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Sunday Thoughts

A most recent e-mail from a devotional I signed up for.  Very fitting for today. (Also, our one year blogging anniversary!  Read our first entry here.)


Happy Marriages

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.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Everyone knows that marriages are falling apart. In fact, according to recent statistics, one out of two will end in divorce. That’s why an article in Psychology Today caught my eye. Entitled “Marriages Made to Last,” it reported the results of a survey by Jeanette and Robert Lauer of 300 couples with successful marriages. Here are the top reasons, in order of frequency, that the respondents gave when asked what kept them together. Remarkably, the top seven were identical for men and women.
  1. My spouse is my best friend.
  2. I like my spouse as a person.
  3. Marriage is a long-term commitment.
  4. Marriage is sacred.
  5. We agree on aims and goals.
  6. My spouse has grown more interesting.
  7. I want the relationship to succeed.
Other reasons included “We laugh together,” “We agree on a philosophy of life,” “An enduring marriage is important to social stability,” and others.  I couldn’t help but notice that these reasons are totally consistent with biblical principles and opposite to the message of our culture. Popular songs, books, and shows emphasize superficiality and sexual prowess, but the successful couples spoke about liking the other person and about being friends. Society implies that relationships happen quickly, but these folks said that love takes time--that there must be a long-term commitment. Contemporary views of love are self-centered, expecting the other person to meet my needs, but these couples say that real, lasting love involves work and the desire to make the marriage succeed. Years ago (and today in other cultures) parents would arrange their children’s marriages. In those situations, both bride and groom knew that they would have to learn to love the person they married. Today we have turned it around. Instead of “loving the person we marry,” with our self-centered emphasis, we say we must “marry the person we ‘love.’” And so we look and date and try relationships to find our romantic ideal--the one “just right” for us.I am not suggesting that we return to the days of arranged marriages, but we must return to the truth that they symbolize. Love means commitment . . . it must be learned . . . it is a verb and means action. Check out 1 Corinthians 13 for a vivid description of true love. Let’s take our cue from these successful couples and dedicate ourselves to real love based on commitment and unselfish action.

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