Secrets to a Lasting Love
Do you want to learn how to keep the honey in honeymoon? There’s no better advice I can give couples than to submit to the Lordship of Christ in their lives. Listen to 1 Peter 3:8-10:
Finally, be all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.
God has revealed ways for you to build a lasting love. They don’t have to be a secret:
My wife Joyce has always known that God is first in my life and she doesn’t mind being second. Why? Because she knows I can love her more by putting her second than I ever could by putting her first. She knows that when God is first, He’s going to make sure I treat her with the love, honor and respect she deserves and He desires.
First Peter 3:7 says, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (emphasis mine).
She can rest securely in that for you see it also says that God does not recognize male superiority or female inferiority.
Every home is going to be attacked. Ours has; yours will be too. There are three kinds of attacks:
Earthquakes that shake your family to the very foundation.
Woodpeckers that peck at your home
Termites that silently eat away at your home.
Usually it’s easier to deal with the earthquakes and woodpeckers than the termites.
If you will banish bitterness and attack the problem rather than one another, your family will withstand these attacks.
First Peter 3:8-10 has much to say about the kind of communication couples need to enjoy a lasting love. Joyce and Adrian are very different. We took a psychological profile one time, and the very areas I was highest in, she’s lowest in, and vice-versa. In many ways we are total opposites. (Isn’t it interesting that these qualities that attract some couples before they get married typically become what drives them crazy afterward.)
One way to build communication is to have a good date life. Every couple needs to have four kinds of dates. Each spouse should have:
1—A daily date with God
2—If you have children, a regular date, one-on-one, with each child
3—A date by yourself. Each should get away for a time of quiet reflection.
4—A date with one another, scheduled with the commitment you give to an important appointment. If as a couple you don’t purposefully put a regular date night on the calendar and commit to it, it probably will not happen.
Keep the love light burning. Look again at 1 Peter 3:7, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”
So many couples stop courting one another after they marry. Never let it end.
Add to that, I encourage you to compliment one another. Joyce and I take a walk together most mornings. In our neighborhood there’s a curve in the road we call “the compliment curve.” From the time we reach that curve till its end, we do nothing but compliment one another.
Gentlemen, never cease flirting with your wife. Keep her “first” above all other women.
Respect and be courteous to her at all times. Open the door for her—and not just when other people are looking.
Now, because I’m a man, I have more to say to men about what you can do to keep romance alive. Ladies, take the above and adapt it to how you can continue to court your husband.
I say this last, not because it’s least, but because it’s most important. There’s a good reason 1Peter 3:7 tells husbands to lovingly respect their wives—a purpose stated at the end of this verse: “that your prayers be not hindered.”
Joyce and I started out our marriage praying together in the mornings, praying for each of our children and grandchildren by name because we know the Bible says, “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain” (Psalm 127:1).
To the men who may be reading this, I implore you to humble yourself and get down on your knees with your wife and practice prayer. It will give her great confidence and comfort.
If you are married or are contemplating marriage, don’t just read but act upon these five practical steps of wisdom from God Himself—to create a love that will last.
If you’re saying, “I just can’t do it,” trust me, you cannot do it on your own or by your own strength. Our flesh will fail us. Jesus said, “I am the Vine, you are the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). You must call upon His strength, His Spirit, to do this through you.
“Dear God, I ask you to give me the grace to live in relationship with my spouse as You want me to live. I acknowledge that it is all by Your grace. We can do nothing apart from You. You promised my strength would be as my day (Deuteronomy 33:25). Come, Lord, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Fill me, empower me, I pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”