One of the outstanding feats of Christ is that He set His heart to love the unlovely—and succeeded. No irritating personality type is outside His warm embrace. He looks at love as a personal challenge, only. He knows that love is all about what He is capable of, not about the other guy. Growing and exhibiting his own muscle of love, regardless of what comes back to him, from the unlovely, is His sole ambition. He is God, and His determined, inexhaustible love amidst all circumstances and outrageous personalities is the essence of Who He is. He is dogged on the issue. Love will find a way.
It is vital to view the daily dynamic in our own marriages in the same way. Marriage must go through disillusionment, in order to hit rock bottom. It is only on all fours, nose to the ground, rooting around on our knees, that we begin to look for a different source of love. At last we discover it in Christ. And to our surprise we find that it is not at all what we thought. Love is not at all about getting it, but about giving it.
All of life is a process of disillusionment, a fall from what we thought life would deliver, to a profound personal emotional bankruptcy. And the sooner we hit rock bottom, the better. If we look at marriage as a source of romance and tender understanding, we’re gonna be in trouble. But if we look at it as a challenge to love, to find His grit, perseverance, triumphs multiplying within us, then we really begin to live. Life is a lesson, not a resort. The final judgment will be personal examination day.
To draw upon His love and express it at impossible moments, at contrary times, at 6’s and 7’s, causes a strange kind of inner joy to emerge in our souls. We find that this was, in fact, one of Christ’s entire purposes for marriage. The family is the great leveling place at the foot of the cross. No one struts at the foot of the cross; our own contrariness and our constant impetuous demands for satisfaction take a beating there. We cower under His great drops of blood and rise up to try again…to stick with the journey. To jump ship makes us weak. To take up the oars, muscle into the wind, and arouse love within us makes us great in the end (Psalm 18:35: “thy gentleness hath made me great”).
Imagining that there is a more pleasing personality to relate with all day, is a trap. There is none. Regardless of the attractive cover, the same story is inside each book. “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10).
For further reading on this topic, see the eBook on 7 Womanly Secrets to Marital Harmony.