The second is when a couple never learns how to pivot. Let me unpack that one for you. Most couples fight each other. The scenario goes something like this: There’s a problem. The husband and wife stand face to face with the problem between them, and they each want it solved their way. Some couples yell and scream, and others talk civilly to each other, but all of them are adamant that their way is right and their spouse’s way is wrong. Do you have that picture in your mind? Now, picture both of them pivoting so that instead of facing off they are standing side by side. The problem is now in front of them instead of between them. Now it is about how they can solve the problem together. Now they are fighting as a team.
Love that perseveres is about fighting together rather than fighting each other. It is about staying committed to each other no matter what. A love that perseveres lasts a lifetime. To persevere, a husband and wife need to love each other unconditionally. Wow! That may have caused you to stop in your tracks because loving your spouse unconditionally seems impossible to you. Think about this: It is impossible unless you let God take over.
When God is given the lead in our marriages, the impossible becomes possible. Let me give you an example. I can say that I love Nancy unconditionally, but I know there are times that I do not. My humanness rears its head and takes over. That is when I need God to step in. My role is to persevere in pursuing my love for her; no matter what my temporary feelings may be, my role as her husband is to love her unconditionally. Doing that on my own never works, but doing it with God works every time. When I am reminded of His unconditional love for me and that He has persevered in His pursuit of me since the day I was born, I know that with His help I can answer His call to love Nancy unconditionally. That is what makes the difference. That is a love that perseveres for a lifetime.
What is your next step? Let me give you a challenge. It’s risky because it involves God; and when we involve God, He always shows up. If you are in, then do this. Ask God each day for one week to search your heart and reveal anything that is keeping you from loving your spouse unconditionally. As things surface, examine each one and then turn it over to Him. You will be amazed at what God does with it. Repeat this process as often as needed until your unconditional love for your spouse is a reality. Persevere, because “love … always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:6–7).
This guest post was written by Kim Kimberling, Ph.D., author of 7 Secrets to an Awesome Marriage and leader of the Awesome Marriage Movement. You can learn more about him and his ministry at www.awesomemarriage.com.