A strong, successful marriage includes two aspects (among many others): self-denial, and an understanding of roles. For thoughts for another woman regarding the roles, see our recent blog on feminism. As for self-denial, it can be considered in three areas: self-control, selflessness, and self-sacrifice. (For thoughts in that regard, you can read last year's Valentines' Day blog post.)
In this day of run-away divorces, the results of these break-ups are sadder than we can imagine, because when a spouse "jumps ship" out of a marriage, he or she never gets to understand the longevity of love. Without staying committed for a lifetime, a person does not get to see what love turns into after a long, long time? How does it express itself after 30, 40, 50 years? What does it see about the frailty and complexity of personhood in the spouse (and consequently in oneself) over time? What does a spouse come to understand about love's substantial underpinnings? What does he (or she) comprehend about the strength and moral virility of real love, the endurance, the rummaging around in the bankruptcy of one's heart, only to turn and lay hold of the Lord’s sure renewal time and time again? To "jump ship" means we miss understanding that part of God that is His very essence: long, hovering, committed love and the self-sacrifice to do both parts of the covenant, if that's what it takes. God is love—not simply that sort of love.
Movie script writers delight in showing the build-up to love, the engagement, the marriage "event", and then the movie ends. The real glory, however, is a hidden one, that shows itself in the long "afterwards". We must sit at the feet of the three persons of the Godhead to see how they have managed it with each other forever and ever. We would do well to sign on for the apprenticeship that is possible through much gazing there. There we shall see what real love acts like in longevity, in deference for the glorification of the other. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirt have done it for all time, and never missed a beat or a day to express it. Imagine it.