Whether our marriage is a month old or decades old, we can all use continual encouragement. So, in this post, I simply want to pass along an encouraging word for our marriages from Tim Keller’s book, The Meaning of Marriage. Listen to his answer to the question, “What do I do when my ‘feelings of love seem to dry up’?”:
“You do the acts of love, despite your lack of feeling. You may not feel tender, sympathetic, and eager to please, but in your actions you must be tender, understanding, forgiving, and helpful….
“....Many people hear this and say, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t give love if I don’t feel it! I can’t fake it. That’s too mechanical for me.’ I can understand that reaction, but Paul doesn’t simply call us to a naked action; he also commands us to think as we act. ‘Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.’
“This means we must say to ourselves something like this: ‘Well, when Jesus looked down from the cross, he didn’t think, “I am giving myself to you because you are so attractive to me.” No, he was in agony, and he looked down at us---denying him, abandoning him and betraying him---and in the greatest act of love in history, he stayed. He said, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.” He loved us, not because we were lovely to him, but to make us lovely. That is why I am going to love my spouse.’ Speak to your heart like that, and then fulfill the promises you made on your wedding day.” (The Meaning of Marriage; pp. 104, & 108-109)
“‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”--Eph 5:31-33
Chuck Cook is the pastor of Grace Bible Church - Rolla.