Do you remember when you and your spouse first kissed? Last week we celebrated the 40th anniversary of our first kiss. In fact, the picture above was taken on that very weekend during our early teenage days. We still remember that first kiss!
Whether your relationship started in your teens like ours or later in life, there are great benefits to building an enduring love. In the famous “love” chapter of the Bible, the Apostle Paul wrote that “love…endures through every circumstance” (1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT). Here are seven benefits to having an enduring love with your spouse:
1. You honor God.
Your decision to build your marriage is in line with God’s desire for you and your spouse. He instituted the covenant of marriage between a man and woman. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all…” and as you honor your marriage, you honor God.
2. You demonstrate commitment to each other.
Currently the average person changes jobs 12 times in their career. People trade up on homes, move to different churches, and move on to other spouses. Commitment is hard to find. But in a 2011 study published in the journal of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, of couples married 30 years or more 40% of women and 35% of the men rated themselves as “very intensely in love.” In other words, if you build your marriage you can sustain and deepen what you experienced early in your marriage.
Building an enduring love anchors the two of you with a resilience of character that comes through a shared choice to fight for your marriage. The Enemy works tirelessly to divide you. Your commitment is a spiritual declaration that he will not win.
3. You have a shared history.
Through your years together you experience each other’s family. You get to know parents, siblings, aunts and uncles. You are together for weddings and funerals. You can talk about your family and your spouse knows who you mean and can connect with you on that level of understanding.
Together you raise children, go on vacations, and have shared adventures. You build memories over time that you can talk about. This shared history weaves your bond even more tightly.
Spiritually you both grow and mature through the years as well. Your insights into God’s love and forgiveness take on new meaning as you apply His truths to the intimacy of your marriage.
4. You know each other well.
It’s common for one of us to say something and the other to exclaim, “I was JUST thinking the same thing!” Perhaps you’ve experienced that as well. Maybe you and your spouse are at a party and catching each other’s eye, you just know what each other is thinking.
Through time, we just start to “get” each other. There’s a depth of acceptance, appreciation, and unconditional love that can only be acquired through years of doing life together. You know your spouse’s likes and dislikes.
5. You have richer intimacy.
Our kissing certainly has improved through the years, but so has every other area of physical intimacy. In fact, 88% of married couples are happy or content with their married sex. According to a study quoted by Dr. Walt Larimore, “Religious people who are married, by far and away have the best sex lives.” (You can read more about it here.) Practice DOES make perfect and an enduring love has more time to practice! 🙂
6. You trust each other more.
Every marriage has relational challenges that have to be worked through. Life in general can be tough. As you and your spouse work through different situations over the years you learn that you can depend on each other. When your spouse supports you, comforts you, defends you, and stands with you, a trust is built that becomes virtually unshakeable.
7. You build a shared legacy.
Toward the end of your lives you will be able to look back and see those who have been influenced because of your commitment to Jesus, to each other, and to your family. It’s your legacy that will endure because of your enduring love. And the shared legacy will be the end result of a mutual commitment…to build your marriage.