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Love is a Decision

Genesis 24

50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, “The thing has come from the Lord; we cannot speak to you bad or good. 51 Behold, Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has spoken.” 57 They said, “Let us call the young woman and ask her.”58 And they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.”59 So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah 

There is too much emphasis on feelings in our romantic relationships. When you ask a typical person the deciding factor for marriage or non-marriage – most will point out that there is no feelings.

Now I am not on the side that love is purely mental. I think God gave us emotions also but to put our emotions to such a degree of sacredness when it comes to marriage and staying married – would be detrimental and here is the reason why.

OUR EMOTIONS ARE NOT THAT STABLE.

You can feel happy one minute and suicidal the next minute. You might feel the love today and hate the person with all your heart, soul and mind the next week.

If our deciding factor for marriage is our emotions- emotions will also be our deciding factor in divorce. With emotions becoming primary – expect relationships to be short term.

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On the other hand, biblical marriage is not based on emotions alone – though emotion plays a part in enriching the decision. Marriage is a covenant. It means that we are commanded to love as Christ loves the church. How does Christ love the church.

Romans 8:28 says “While we were still sinners Christ died for us.” In my translation that means at my worst Christ decided to stick with me and love me and give up His life for me. It was mostly a one sided relationship and the only thing we bring to our relationship with Christ are our complications. But God’s love makes our complicated lives, simple. How? By His unconditional love.

And this is how God expects us to treat marriage. It is a covenant. It is selfless not selfish. It gives and it never expects to take. But if both parties understand that love is a decision and marriage is a covenant – both would gladly give and both would gladly receive – this makes a fruitful and strong marriage.

The playwright Thornton Wilder has this to say:  

I didn’t marry you because you were perfect. I didn’t even marry you because I loved you. I married you because you gave me a promise. That promise made up for your faults. And the promise I gave you made up for mine. Two imperfect people got married and it was the promise that made the marriage. And when our children were growing up, it wasn’t a house that protected them; and it wasn’t our love that protected them – it was that promise.  

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