Love Hopeth All Things

Wanting to help a distressed friend nearing a divorce, I wrote the following piece about maintaining hope in a marriage despite a seemingly irreparable broken relationship. This friend’s marriage was restored.

I received the following e-mail upon their return from a beautiful relationship healing trip to Paris:  We had a blessed time in Europe. Thank you for your prayers. We felt the hand of God’s blessing on us in very physical ways. We felt it in our hearts often. We saw Jesus in many encounters. This was my prayer: “But as for me, I will always have hope. I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure.” (From Psalm 71)

Love Hopeth All Things

Relationships, by the very nature of the word, require the interaction of two beings. This might be a man and his dog, a man and a woman, or a man and the heavenly Father. Lasting relationships begin with the presupposition of “for better or for worse.” They begin with a philosophical decision of longevity rather than transitional care.

C.S. Lewis, in his book Miracles, describes belief in the supernatural as a philosophical decision. Is the supernatural existent? Is a miracle probable or improbable? These questions must be answered before one encounters a miracle. It’s this philosophical mindset that determines how one views and reacts to a miracle.

This thought applies to marriages. In a marriage, our presuppositions or philosophical decisions determine the longevity of the relationship. I don’t have pets simply because I don’t bond to animals. I see my care for animals as obligatory and transitional. I’d be the first one to leave behind a pet when I move. When their care became too difficult, I’d transfer the pet to someone with more time. I don’t decide ahead of time that my relationship with a pet will be long lasting. Instead my relationship with a pet usually comes on a trial basis. Some people approach marriages in a similar fashion.

Marriages have become philosophically transitional or conditional. When life’s circumstances change, so can the relationship between a man and a woman. When a spouse decides they are tired of being alone night after night, they allow their mind to consider new relationships on the emotional basis of transitional love. An uncared for spouse might fall into the trap of self-seeking desires taught by the world and commercials. “I deserve more. I want and need someone now, not when my spouse decides to come home.” Sexual needs supersede marriage vows. A spouse’s long-term illness becomes a hindrance, not something dealt with in love. When problems occur that seem too permanent, marriage commitment becomes optional.

But God calls us to a marriage covenant. A covenant presupposes “unconditional love.” The world teaches that love and marriages are based on conditions. But God demonstrates the covenant love that must be a part of a marriage if its to be a long term, permanent relationship.

Most people believe a covenant requires two people to keep the conditions of a covenant. Most of the covenants God made were one-sided. The Noahic covenant was an unconditional promise that God would not destroy the world with a flood again.

In a marriage covenant, both partners must enter with unconditional love. Their covenants must be one-sided. I will love. Not if my partner meets my needs or if my partner returns my love, then I will love. But I will love. The marriage covenant must begin with both partners having the philosophical presupposition of a long-lasting marriage, for better or for worse. But these must be individual covenant decisions first. When a couple enters marriage they have separate vows. Each vow is an individual covenant. When both partners keep their covenant or marriage vows, the marriage is long lasting and fruitful

Can a marriage last with only one partner having a philosophical mindset for longevity? Love hopeth all things. Love believeth all things. If a person is in such a marriage they need to have made a philosophical decision that God works miracles. God can bring hope and new life to a broken marriage.

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