One afternoon I was enjoying a manicure while my husband, Juan was giving me a much-needed break from my mommy duties. All of a sudden, I received a Facebook message from my brother. With both of my hands occupied, all I could see was the question he asked me, “How are you still in love with Juan after 13+years?” His question completely caught me off guard at first. We normally have candid, deep conversations, but they’re usually not about marriage. Nevertheless, I admired his sincere question. I admittedly feel like we are living in a world where love has an expiration date. More and more, I find it rare where both partners want to put forth the effort marriage requires. I can honestly foresee the vast majority of this upcoming generation asking the same kind of question with a genuine concern: “How do you still love your spouse?”
I later found out why my brother was provoked to ask his question. He had a friend whose spouse walked away from their marriage. The abandonment deeply grieved my brother’s friend and it made my brother wonder “What attributes to the longevity in a marriage?” Here’s what I told him:
How I am still in love with my husband after 19 years…
1. I Choose To Be in Love With My Husband. There comes a point in a serious relationship when it is deeper than any puppy love, infatuation, wedding day excitement, and honeymoon stage. In that moment, love matures beyond an emotion and a feeling. The reality is it’s a choice I make every morning. I choose to love him. I choose to be married to him. I choose to continue to work at making him and I happy in our marriage. Why? Because I believe God has strategically crossed our paths, knowing we would benefit each other’s life. He is my gift from God. I believe I am his rib (Gen. 2:22) and his help meet (Gen. 2:18). Since I know God has joined us together, why would I want to divide us (Mark 10:9)? I choose to love him even in the tough times, when I’m tempted to question his benefit in my life!
2. I Invest In My Marriage. Like anything we value, whether it’s our cars, health, physique, hobbies, or friendships; if it matters to us we will make it a priority to care for it. Since I choose to be in love with my husband, I choose to invest and value my marriage.
In other words, I work at it, I maintain it, I guard it, I protect it, etc. How do I invest in my marriage? I spend time reading about how I can better my marriage and how I can be a better wife. I make our date nights a priority, no matter how busy we are. I daily pray for our marriage and war against the attacks that try to divide us. I rub shoulders with other married women and glean from those that have successful marriages. I intentionally aim to meet my husband’s needs, speak his love language and build him up. I nurture our friendship by spending time together doing things he loves. I respect the vows we made to each other, the boundaries we agreed upon and the covenant we made before God. I want my marriage to last a lifetime, so I purpose in my heart to pour into it regularly.
3. I Appreciate My Husband. It’s hard to grow bitter or apart from someone when you’re so thankful and grateful for them. Appreciation requires a specific type of outlook. It demands optimism, it cultivates hope and it births value. Last year, Juan and I had a wonderful marital year. When I look back and try to discover why it was such a great year for us, it boiled down to the appreciation we had for each other. When some of our best friends were going through the hardest times of their lives in their marriage, we began to appreciate even in the simplest things we did for one another. We were thankful because we realize we could’ve been in the same boat they were in. No marriage is exempt from the challenges marriage can bring or the warfare the enemy generates to throw at it. So rather than nagging, complaining or being grumpy that we were are not 100% of the time pleased with one another’s actions; we began to appreciate what we do have and it makes up the percentage. When I appreciate my husband, it’s easy to choose to be in love with him, it’s easy to invest in our relationship and it’s easy to be happy. I also notice, when I’m grateful for him, I won’t allow anything to come in to destroy our marriage. I’m more willing to fight to make it work.
If you are wondering if your marriage is worth fighting for, click here.
