Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

How to Keep the Love in Marriages
( [email protected] ) Oct 27, 2003 08:05 AM EST

Does getting too close in relationship put it at a disadvantage? In the beginning of marriage, during the “grace period,” everything is lovey dovey, birds appear, and being around each other 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is a must. But as time progress, the fingers begin to point and the judgment begins.

How can married Christians retain that first heart of love they had for their spouse?

1. Distance

By distance, I don’t mean fly to the other side of the world or cut off all lines of communication. What I mean when I say distance is: respect, reverence. We tend to hold a person in reverence when we are not that intimately close to them but when the intimacy in the relationship progresses, the tenseness reflected in our words and actions lessen. By respecting your spouse, not on the premise of his or her abilities, talents, or merit, but as the holy creation of God will create a paradoxical but beautiful relationship of being closer the further you are apart from them. We should treat each other the same way we would treat Christ. That is, treating them as if they were Christ himself, would be fulfilling the great purpose of God.

2. Forgiveness = Love

Love is not simply a theory, but action. Forgiveness is highest act of love, along side with sacrifice as shown to us through the death of Christ on the cross. Relationships begin to deteriorate because couples begin to judge each other according to the flaws they see. Of course we are all sinners, horrible and wretched ones at that, deserving to be punished! However, the life and love of Christ has taught us to embrace the person inspite of their sins, having faith that with the power of love, the person can be restored to the original image God created man with. Past conflicts give birth to future conflicts in a vicious cycle because we do not forgive. We say we do with our words, but at time we still harbor a resentment against another subconsciously inside our hearts. When we have trouble forgiving another for something unspeakable and seemingly and justifiably unforgivable, we should reflect upon the love and mercy Christ has shown to us. Even though we were sinners, Christ died and gave everything for us. The sinless One did not condemn but forgave. Who are we as sinners to condemn another sinner? Can a beautiful world ever come if all we do is treat others as good as they treat us? However, love is going beyond what is asked and not only forgiving the person for the wrong they committed but also loving them. A person who has matured in the love of God will find this something easy to do.

3. The Wolf Will Live With the Lamb

The Kingdom of God is prophesized in Isaiah 11 showing how the world of people living with their conflicting animal personalities will harmonize and love under the name of God. It is only natural there is problems between couples because we are ALL sinners. When two sinners marry and live with each other, there is conflict. Although we have been justified by God, we still need to sanctify ourselves and cleanse away our old sinful habits. God has put you with someone that has something you lack but He knows that together you will make an unbeatable pair. Opposites can reveal God’s glory and show the world that even though we’re all different, we can all live in peace. It is such a blessing to receive this challenge and commission to be the role model for the world.

It is difficult to get along at times but remember to pray often and seek power from above. When the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ enters and fills our hearts, we can’t help but bestow the same great love on our spouse.