Through the years, we have been surprised by the decisions made because of love. Years ago, it was common for a woman to marry or at least do unwise or sometimes illegal things because she had “fallen in love” with the wrong kind of man. When we heard these stories we just shrugged as we chalked up another tragedy to the mystery of falling in love.
Then, somewhere along the line we began to hear the phrase fell out of love being used to justify the actions that would destroy a marriage. Somehow, many began to accept that terminology as the fickleness of love. The attitude was,”oh well, who can understand love?” The idea behind all of this is that in some mysterious way we encounter someone and are smitten uncontrollably and deeply and find ourselves falling into love the way a person might lose their balance and fall out of a boat. Then, of course, the idea was proposed in reverse and many accepted it…even in the church where we should know better. We have seen couples who have allowed unresolved resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, and neglect erode their marriage. Then, instead of trying to improve their marriage, one partner concludes that all is hopeless and that they have fallen out of love with their mate and suddenly realize that they have fallen in love with someone else. They reason that God is sending them a sign to end their marriage and marry or move in with this new, better person. The effects of this are widespread and devastating.
Love does not work this way at all!
Attraction and arousal happen without the involvement of our will, however we are responsible to handle them carefully when they occur.
The Bible teaches that love is a choice that requires a commitment. In Deuteronomy 30:16, we read, For I command you today to love the Lord your God …and the Lord your God will bless you… We are told over and over in the Bible to love God and to love others. Husbands and wives are commanded to love each other. Parents and children are commanded to love each other. We are commanded to love everyone, even those who hate us. Uncontrollable emotions can't be commanded. Love is a choice that must be renewed over and over again throughout a marriage as we travel through good and difficult times. This idea that love is unprdictable, unstable, and harmful has created a widespread sense of fear, confusion, and insecurity concerning marriage. No wonder so many who have experienced the collateral damage of this fickle, self serving kind of love have opted to avoid marriage. The fallout from all of this is devastating to our culture. Love and marriage are supposed to bring a sense of peace and security. In order for that to exist, love must be accompanied by an unselfish commitment through the tough times as well as the good.
If you feel like you are falling out of love with your mate check yourself. Are you negative and faultfinding in your thoughts and words concerning your mate? Are you holding onto grudges against your mate? Are you ignoring your mate? Are you making time for your mate? Are you and your mate communicating about your needs and cares? Are you both putting effort into making the relationship work? If not, are you?
Your marriage is a gift to you from God…do your part to make it work!
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