HOW TO MAKE LOVE LAST A LIFETIME
"And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has also forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32
Do you remember the Energizer Bunny? He was the mascot and marketing icon for Energizer batteries. That little rabbit beat a bass drum…and he never stopped. He just kept going and going and going.
Wouldn’t it be nice if marriages were like that? Wouldn’t it be nice if, when you tied the knot, it wasn’t a slipknot? The sad truth is that tons of marriages don’t seem to last as long as an Energizer battery.
I performed a wedding ceremony a few years ago that lasted a grand total of four months. Four months! I was shocked and dismayed when I heard the couple was divorcing. They went through nine weeks of premarital counseling and still trashed their lifetime wedding vows inside of 120 days. Now when I do a wedding, I have the couple repeat after me, “Divorce is not an option.” As Ruth Graham once said, “I never considered divorcing Billy. Murder, yes, but not divorce." She was obviously kidding about the latter.
WHAT IS THE KEY?
Without question, if you want to have a good and lasting marriage, one that keeps going and going and going, getting better and better as time marches on, there is one big requirement. It is the word forgiveness.
What is the source of all the problems in marriage relationships? It is simple. Guys, you married a sinner...and she married a bigger one! When you get two sinners together, there will be fireworks, disagreements, hurt feelings, and the need to seek forgiveness and grant forgiveness.
1. Seek Forgiveness. When you do something dumb, selfish, and hurtful, be quick to take full responsibility and humbly and genuinely apologize. Don’t go to bed until you make right those things you made wrong. A good maxim to live by in your relationship with the Lord and your spouse: “When you mess up, fess up.” Spit on your pride and your rights. Be quick to seek forgiveness for your sins and your failures.
2. Grant Forgiveness. When your feelings have been hurt, don’t hold on to the hurt. Let it go. Even if your spouse does not seek forgiveness, grant it to him/her. Every hurt eventually turns to anger. Unresolved anger turns to bitterness and resentment--two poisonous snakes that inject their venom into the relationship until the love is dead and an icy cold tension fills the once-happy home. God’s Word is clear, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:26-27). Talk through problems, hurts, and issues in the marriage. Don’t let molehills turn into mountains. Give your hurts to God and refuse to live in resentment and unforgiveness.
MAKING IT PERSONAL
In your relationships, or your marriage, or marriage to come if God so opens the door, make it your goal to be kind, tender-hearted, and forgiving. If you are married and thinking of throwing in the towel, seek godly counsel before you do anything of the sort. God is the God of might and miracle. If He can raise four-day-old dead Lazarus from the grave, surely He can raise your dead marriage and infuse it with life, love, and laughter. Trust and obey...and watch Him work wonders.
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
Following Jesus is much more than just that initial step of faith to believe He is who He says He is. In this insightful and challenging 11-message series by Pastor Jeff Schreve, he takes a close look at what it means to genuinely follow Jesus in day-to-day life as we all await His glorious return. It is not easy, but the rewards are incredible. Click here to find out more!