal to us how petty it is,” writes Mike Mason in the profound book, The Mystery of Marriage.
• In what ways have you grown as a person because of the challenges of living together as husband and wife?
• Is there anything you could have done before marrying that would have helped you to better prepare for the adjustments you’ve had to make? What? Also, if so, you might consider passing them onto those you know who are considering marriage.
MYTH #6: It takes work to marriage a good marriage.
It does take commitment and a good attitude, but the need goes deeper. The more fundamental need is TIME, T-I-M-E, not work—lavish, extravagant, huge amount of time. How much time did you spend with each other in courtship?
Be together without interference, resentment, opening up in life’s lonely areas, vast areas where the other person can find a home, a friendly space, an unhurried peace, and a serenity within the heart of the beloved.
• What do you think of the statement about “time” that Mike McManus makes? Is it possible to do this with all of the demands combating you each day?
• If needed, look at your schedules and with “intentionality” to carve out “time” to be together. Look through the Communication Tools topic for additional help, and the Romantic Ideas topic to give you additional ideas. Keep in mind that you got married because you dated. Consequently, it only stands to reason that a good way to stay married is to keep dating.
Think about it:
“Healthy marriages require intentionality. Many couples have fallen into a passive approach to their marriage. They wake up one day wondering what went wrong. They operate their marriages in what we call default mode: things happen without planning or directions or effort. Instead of default mode, we need a proactive approach for our marriages to grow. The call that we’re sending out is this: Get out of the default mode in your marriage. Live at a higher level!”
• Discuss how you can “pro-actively” work to get out of the “default mode in your marriage.”
MYTH #7: The goal of marriage is fulfillment of the individual.
Of course we seek fulfillment, and many see marriage as a path to finding it. But if marriage were the vehicle, how could single people find fulfillment? Instead, we must seek abandonment, giving up ourselves so fully that we almost surrender our individuality and forget who we are.
• Discuss what you think about this last statement? Does it go along with the example Christ gave us of His love (as described in Philippians 2:6-11)?
• Read the following statement by Gary Inrig on this same point:
“A thriving marriage expresses Christlike love: Christ becomes for us the pattern of love, and that pattern is sacrifice. ‘Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.’ It means that, in biblical terms, love is defined, not by sweaty palms and beating heart of infatuated adolescents or the steamy passions of a Hollywood romance, but by the cross of Christ. Love produces sacrificial action. It’s seen not just in what Christ felt but in what He did. ‘He loved the church and gave Himself up for her.'”
• Do you agree or disagree with what he had to say about Christlike love in marriage to make it thrive?
MYTH #8: I can change my mate.
Actually, you can only change yourself. But that can change the character of the marriage, inspiring the very change you longed for in your mate. As Mason puts it, “Marriage is the single most wholehearted step most of us will ever take to fulfill Jesus’ command to love one’s neighbor as oneself.”
• Are you fulfilling Jesus command to love each other as oneself? If not, take the time to confess, pray with and for each other, that with “intentionality” you will begin anew to live out the true meaning of love in your marriage.
We hope this message by Mike McManus (and the additional material we’ve added) has been enlightening for your relationship. Mike is the Founder and President of Marriage Savers Marriagesavers.org, which is a wonderful organization that ministers to married couples throughout the world.
Here is a great article to read concerning some of the myths we believe in marriage:
Above all, we pray the Lord ministers to your marriage as we work together, with intentionality, to make our marriages the best they can be to the glory of God to reveal and reflect the love of Christ,
Steve and Cindy Wright
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