This is the second part to this post. The first is available here.
This post is all about contradictions. Having said that love is all about you, rather than the other person, let me show you how love is about the other person: in terms of choosing the person whom you will love this way. This is why we need to be careful and watchful and choosy about our marital partners. Having said all this, I believe that we should still marry the very best people we can find, who will also agree to marry us! (And who are single and available for marriage – that goes without saying, I hope!)
Firstly, there should of course be romantic/sexual attraction between potential spouses; if not, keep looking!
Secondly as Christians, we should be ready and willing to love our spouses, even when they don’t deserve it, even when they are not behaving like Christians, much less like Christ. However, if someone habitually does not behave like Christ, then we are simply setting ourselves up for lives of ongoing marital frustration. Ideally, we should be working together with our spouses to achieve things for the Kingdom of God; our marriages should serve to strengthen and encourage us to keep working for God and for other people, as a couple and also as individuals. However, if you are not fussy about your choice of spouse, then the probability is that your marriage will not strengthen you, but rather deplete you; you do not have any energy to invest into anything else, because you have to invest all your energy into the marriage itself. You might be more effective for the Kingdom of God if you were not married. You might even have been more effective in making an impact in the life of that particular person if you had not married them.
And then there is also the fact that the marriage will be so one-sided. It will always be one party, the same party, causing mayhem, and it will always be one party, the same (different!) party having to extend grace, forgiveness, compassion. With all the best will in the world, I know that that would cause immense resentment within me, not least because I know I would be wistfully wondering what else I could be achieving with my life.
This is not an effective or efficient use of the time you have down here on earth. It also dooms you to a life of frustration and resentment.
So altogether, I believe that on one hand, yes you have to commit to love your spouse no matter what. By the grace of God I have already made this commitment. I don’t know whom I am going to marry. It is not even guaranteed that I actually am going to get married, sad as it is to say! However, by the grace of God I have made up my mind that if and hopefully when I do get married, I am going to love him “with every fibre of my being”.
A little joke about that – my darling Mum, whom I adore so much, and for whom I am so, so thankful, thinks she made up that phrase: “Every fibre of my being”. Seriously! I know you’re brilliant Mum (runs in the family and what not!) but….surely that phrase has been in existence since at least a hundred years before you were born! Were it not for that fact though, it would be entirely plausible – trust me! (I always find it quite humorous to remember though – chuckle chuckle!)
What I mean is that I am going to love my husband with all the empowerment that God can give me, and I am going to endeavour to press through frustration and disappointment etc.
On the other hand, I believe that common-sense dictates that you should also strive to marry the best spouse you can marry, with the best character, to minimise frustration and to maximise other things you could be spending your time on!
So what am I saying? That “he does not have to be worthy” but he also does have to be worthy?! Yes, I think that that is pretty much it!
Oh yes, and I also believe that you should be looking for someone who is equally committed to loving you this way too! Sigh!
And suddenly I’ve remembered something that I’ve been thinking of: dreaming about what it would be like when a man commits to loving me with his thousand per cent. Trying not to put a face to this – no actually, what happened is that I started thinking about a particular person first…(yes, for once we are actually talking about a Christian!), then my mind oh so casually wandered onto wondering whether he might be a “1000% love” kinda guy as initial contact might seem to suggest – and then I got to thinking what that might look like – and I found myself smiling very brightly at that thought – and then I found myself having to forcibly pull those thoughts from my mind! There is hmm, possibly a zero percent chance (if that!) that the guy in question would ever read this post, (she says, in a secretly hopeful way, not daring to let herself dream of that!) which is approximately the same probability that anything would ever happen between us, but yes, I gotta say that I thought about it, and yes I gotta say that I kinda liked it!
Yes, too this is my slightly embarrassing confession, that sometimes I find myself mentally evaluating guys this way even before there is the slightest hint of anything whatsoever between us. That would be my powerful imagination at work! Oh come on, I know everyone does this! That said, these are not thoughts that I can allow myself to cultivate, so I’m going off to fill my head with the Bible instead – after writing my Bible blog post!
Image of heart in cloud by Geralt on Pixabay