The issue of marriage has gone beyond the wedding ceremony because after the ceremony comes the reality. Performing the ceremonial right is part of the will of God for marriage but there is more to success in marriage than performing the rite.
One area that needs special attention apart from performing the marital rite when we expect success in our marriages is the area of love. No marriage succeeds without love. The foundation of every successful marriage is one’s love for God and for his/her spouse.
In 1 Corinthians 13:13, Paul speaks about 3 things that will endure which are faith, hope, and love, these three things are also needed in marriage.
Every marriage is based on a belief. You cannot separate your marriage from what you believe because you are what you believe. Faith is an action that is based on belief and is supported by confidence. So every step you take is a product of what you believe. Faith is needed in your marriage.
Every marriage stands on an expectation. There are God’s expectations for every marriage, there are also men’s expectations. Even the couple have their expectations. No marriage works where there is no hope, your hope will keep you through the journey. Hope is a trustful expectation, particularly with reference to the fulfillment of God’s promises. It is the anticipation of a favorable outcome under guidance. So for you to have a fulfilled marriage your hope must be active.
Every marriage is strengthened by love. Love is a major pillar in every marriage, without it no marriage can stand.
Among these three, the bible says that love is the greatest. So, for any home to stand till the end, love plays a major role.
The word love according to Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary means, unselfish, loyal and benevolent intention and commitment towards another. So much has been said about love in marriage including many misconceptions. There are people who live so much in the world of fantasy that they can’t strike a difference between love and lust.
Most people today want to be loved but are not ready to love others. People are seriously looking who will love them not whom they are going to love. As much as it is not bad to be loved, the bible commands us to love others. The reason why there are so many crises in marriage today is that parties involved are struggling to be loved but not in love.
There are couples who assumed there is love in their marriages, especially when things are going on fine but the atmosphere in their home does not support their assumption. I have heard people saying “but I love him” often and often, even when the marriage is not working. The question is that if there is love in your marriage, what are the signs you will see in your home?
Signs That There is Love in Your Marriage
You Appreciate Each Other
Love comes with appreciation. You can’t claim to love someone you don’t value and if you truly value yourselves you will appreciate each Other’s personal opinions, efforts, and services. Appreciating your spouse is one of the best things you can do for your marriage. You must show gratitude to each other. Intentionally say thank you to your spouse, write a sweet note of appreciation to him/her.
Show yourselves how much you care for each other. Stop taking your marriage for granted. Go out on a romantic date and remind yourselves how special you are to each other. Speak kindly to each other and think about each other needs. Love grows with appreciation.
You Forgive Each Other’s Offenses
Forgiveness is a serious issue in marriage and relationship. There is no how you won’t be offended. No marriage is immune to offenses but your ability to forgive each other will keep the love growing. Forgiveness does not delete the past but takes away the hurt and heal the wound. Forgiveness is one of the ways to keep your marriage strong.
Some offenses are so harmful that a marriage can’t survive it. But forgiveness will disarm the offense and uphold your marriage. The Bible says love covers a multitude of sins, which is what forgiveness will do. If there is true love in your marriage it will show in how you forgive each other.
There is Effective Communication
wherever there is love, there will be communication. Effective communication makes marriage grow strong. Ephesians 4:15 encouraged us to speak the truth in love, that we may grow up in all things. Husband and wife must be the best friends to share every success, failure, disappointment, joy, and pain together.
You must encourage each other, confess positive things about your spouse, express verbal love, and speak to edify each other. Share your ideas with your spouse and carry him/her along in your plans. Be careful of using abusive words and avoid destructive criticism. If you really want to keep your love intact work on your communication because couples who are truly in love communicate effectively.
There is Understanding
There is no love without understanding. Every love you profess without understanding is not authentic. I have heard people often saying “I love him but I don’t understand him” if you truly love him you must understand him. Lack of understanding will frustrate your professed love.
If you truly love your spouse, you must understand his/her attitude and actions, you must know when things are okay, and when things are wrong, when he/she is happy or not. You must be able to read his/her mood in the dressing, sittings, appearances, and postures. This will help you to respond accordingly and proffer solution to the problem if there is any. So love grows with understanding.
There is Acceptance
Another way to prove that you love your spouse is to accept him/her the way he/she is. You must accept your spouse’s uniqueness, his /her weakness, and strength. Love in marriage helps the couple to see themselves as the gift of God to each other. Where there is love, you will not need to compare your spouse with another person. You will be contented with him/her and build what you want in him/her.
There is Openness
Love does not have a hidden agenda. It is open-minded. When you truly love someone, you will be free to express your mind to him/her. You will feel safe to keep your secret with him/her, tell him/her your past, tell him/her your weakness and strength, tell him/her your success and failure, and tell him/her your plans and moves. Let him/her know your mood. True love brings security and safety, no suspicion where there is true love and it gives room to open up to your spouse in everything. In a marriage where spouses don’t feel safe to open up to each other, it is a sign that love is missing in that marriage.
There is Togetherness
There is no distance in love. Couples that are in love feel safe doing all things together. They pray together, walk together, sleep together, even when situations such as work or anything beyond their capacity keeps them apart physically, they don’t feel the distance for their hearts stick together and the feeling is still strong as if they are physically together. Where there is love couples feel secured being together.
There is Sacrificial Giving
Love without giving is not authentic. Love does not think about what it will gain, it thinks about what it will give. God shows an example of the greatest love as he gave his only begotten Son for the salvation of the world (John 3:16). Jesus shows an example of love when he gave himself to the church. Ephesians 5:23, God wants to test how Abraham loves him so he asked him to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac and when Abraham was ready to do that, God confirms his love and gives him overflowing blessing Genesis 22.
Jesus also confirms Peter’s love before he can ask him to feed his lambs (John 21). Wherever there is love, there will be sacrificial giving. There is no limit to what you can give to someone you love. So, when there is love in your marriage, you will be ready to give yourself for it, and if you give yourself, you will be ready to give all other things.
Love plays a vital role in marital success. Love is more than an emotion. It’s an action that we demonstrate continually regardless of what we feel. So, if you want your home to last, how you love your spouse matters.