“WE FELL OUT OF LOVE” (Marriage Lies 2)
What should I say when a couple I married several years earlier tells me they are separating because they “fell out of love”? They may say they married too young and have grown apart. I remember one young man who wanted to save his marriage but his wife said that ‘loving feeling’ was gone and she wanted to find it with someone else. I worked with them for months but nothing changed her mind and she left. Is it really possible to “fall out of love”? Or is that just a lie Satan uses to undermine couples and destroy families?
The lie behind the lie here is that love is some powerful forces that overtakes us and carries us along. Love must make us feel good or it isn’t love. Isn’t that what many songs, movies and books tell us? We don’t fall out of love; we stop making the choice to love and to pay the price to keep on loving. When we follow this lie, our mind is in not control, we go by our feelings or emotions. A common phrase today is to “follow your heart,” but God says ”The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (Jeremiah 17:9).
Love based on feelings, i.e., romantic love, is weak. It has no way of dealing with sin and hurts. If you marry someone with a sin nature, they will let you down and disappoint you. You will find they are self-centered. Romantic love can’t deal with that because it is no elasticity to it. It can’t be stretched, it simply shatters. Romance always fades as a motivating emotion, thus the phrase “the honeymoon is over.” Romance is weak because it is self-centered, it is all about me and how I feel. If it isn’t replaced with something deeper and more solid, then the relationship will fall apart. That kind of emotion can end, but we can and must still feed the love we have for each other, even if the feeling fades.
Another lie behind the “I fell out of love” lie, is that love is what holds a relationship together. Therefore, when the feeling of love is gone, so is the marriage. Marriage is a commitment based on vows given. “As long as we both shall live” is now often replaced by “as long as love shall last.” When the feeling fades, they think it’s time to find it again with another person. Living together instead of marriage makes it easier to move on, and there are no vows to keep or break, so many couples aren’t getting married.
Singles deal with many of the same issues in their relationships with family and friends. “Feelings” come and go in all relationships and aren’t to be depended on. Solid friendships go deeper and don’t depend on emotions.
Feelings are unreliable. How many parents always feel deep love for their children? When things happen that stretch that love, should they say that this parent-child relationship isn’t working so they need to find other children to raise instead? That is ridiculous. The parents are committed to that child for better or for worse. The same as in marriage.
The solution is to remember that love is a choice. It is an act of the will, choosing to see good in the other and letting God fill our hearts with love. Much of the world has arranged marriages. We see them all the time in India. Couples unite with entirely different expectations and assumptions in these kinds of marriage. They aren’t looking for a Hollywood romance to sweep them off their feet. When they commit to treating each other in loving, respectful ways, love grows. The truth is, . It means falling in love over and over again, but always with the same person. Ask God to fill your heart with love for your mate so you can love them as He loves them. God is good (Psalm 136:1) and all things do work together for good for those living for Him (Romans 8:28). The same is true if you aren’t married. You still need God to work in you and through you to unconditionally love those in your life.
What expectations did you bring into marriage? How have they played out? How have you adjusted? Where do you need to continue to adjust?
How do you see your marriage making you more like Jesus?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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