In our work with couples, we see faltering and failing marriages because one mate has chosen to seek “greener grass” with someone else. They shipwreck their marriage, vows, and even their children with phrases like:
- “I fell out of love.”
- “I fell in love with someone else.”
- “It just wasn’t working.”
- “We will always be best friends, but….”
- “We’re better at being friends than spouses.”
For several weeks we have been writing about the different attributes of love described by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13. At the end of Paul’s list he simply writes, “love never fails.”
If that’s so, then what about those marriages where love DID fail? And what does it look like to have a love that never fails in marriage?
When love fails in marriage it is because it wasn’t grounded in God’s love—a committed, self-sacrificing love patterned after Jesus’ love for us. Instead, it became a self-centered and feeling-based love.
Somewhere along the way spiritual drift settled in. Where Christ was once at the center of one’s life he is now at the periphery. That’s not the love that will sustain a marriage. While one spouse may remain committed to Christ, the other may be more committed to self. As we all know, it takes two to stay married.
Certainly we will fall and fail each other at times in a variety of ways. But what Paul is addressing here is a love that doesn’t fall and stay down for the count. A love that never fails is one that stays committed.
Men and women, for a love that never fails in your marriage, you must make the decision to remain committed first to Jesus Christ. You resolve that he will be at the center of your life individually and maritally. Your second commitment is to each other regardless of how your feelings may falter.
Love that never fails is the love of choice, commitment and purpose. It is the love that reflects the qualities Paul wrote about:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, NIV)
So what does a love look like that will never fail? It’s a love that says:
1) We choose to pray together
Praying together is vital to having a spiritually healthy, committed, and love-lasting marriage. If you have never prayed out loud together, this can seem awkward at first. We suggest that the spouse who is least comfortable praying out loud actually pray first, keeping it short and simple. Then the other spouse match that prayer in length. As you pray together you will experience answers to prayer, a growing faith, and a deeper commitment to your marriage.
2) We choose to stand together
Make decisions for unity in purpose. Stand together against social injustice. Stand together to reach friends and family for Christ. Stand together in unity as you parent your children. Stand together in protecting your marriage from temptation. Stand together to guard against disunity.
3) We choose to endure together
This is similar to our last post on “Building a love that perseveres.” Life will throw curve-balls, demonic forces will seek to divide you, changes will happen financially, vocationally, physically, parentally. You make the choice to remain committed and endure life’s hardships and successes with equal commitment and resolve. The greatest joy is found in staying, not in wandering.
What have you found to be keys in a love that never fails? Let love abound through you as you pursue Jesus and your spouse to build your marriage!
We thought you might enjoy this three minute song by Brandon Heath called, “Love Never Fails”