When we watch celebrities move through multiple marriages and hop from one relationship to another, it reminds us that you can have charisma without character, talent without trustworthiness, and skill without staying power. A cartoon in a magazine showed a couple standing before a minister during their wedding ceremony. The minister, looking at the bride, said, ‘The correct response is, “I do,” not, “It’s worth a try.”’
Love—in marriage and in any other relationship—requires unselfishness and commitment on our part. And contrary to popular opinion, it doesn’t come easily or naturally to any of us. Love is others-centred and self-sacrificing. The truth is that we’re all self-centred; in our own natural selves, we care little about making sacrifices for others unless we’re highly motivated and well-rewarded. That’s why the Bible teaches us that one of the secrets of having an intimate relationship with someone else is having one with God.
John the apostle writes, ‘Love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.’ (1 John 4:7–8 NIV) And if you ask Him to do it, God will download that kind of love into your heart. Here’s how He does it: ‘God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.’ (Romans 5:5 NIV) This kind of love grows as we mature it. It develops as we feed it. It expands as we persist in it. Bottom line: this kind of love has staying power!