A young Christian couple came to their pastor’s office confused and frustrated about their marriage. They asked the old preacher, “Why did we have so much joy together when we were dating, and now in our first year of marriage, all we seem to do is bicker and fight? Where is the friendship and companionship?”
After staring at them intently for a minute, the old preacher responded, telling them that when they were dating compassion ruled their hearts. He asked each to remember how willing they were to serve the other. Back when they dated it didn’t matter the amount of time, energy or inconvenience, each was willing to sacrifice for the other. They were willing to allow Christ to be the center of their relationship. They made time to pray, to read God's Word and serve together in the church. Realizing how far they had drifted, the young couple looked at their preacher and asked, “What must we do?" He said, “Every plane that takes off must land, and in each case it needs a runway.
Your relationship follows a similar pattern. Dating and then when you exchanged vows was the first runway, your honeymoon is like your smooth flight over the ocean and then your arrival to marriage for a life time is the second runway. Everything you did when you took off from the first runway you must repeat when you land on the second runway.” There is no mystery in making a relationship last. We must follow God’s pattern. The joy of unity is maintained when we are willing to have compassion for one another, and serve one another (Philippians 2:1-5), and to allow God's Word to rule (Col. 3:16).
I know that this will call for sacrifice. The more we submit to Christ then the more of Christ we will experience. The more we seek to live in joy and unity, the more we will encounter God's glory. This will also allow us to have greater strength and a joy that can triumph over arguments and stress. Remember, love can last a lifetime when you allow Christ to pilot your relationship.