She stood there in all her beauty as the barn door swung open, presenting herself for the first time to her future husband. Tears poured down his face as he was overcome by the emotion of the moment. Family and friends gazed upon her as she elegantly strolled down the aisle with her father in arm. The feelings of love and devotion swept through the air that day. A brief time later, the pastor introduced Mr. and Mrs. Alex Cottingham to those in attendance.
It’s wedding season and yes, my son Alex and his wonderful bride Hannah, were married a few weeks ago. Scenes like this are happening everywhere. It was a fantastic day with lots of beautiful people, flowers, dancing, toasts, and well wishes for a happy future. All the time, hard-work and efforts that went into making it a perfect day paid off nicely. But as great as the wedding day was, it was only one day. The real work is yet ahead of them – the marriage. Every couple goes into marriage hoping it will be as perfect and seamless as the wedding day itself. But how many couples actually match the work and time needed for it to be the marriage of their dreams. Careers, children, extended family, etc. and the busyness of everyday life begin to take a toll on those ‘feelings’ of love that were so prevalent at the wedding.
And that’s what I want to talk to you about today. Love is a ‘Choice’, not a feeling. Our feelings ebb and flow in a river of life’s successes, challenges and circumstances. And many people choose to listen to those feelings – or lack of feelings – and put a parachute on and jump from the plane. Love is a Choice! We choose to love our spouse in all their strengths and weaknesses. We must each choose to love our spouse even when they irritate us, wrong us, hurt us and disappoint us.
Your spouse will not be perfect, but neither are you. Only one person in the world was ever perfect and that was Jesus Christ. And he loved us so much – in all our imperfections and flaws – that he died for you and for me. He chose us. Let’s follow Jesus’ ultimate example of true love and demonstrate that to our spouse daily. We need to make a choice to put our spouse’s needs ahead of our own. Choose to love your spouse like Christ loved you.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ~ Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Together Time: Tell your spouse 3 reasons why you love them. What are you going to do to strengthen your marriage? Plan a date night? Read a marriage book together? Go on a weekend getaway?