But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Christian marriages have a great advantage to being full, vibrant , and lasting relationships because both partners have the presence and the power of God’s Holy Spirit enabling our love for one another to include the elements: joy, peace, patience (that’s super helpful!), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (also VERY helpful for marriages!).
Unfortunately, lots of Christian married couples don’t take advantage of the Holy Spirit in their lives and those marriages fail to thrive or end all together. It’s sad because it doesn’t have to be that way.
I’ve always wondered about couples who aren’t Believers but have long marriages. I’ve assumed they must be hiding awful secrets and just pretending to be happily married because marriage is difficult. It seems like human willpower lasts only about seven years (hence the “Seven Year Itch”), and after that it’s time to move on. What’s really going on with married couples who make it beyond those early years?
Author Tim Keller solved this mystery for me in his book, The Meaning of Marriage. He asserts that there are three human institutions that stand apart from all others – the family, the church, and the state... In fact, there are all sorts of great institutions and human enterprises that the Bible doesn’t address or regulate (schools, corporations, museums, hospitals, etc.). And so we are free to invent them and operate them as we see fit. (p.5) But marriage falls into the Family category. It is God’s special design; no person invented the idea of marriage. So when people engage in a marital relationship the way God has designed, He blesses them!
Plenty of people who do not acknowledge God or the Bible, yet who are experiencing happy marriages, are largely abiding by God’s intentions, whether they realize it or not. But it is far better if we are conscious of those intentions. (p.6)
This is a good explanation for me as to how marriages really last. God blesses Biblical marriage – even for couples unintentionally participating in one. Sadly, their relationship still will only be finite because at the end of one’s life, only the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes (1 Corinthians 8:3). Loving your spouse and participating in a Biblical marriage isn’t enough to make relationships last literally for forever.
Believers know for certain that Biblical marriage empowered by the Holy Spirit is even better, and even better than that is knowing that death won’t even separate me from my husband. For, all Believers have the promise of Eternal Life (John 3:16), and we really will be together forever!
Thank you for marriage and for my marriage. I love my husband so much! I love spending time with him and being lavished with love from him. I love our physical attraction, his friendship and encouragement, attention, protection, and care. I love being his favorite person. I love knowing everything about him, and I love knowing that I will get to know him even better in the future (1 Corinthians 13:12). Thank you for making your plan of marriage known to me and to our kids and for incredibly blessing our marriage all these years. I love you and thank you in Jesus’ name, amen.