It felt like death. The stark realization that my marriage would never be the thing I wanted it to be.
The emotional intimacy…the romantic connection…the relaxed familiarity of a friend. It just didn’t seem possible. Instead of intimacy and connection, our reality was surface conversation, forgotten birthdays and anniversaries, and stony silence.
It was the death of my biggest dream. Marriage was what I had looked most forward to when I daydreamed about growing up.
And I thought it was over. I mean, once the feelings are gone, they’re gone, right?
But then I heard some words that changed my perspective, ever so slowly. Words, which, over the span of months, and even years, leaked into my soul, through the cracks of my hardened and broken heart. Words that don’t sound all that hopeful at first blush, but that have the power to change perspective if given a fair chance:
All natural love dies.
Honestly, I didn’t really get it. Sure, I knew that the honeymoon phase wasn’t a long one, but I wasn’t really looking for pie-in-the-sky, doe-eyed, rom-com material. I pondered deeply what it meant if natural love died. What could replace it? Was there ever love there to begin with?
See, natural love is easy. It’s what we all look for when we’re dating - an ease, a click between the two of us. That’s why we call it falling in love; we don’t have to try all that hard. It comes naturally.
But if all natural love dies, what is left?
Friends, may I propose something that we tell ourselves we believe, but really don’t?
What is possible when the natural love dies, is supernatural love.
As Christians, the very essence of our being is shrouded in redemption and resurrection, which is only made possible through supernatural love. We were dead, but in claiming the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we are made alive. If this is true for our souls, why would this not be true for the rest of our lives as well?
Maybe we could even call it resurrection love.
It doesn’t come from our power; it only comes from His.
So, you say your marriage has died? I say, you’re one fortunate soul.
Because what is available to you now, through the resurrection life of Christ, which is alive in the soul of every man and woman who name His name, is more powerful than all the natural love in the world.
How does this happen? While, I hesitate to give you a three-step program, or some sort of formula to apply to the work of the Spirit inside the soul, I do have some thoughts and suggestions.
Remember that the work of the Spirit is rarely linear, but will travel over the hills and valleys of your life in order that you might be made mature, and conformed to His image.
Begin slowly. Dip your toe in the water. He is faithful, even when we are not.
Tell Him you can’t do this on your own. Confess your inability. Admit that without His work in your life and your marriage, there will be nothing worth anything.
And with those words, let out that breath you’ve been holding. You don’t have to try so hard.
He really does love you.
And hears you.
Your prayers do not fall on deaf ears.
Take heart, dear one. God is in it.
Stay tuned this week as I unfold a handful of thoughts on entering into the death and resurrection of your marriage.