“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”Genesis 2:24
It’s no secret that I am very passionate about marriage. Part of why I am so passionate is because there is so much negative connotation surrounding the decision to get married.
People can’t stay in love/committed to one person forever.
The fire will fade.
Divorce is too common. Why would I enter into a marriage when it has that likelihood?
I want to debunk each one of these popular opinions with Scripture and with my own experience. I am not saying that these popular opinions aren’t based on evidence gleaned from this fallen world – I believe that they are. What I am saying is that there’s another way. Marriage can be – and by its design and purpose, IS – one of the most beautiful, passionate, surprising, fun, wonderful aspects of your life.
Let’s get into it.
- People can’t stay in love/committed to one person forever.
Looking at the history of humanity, as far back as to Adam and Eve, this is a fair assumption. People are sinful. People are broken. People can be lustful, selfish, greedy, in want, and get lost in feelings.
Many people grow up without respect for their own selves and bodies, dating whomever they please whenever they please, sometimes even without “strings attached.” But this is bound for hurt, as God’s Word tells us that sex is soul-weaving no matter who it is with: “Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh” (1 Corinthians 6:16). Just like anything else in this world, sex can easily become an idol. But when it’s had outside of the confines of a marriage, we’ve joined ourselves to a person outside of what God would have ordained. Many of us know the pain of a decision like this, and I’m not writing it to heap guilt or shame of any kind. It is the Truth of God’s Word, but there is always redemption, always forgiveness, always grace from all sin in Jesus Christ.
So, when this is what we see – cheating, unfaithfulness, lust, greed – it’s no surprise that a committed, loving marriage feels unlikely.
But oh, here is the key to a purposeful, committed, fun, compassionate, wonderful marriage: A cord of three strands is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12). The Bible also says that two is better than one – but with the Holy Spirit of Jesus as the third party, the HEAD, of a marriage, that marriage is unstoppable, because God is.
Johnny and I knew very early in our dating relationship that we were going to be husband and wife. We recognize that this rare: it is something that Jesus showed us, and for His glory alone. It was because of His goodness and Spirit in each other that we fell in love. When it is Jesus in another person that you love, you cannot ever fall out of love.
Now, that notion might sound weird. I’m not saying that Jesus in Johnny is the only thing I love about him. In addition, he is best friend, the person who makes me laugh more than anyone, who I can tell anything to, who I am so attracted to… the list goes on forever. But so much of who He is is because He lives surrendered to Jesus Christ. With the LIVING God constantly breaking us, constantly changing us, constantly redirecting us and revealing Truth to us, commitment is the only option. And it’s an AMAZING, beautiful option.
The only other thing I will say about this for now is that marriage IS commitment. God gave us the free will to choose our partners, and to choose marriage. But when we enter into that, we MUST do so knowing the seriousness of the commitment that we are making. When I hear about divorces that happen because of “lost feelings,” I can’t help but wonder how much the seriousness of the vows being made on the couple’s wedding day were really taken into account. Divorce must not be seen as option, outside of cases of abuse, adultery, or an unbelieving spouse leaving the marriage. This article does a wonderful job of explaining the Biblical merit for these in greater detail.
“They are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”Matthew 19:6
2. Marriage is boring.
Marriage will be as boring as you choose to make it — just like anything in life.
If you choose not to settle, which I hope you do, you’ll marry your best friend, and then “not being boring” won’t be difficult at all, no matter what you’re doing together. Beyond this, though, life is not about our consumption of entertainment; and marriage, yes, demands selflessness, sacrifice, and obedience to God. But these are all things that we should be cultivating more of every single day.
Marry your best friend, and do fun things together. Cuddle lots. Communicate every little thing. Hold each other in the hard times and grieve together. Empathize deeply. Pray together. Cultivate community and have people over for meals. Be in the Word TOGETHER. Clean and cook together. Do it all for God’s glory, awing in Jesus.
3. The fire will fade.
I want to debunk this in two ways.
Firstly, through experience. I know I speak for a minuscule percentage of couples, BUT, still validly, I love sharing that Johnny and I have been together for over five years and I genuinely fall in love with him more and more each and every day. I give all the glory to God for that, but I want to tell you, Friend, that it’s possible to for the light of the fire to just grow bigger and brighter every single day of your marriage. When you’re basking in Jesus, that’s just the way it will be. When JESUS is your Saviour, and NOT your spouse (because your temporary, imperfect spouse CANNOT save you) this is possible. Easy.
Secondly, in this way: we don’t make marriage vows based on feelings, because we CAN’T promise feelings. We CAN promise commitment. Sacrifice. Joy and mourning together. We can vow actions, and then follow through with Jesus as our guide. Check out this a fantastic message by Frank Turek for more on this topic.
4. Divorce is too common. Why would I enter into a marriage when it has that likelihood?
This statement simply grieves me. Here is what I say to it: enter into it after much prayer, understanding the seriousness of the commitment you are making, without considering divorce an option for a second. THAT is what marriage is. If you have doubts or questions, address them. If the Holy Spirit points you in a different direction… listen. The decision to marry is one that the Lord must prompt. Enter into it under Him.
If you are currently married, and came across this blog because you’re wondering what God says about divorce, I would urge you to go to Him and His Word about it. There is no shame in your wondering, Friend. There is no guilt in your struggle in your marriage. Ask the Holy Spirit how He’s calling you to humble yourself in your own mistakes. Be open and completely communicative with your spouse. And let Jesus’ sovereignty and His sanctity in marriage reign, moment by moment.
I am praying for the marriages across our world, that the Lord would bring revival. I would LOVE to pray with you and for you. Never hesitate to reach out in the comments section below with questions or prayer requests, or DM me at @cassandraafulford on Instagram.
When people say “the fire will fade” they don’t mean the love will fade. Of course you love your spouse more and more each day, but those butterflies and feelings when you first initially meet naturally will lessen. It’s not a bad thing! Butterflies in my opinion are not good because they signify uncertainty and being uncomfortable in a sense. You get butterflies at the beginning of a relationship because your nervous around the person and are on guard about how you behave and present yourself. Once you’ve been with someone for years upon years you should be calm, comfortable, and feel at home with a person. If you still have “butterflies” after many years you’re in trouble.
Thank you so much for your comment!
I happen to completely agree with you, and really appreciate this perspective and the clarity you’ve provided here. You’re absolutely right that “butterflies” are likely nowhere near the extent to which they are in the very beginning of a relationship. However, I didn’t *personally* get butterflies in the beginning because of being on guard, but because of spiritual/physical/emotional attraction. I’ve felt very comfortable with my husband from the beginning… and he’s definitely seen EVERY side of me :P. So for sure, when you’re married especially, that family/safe/comfortable aspect is heightened even more – and that’s why you don’t vow on a “feeling,” because “the heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9). But the love/mushy emotions, in my opinion and experience, can still be there even as the comfort and family feelings increase. Not to say this NEEDS to be the case for everyone or is something to bank on, but it’s been my experience.
Thank you again for taking the time to comment!