“I love you but I’m not in love with you”. This sentence is uttered to countless married men and women every day. Usually the person who says it truly means it. Or at least, what they believe love in marriage should be. So, let’s talk about that.
Let’s start with our vows. What kinds of things do we vow on our wedding day? Well obviously we know the promise to love, to honor, to cherish, etc until death do us part. Please tell me where in the vows does it say….. Or at least until that “loving feeling is gone”.
Let’s look at the vows again. The first line- I promise to LOVE.
How can we promise a feeling? Did we just assume our feelings would never change? Did we commit our lives to our spouse based off AN ASSUMPTION? I really hope not!
Let me honestly share with you about my feelings over the years of marriage: Lust, “Love”, Irritation, Love, Annoyed, Angry, Distant, Love, hopeless, Lust, Like, Love and so on. Ever changing.
When we get married, we promise to love. Our feelings are always changing. There have been seasons I do not like my spouse so much, but I choose to love him. There are days I can’t stand my spouse. I still choose to love him. I vowed to do so. I did not vow “unless my feelings change”.
Am I stuck choosing to love someone because of a vow?
The answer is no.
I’m not stuck. I am privileged to be able to experience through the process what a deep love is. I am privileged to know what it means to choose to extend grace when I think my spouse has fallen short of my expectations. And, I’ve been privileged to receive that grace as well, as grace poured out can mean grace in return. And you know what, the more grace a couple gives each other, the more the marriage thrives!
I’m privileged to learn what patience is. When my spouse falls short of my expectations, I have learned that when I am patient, God shows me the way. When I seek God, he shows me where he is working and why I need to be patient. And I’m always glad I was.
I’m privileged to know the art of letting go. I can let go of the little things and even some of the bigger things as I know I am choosing to love. I also know that there isn’t a single person on this earth who I won’t have to learn to let certain things go with. Why start all over with someone new to be in the same boat eventually? Makes no sense but people do it ALL THE TIME.
I am privileged to know my self worth. My self worth doesn’t come from my marriage. It comes from the Lord. I don’t get hung up on if someone else is making me feel on top of the world, because I know that feeling is new and fleeting and won’t last. I trust that Im standing on top of the world with God. Forever and Always.
Have you said these words to your spouse? I urge you to think a lot more about it. Imagine meeting someone new. Someone amazing. Everything is so awesome….. initially. But inevitably, as ALL relationships do, the excitement fizzles, and the realities hit. You WILL be in the same boat. I encourage you, choose your spouse. Choose to love your spouse. Don’t chase the mirage.
Do you not like your spouse right now? Okay- it WILL pass.
Are you unhappy with them right now? Tell them. And start working together on things.
Do you not love them right now? It may be true in your heart, but there have been many men and women who brought this burden to the Lord, and they were able to see their spouse through the God’s eyes… and the love not only returned, but returned more powerful than ever.
Your marriage, AND your feelings CAN be restored. I’ve known countless marriages (including my own) that weathered the storms and grew their love so deep it is unmatched by todays’ ideals.
For the spouses who’ve spoken with God about this and are planning an exit and even think God is okay with it- No, he’s not. God hates divorce. He says in Malachi 2:16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, The God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect.” says the Lord Almighty. “So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.”
He knows what it does to people emotionally and financially. He knows how it destroys people, and families, and children. He hates it.
But it’s not hopeless. God CAN restore your marriage. God can bring a new and amazing love there, even a “HOT” love. But you have to seek him, and you have to study his words of instruction to you on how to get there. He truly wants you to enjoy your marriage, and he WILL help you!
If you are in this boat, all is not lost. Your feelings can return. For more questions or resources feel free to send your query to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are on the receiving end of these words, check out How to Save Your Marriage Against All Odds, When He Says I don’t Love You Anymore, How to save your marriage resources, and definitely check out our secret Facebook group.
Yours Truly and God Bless,
*disclaimer- if you are in an abusive marriage or one ridden with addiction, please get help. Your safety is priority.