Originally posted by Duchess64
"I am sure that you are not holding up marriages which have grown cold
in mutual love as marriages to emulate."
'I think we should seek what would be most normal--lasting and faithful love.'
I would prefer to be in a marriage in which I could be loved and love with my whole heart. To be realistic, however, I know that both men and women often have to settle for other kinds of relationships.
If that is the kind of marriage you prefer than you really
should consider giving your life over to the Lord Jesus. Because being forgiven yourself, you will be empowered to forgive. And it is usually unforgiveness which causes affection to dry up.
I have been married over 36 years to one very good Christian sister. But there are absolutely three
parties in our marriage. She, and I, and the wonderful Lord Jesus are the three parties.
Just lest to ourselves we would be incompatible. But that wonderful Third Presence of the God in Christ in each of us builds us together - beyond the Eros, even beyond the Phileo into the divine Agape.
In Christ we have all three in a healthy way.
Now I will try to relate again back to the thread matter, if possible, because I digress.
In many, if not most, modern Western societies, isn't it *not* normal for a person to be married and stay loving and faithful to only one other person in one's lifetime?
That's cultural stuff. What is average is not normal.
I don't know about you but I would seek to emulate what is normal and not what is average.
I would seek the quality to want to be like rather than the quantity of the popular trends of degenerating relationships.
I would say one of the things which helped our early marriage was the encouragement of couples who had longer experience. When we hit bumps, those who had navigated their way through difficulties were of value to help us navigate through. So "community" I think is helpful. The older can help the younger.
These were couples in my congregation of fellowship. And we found that we also fulfilled that function to couples younger than us. Loosing community can make it difficult newly weds.
There's an analogy between marriage and religious worship.
Many couples stay together even when there's no longer love.
Many people keep going through their accustomed rituals of worship
(like attending church) even when they have begun to lose their faith,
sometimes even when they have lost all their faith
Yes Duchess. That's another hefty sad example of what we DON'T want to follow. I think you have a ample supply of negative examples to bring forth.
You see, when I embarked upon my spiritual life, I did not ask God to supply me with plenty of discouraging, sad, pitiful examples to hurt my faith. I therefore did not look around to see how many such people I could find.
Rather I asked God to send my way people who would encourage my faith. He was faithful in that request. So though I have seen in passing lots of things as you mention, I look for reasons to be encouraged.
With Christ every day is a new beginning. The past is under His precious blood. The future is unknown. I have God today
to enjoy. I have this days measure of grace to experience.
Yes, the believers go through seasons - Springtime, Summer, winter, Fall, and Spring again. Sure, there are cycles. A key is to keep moving forward to enjoy God and not be stuck. And certainly not to remain stuck in the past, is the Christian's task.
God is a living Person. Divine Life is a living Person. And to simply love Him is the way to go on. And when our love is cold it can be warmed up by considering how His love for us is unfailing.
His love is like the sun behind the clouds. It never waxes cold or dim. It is only temporarily obscured by the clouds of our circumstances. We learn that whether a clear sky or a cloudy or rainy sky the sun blazes still.
So these seasons actually help us to grow and sink our roots deeper and deeper into Christ.