I was asked a few weeks ago by someone, “Why Marry?” “Why should we get married?” My response was one I don’t think she expected. I gave her two reasons. The first reason was this: “You should marry because you have love to give.”
When I was a teenager there was a lovely older couple at my church who had been married for a long time. They were very sweet to each other. Sadly, the wife passed away due to illness. The husband grieved her loss, and then about a year later he remarried another older woman. After hearing about the wedding plans my mom remarked to me, “He is marrying again because he has so much love to give.” That statement rocked me: “He has so much love to give.” Even in my young age I said to myself, “I want to marry because I have love to give. I don’t want to marry out of selfish desires. I want to have love to give.”
When I first pursued my wife Sky, I was attracted to her beauty and her personality. I always had fun being with her and would feel relaxed with her. I was attracted to her sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and her soft heart. And there were so many other reasons why I liked her, too. Attraction is important and it’s wonderful to be drawn to someone. But while all those reasons for liking her led me to pursue her, when I married her I didn’t marry her because of what she can do for me. I didn’t marry her simply because I liked her. I married her because my heart was set on her. I married her because I wanted to love her. I had love to give to her. And I put a ring on her finger to show that I was committed to loving her for as long as we live. Even if something happens to her health, or something changes within her, I’m not going to step away from her. Love doesn’t quit. Love doesn’t fail.
Because my love for her is not based on her performance, Sky feels safe. She can joyfully receive my love knowing that there aren’t strings attached. She knows I’m not going to turn on her if something happens.
This leads to my second reason to marry: Marriage brings safety. I know I can give love to Sky without worrying about her leaving me. She is committed to me. She also gave me a wedding ring. So I am safe to receive her love.
I serve at a children’s home during the week. I have love to give to the kids at the home. I am committed to them. But the kids never made a clear commitment to me. I have love to give them, but at any moment they could break my heart. I also know that eventually the kids will leave the orphanage and I may never see them again. I continue to love them because God gives me grace to love them. But what a joy to come home each night to my wife and to know that she is committed to me. My wife isn’t going to break my heart or leave me. We’re committed to each other and our wedding rings are signs of our commitment to each other.
But more than our trust in the rings that we wear on our fingers and more than our trust in the vows that we gave on our wedding day, our trust is in God. While I am attracted to Sky, my love comes from God’s love within me. No matter how much you like someone, there will be days where you are not attracted to the person at all. There will be disagreements and fights. We’re human. We’re not perfect yet. But we are filled with God’s love. And it’s God who gives us strength to continue to be committed to one another. It’s God who gives us strength to keep loving, even through the tough seasons. It’s God who gives us safety.
1John 4:16b – God is love, and whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
1Corinthians 13:8a – Love never fails.
The basis of a healthy marriage is God’s love. It’s God who gives us love to give. It’s God who gives us love to remain committed and to feel safe. I can say to Sky with confidence: I’m going to love you more tomorrow. And I’m going to love you even more next year, and the year after that. Why? Because my love comes from God and I’m growing in His love with every day.
Love is like wine. It’s going to get better and better with time. You can trust God for that.