Choosing just one person for the rest of your life
Do you dream of getting married? Lots of people do, and with good reason!
You may be thinking that it’s best to ‘test the waters’ before you get married, and perhaps live with your partner for a while. Many people do choose this, but it isn’t compatible with what the Bible says.
The Bible has clear guidelines about where a sexual relationship between a man and a woman should be expressed. It must be between two people who love each other, who promise publicly to stay together for life. It must be done publicly, in church or with the marriage registrar. It must be done in such a way that everyone can see that now these two people belong to each other. This in itself protects their marriage relationship. It’s all about the two people, and no one has the right to come between them. (Read Genesis 1:24 and Matthew 19:5–6.)
Jørn and I have been married five years now. Being married is similar to being a single person: there are good and bad times. It’s actually in the difficult days that I’m most happy that we’re married. Just think, I’m married to someone who’s promised, before God and other people, that he won’t leave me. He’s promised to be with me in both the good and the bad days. He’s made a promise that I trust he will keep, and he’s got the same promise from me. So what do we then do when the difficult days come (and they will)? Then we’re forced to find solutions. We have to sit down together and find out what’s best for us both. It may sound like a cliché, and it isn’t always simple, but this is the only alternative open to us.
So what does it mean to be married? Well, we live together, share our finances, we have two children and share almost everything. But is that all? No, being married is so much more than practical arrangements. Before we married, the priest said to us that my loyalty would now be first and foremost to Jørn, and not to others. Likewise, Jørn’s loyalty would be to me. This was a wise saying and it goes along with the act and process of leaving mother and father. Don’t leave them in the sense of cutting off all contact, but marriage partners should support each other in the marriage rather than letting the proverbial mother-in-law decide.
For the rest of your life?
Is it possible to love someone for your whole life? Yes, I think it is, absolutely, but I don’t think it works automatically. When we neared marriage age, my father drummed into us the fact that ‘Love is a choice!’ In the ecstacy of being in love this sounds silly and old-fashioned. We would rather say ‘Love is love!’ and we’re just sure it will last. Love is strong, but it needs care. My father was wise; he meant that as a spouse, you have to choose the other person every day. Choose to show love, especially in the days when things are going badly, choose to do something a little extra for them, choose not to see all their faults and mistakes. When temptations come, choose the one you’re married to and no one else. This is a wise saying, particularly if you’re attracted to others. There’s a proverb that says, ‘You can’t keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.’
This is fabulous!
Doesn’t this sound quite unromantic? It’s actually not unromantic. It’s here that romance should be allowed to blossom. Love between a man and a woman can be experienced, including the most intimate sides. You can share everything with your marriage partner, things others don’t need to know about it. This is fabulous!
On top of all this, God has attached His blessing to marriage. It’s something great that we can receive in humility. He will be with us, He will help and strengthen two people who promise to be faithful.