When I walked off the stage, a young woman was waiting to ask me a question.
“What happens when you don’t like each other anymore?”
She wasn’t married yet, but she said her pastor asked that same question to all couples who were planning on getting married.
“…Because there will come a point when you don’t like your spouse,” She reasoned, “and what do you do then?”
She wanted to know what verse would be the basis for my answer for that question.
My mind went to Genesis 2:24. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Becoming. One. Flesh. I think it all comes back to that.
Becoming. The moment you stop becoming with your spouse, that’s the moment you start to dislike. We are always becoming something.
Becoming more attentive to them (pay attention, be a student). When you pay attention to your spouse – to their life and their like and their passions and their dislikes, its easier to stay friends. Easier to stay connected. Friendship is so important to any marriage, and if you don’t pay attention and give attention, that friendship will slowly die.
Becoming more together than apart (teamwork). Life is better with someone to handle issues with. Yes, we all love sex and kids and all the other benefits of marriage, but deep down, we get to share life together with someone. We take on issues togehter as a team instead of against one another. That keeps us united and becoming one – instead of challenging each other and separating over piddly issues that if left to fester could cause a break up.
Becoming more graceful and forgiving. (If you have been in a marriage for any amount of time, the things that you go thru don’t become less – they become more. And if you don’t have a marriage of two forgivers like Ruth Bell Graham said, then you are sunk!
Feelings come and Go
Lisa would tell you that there are days when she doesn’t like me at all. But she still loves me. The choice is hers to what she’s going to do on those days. We have chosen to be in this relationship and our feelings come and they go. So, making it all about “when you won’t like them anymore” assumes a couple things.
- It assumes that you should base all your relationship decisions on your feelings.
- It assumes that your feelings won’t ever change back to what they were before
It actually shows that your feelings are more important than the choices you make and the commitments you promise. Because, marriage is a commitment. Its a covenant. And a covenant relationship isn’t based on how well the other person acts…or how you feel about the way they act – or not. Its based upon your word that you said you would honor.
Regardless of feelings – if you have a decent marriage – you made a commitment to that relationship.
I know that I’ve had a gamut of feelings in a matter of seconds. I can be angry, hurt, embarassed, scared nearly in an instant. Which of those feelings is the correct one? They may all be. And I believe that feelings are good sign posts – but they are not a good destination.
What does that mean?
If you don’t ‘like’ your spouse any more, you need to find out why. For yourself. It probably has a little to do with them, but alot to do with you.