I Plan on Falling Out of Love With You
By Janel Breitenstein
Most of us didn’t have to work too hard at passion when we were dating. But one Italian study found that the brain chemistry of that first flush lasts at most two years.
Hmm. Add the one, carry the four … Those two years are about three percent of the time we actually need marriage to last.
But love is a choice. So does passion in marriage really even matter?
First, let’s look at the big picture. Passion is all about our pleasure in and excitement about each other. Delight and mystery and romance and fondness (or the lack thereof) are a sort of marital thermometer, cluing us in to whether things are tired, strained, or distant; or intentional, tender, and still discovering the wonder in each other.
And passion breeds connection, oneness.
Paul holds up Jesus’ devotion to and gentle, purposeful care for His Bride as the pinnacle of marital love. In fact, in Jesus’ prayer for His bride before His death, He pleads for this kind of closeness: “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you” (John 17:21).
That kind of oneness is pretty far beyond a peck on the cheek before bedtime.
So passion does matter because marriage is a picture of Jesus and His church (see Ephesians 5:22-33)—Christian marriages are a mural for the world to observe, with each household creating brushstrokes on the canvas.
While these are good larger scale reasons for passion, to bring it down to an individual level, God delights in our happiness in each other. Our fondness and genuine affection for each other are a see-it-touch-it-feel-it expression of God’s pleasure in us. In romance, we see that we are completely known and completely loved.
If passion feeds closeness and oneness in your marriage, then what can you do to feed passion? Stoke the flames with a creative date night, a random love note—whatever will add a little bit of zing.
The good stuff: Enjoy life with the wife whom you love. (Ecclesiastes 9:9)
Action points: Be honest. What perpetually stands in the way of you and the closeness you crave? And what’s one definitive, no-excuses thing you could do about it?
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