4. I Put My Responsibility of Being a Wife Before Being a Mom. With two toddlers and a newborn coming, I know how tempting it can be to push my husband to the side. After all these little, precious beings depend upon me for EVERYTHING and my grown husband can handle himself. Nevertheless, I cannot neglect my marriage, forget my husband’s needs and rebel against God’s order for my life at any season of time. If I did that, I would find myself no longer in love with my husband. In 18 years, when my babies are grown, there wouldn’t be a relationship and I’d be filling for divorce. Parents know that God established marriage before parenthood.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:1CSV, “If you are a wife, you must put your husband first…”. This means my husband is first in my life, second to God. Eph 5:22-25 further clarifies how husbands and wives should treat their spouse in comparison to God. For husbands, they’re to love their wives the same way Christ loves the church. Knowing Christ literally laid down his life for the church (his bride), he provides, tends, and comforts her; I encourage you, husbands to evaluate whether you are loving your wives to God’s standards. As for wives, we are to submit unto the leadership of our husbands in the same manner we submit unto God. We may share our concerns and opinions with our husbands, but God has given our husbands the deciding vote. Realize as parents, we’re training our children in the way they should go, meaning they will eventually leave us. God takes the covenant, the vow of marriage very seriously and although our society has belittled marriage over the years, God’s principles haven’t changed.
If you’re looking for a greater understanding of how a wife should submit, click here.
5. I Keep God First. This is by far the most important contributor in our marriage. Putting God first is our moral compass, our anchor when life’s waves take our marriage up and down, and our strength to love, forgive and overlook a fault when we feel broken. Without God, I can easily reason my judgment over my husband when I feel victimized by his actions. Yet, anytime Juan and I are in conflict with each other, we go to God. We allow God’s Word to be the final authority in our lives! So, although we may feel justified in our feelings of anger, and desires to walk away, we look to God’s Word. In His eyes a temporary feeling or emotion is not justifiable reason to get a divorce. This doesn’t mean we tolerate unacceptable behavior from one another. It means we lay our concerns, hurts and frustrations at the altar of God, knowing He works all things out. I can without a doubt say, God has been faithful to answer every prayer I’ve had concerning my marriage and my husband. God wants our marriages to work and He’s in the ring with us, fighting to make it work. As long as we trust in Him and stay teachable in the process, He will continue to perfect our marriage.
So, why am I in still in love with my husband…bottom line… because I’m still in love with God! As long as I continue to keep God first in my life, He checks my heart, my motives, my desires and my intentions. He alone has kept my husband and I together. Apart from Him, we would be another statistic of divorce.
If you’re struggling to love your spouse right now, you’re not alone. I’ve been there and God is with you. Be sincere before God and let Him know you need His help. He’s more than willing and wanting to help you. After praying, seek resources that will fan the flame of hope for your marriage. Get books, join a local church marriage group (even if you attend it by yourself). Confide in a couple that can mentor you. Be sure to remove away from toxic relationships that speak death over your marriage. We never need people or things reminding us of the problems we’re facing, we need help identifying the solutions.
Pray this prayer…
“Father I am broken over my marriage. I’m struggling to find hope for it to continue. I ask for your special grace and anointing to be able to love and work with my spouse for a better marriage. Heal past wounds, hurt and any brokenness that has developed over time. I come against the spirits of separation, divorce, division, confusion, anger and every demonic attack set against my marriage from being successful. I break Satan’s power over my marriage, myself and my spouse. I declare we are free to love one another, forgive one another and desire one another again. I thank you God by faith, we love each other, respect one another and submit to one another according to your standards. I speak a spirit of love and harmony to be at work in our marriage and home. Rekindle the romance and the desire we once had for one another. Now lead me to the appropriate resources that will pour into my marriage and help me to disassociate from the corrupting ones. Thank you for all this according to Mark 11:24. In Jesus’ Name, Amen”
If you prayed this prayer, I’m standing in agreement with you according to Matt 18:19. If you have any questions or want special prayer, feel free to contact me via email or comment below. Perhaps you have a wonderful testimony to share how you overcame the struggles in your marriage or great advice on how we continue in our marital bliss. Please share it with us. May God be glorified in our marriages.
Love you! God bless!
My hubby and I did a Vlog on this topic! Check it out!