What makes a marriage work? And not just work, but truly thrive and grow stronger through the years? Countless experts will say things like conversation, making time for each other, and compromise. While those may be good suggestions, the truth is that in order to have the best marriage possible, it doesn’t take just one, it doesn’t take two, it takes three.
”Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8
Without God, there is no love. God is love! Love is essential for a happy and healthy relationship. Why else would you commit your life to someone if not for love? Loving someone means putting their needs before your own. It means making compromises and sacrifices at times. Love can make you float in the clouds with light heartedness and joy. But true love takes work, too.
We are merely human. We think we know what love is. But one look at the cross reminds us that there is a love so deep we cannot begin to grasp it. A love that created life. That sacrificed itself for us, even when we stubbornly refuse it. The love of Christ is never-ending.
“For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
There is nothing we could do that would cause God to stop loving us. Nothing that would separate us from his awesome and wondrous love. Knowing that such a love exists, even while not fully understanding the depth of it, opens our eyes to the reality that we have so much tot learn about love. We need Christ to show us how to love. We need Him beside us in all aspects of life, in our relationships, and definitely in our marriages.
Marriage is more than the “next step” in a relationship. It is more than two people in love. Marriage is the lifelong commitment of love between husband and wife with God at the center of it all. Marriage is not about “you” or “me.” It is about “us.” And for a marriage to remain strong in love, peace, and joy despite what life throws our way, that “us” must include Jesus. With God at the center of our marriages, we may continue to grow in love for each other and for Him.
Marriage takes love, trust, faith, patience, and understanding. It takes commitment and sacrifice. It takes more than we can give on our own. It takes husband, wife, and most importantly God. Marriage takes three.