Learning to Love
We often base the success of our marriages on the feelings of our relationship, but we need to rely more on God’s sacrificial love to make marriage work.
I'm going to speak about learning to love. What I have to say may pertain to many of you who are married, but if you're not married, hang in there, because the principles we're talking about apply not only to marriage but all relationships.
People experience misery in marriage for 4 reasons.
Let me begin by asking this question. Why do marriages begin so well and often end so badly? I've been a pastor for a number of years, and no one has yet come to me to say, "Pastor, our great desire in life is to have a miserable marriage. Would you please tell us how we can live in real misery?" No one has ever said that. Amazingly there are some couples whom I have married who are living today in a good deal of misery. Why? Let me give you a few reasons.
First, they are miserable because of unrealistic expectations. Some people actually think marriage is going to make them happy. Here's a young woman who says to herself, "I am going to marry a man whose responsibility is to make me happy." She marries him, and he has responsibilities other than that responsibility. She begins to chip away at him to make him into the kind of man who will make her happy.
It's been said that a bride thinks of three things on her wedding day: the aisle, the altar, and him. Actually it's this: "I'll alter him. I'll make him into the kind of man who can make me happy." I just want to say this: if you are miserable as a single person, it's entirely possible you're going to be miserable married. Marriage does not automatically produce happiness. Some young women don't marry a man; they marry a dream. When the dream shatters, they're shattered, too.
There's a second reason, and that is the myth of the greener grass. J. Allan Petersen has ...
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Erwin Lutzer is senior pastor of Moody Church, Chicago, Illinois